Emile Smith Rowe has been billed because the “distinction maker” by no much less an authority than Mesut Özil prior to now week and he lived as much as his repute in fashion with a decisive purpose 11 minutes from the top of additional time. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added one other and it means Arsenal can nonetheless dream of retaining the FA Cup whereas Newcastle, who twice missed golden possibilities to steal the tie by means of Andy Carroll, should content material themselves with maintaining a relegation battle at arm’s size.
Either side had initially made seven adjustments after their endeavours over the vacation interval however Arsenal had been pressured into an undesirable eighth earlier than kick-off. Gabriel Martinelli had hoped to construct on final month’s high-energy return from harm however, after clearing the ball throughout a routine warm-up train, landed closely and appeared to roll his ankle. The ahead was clearly in ache and, whereas he was capable of stroll down the tunnel after receiving therapy, no possibilities had been taken together with his situation. Reiss Nelson, who scored the winner right here in final season’s third-round tie towards Leeds, obtained an sudden alternative of his personal.
He confirmed loads of early urge for food to grab it. Inside 45 seconds he had pressured Martin Dubravka right into a low save after jinking inside from the left wing after which, main a break after a spell of Newcastle stress, was fouled clumsily by Jamaal Lascelles. The visiting captain, coming back from a six-week absence caused by the aftereffects of a Covid-19 an infection, might be excused some rustiness.
Steve Bruce had steered it was “morally unsuitable” for soccer to proceed at this stage of the pandemic however, on the pitch at the very least, Newcastle appeared capable of neglect such scruples. Carroll gave them a focus to play off and, receiving a diagonal ball, he pressured a block from David Luiz. They continued to pen Arsenal again now and again, with out trying particularly like fashioning a transparent probability.
Arsenal created an honest one within the twenty fifth minute when Aubameyang, discovered behind the defence by a harmless-looking lengthy move, introduced the ball in from the fitting and compelled a parry from Dubravka. The rebound was blazed wastefully over by Willian, who may do with profitable a couple of hearts and minds in these elements. Aubameyang had appeared offside, though maybe not by the three yards loudly claimed by Bruce.
In any other case there was little spark throughout a primary half by which the temperature dipped to freezing level. Arsenal’s intention to prosper through the flanks was clear however, on the alternative aspect to Nelson, Nicolas Pépé struggled to take advantage of promising positions. When good work from Aubameyang discovered him in house, he waited lengthy sufficient for Isaac Hayden to sort out immaculately. With no pure No 10, the hosts’ attacking play was largely paying homage to their pre-Christmas drudgery; they received a string of set items however discovered a lot of them thudded away by Carroll’s brow.
Lascelles didn’t re-emerge after the break, Matt Ritchie slotting in at left wing-back. Paul Dummett, who moved inside, delivered early on for Carroll to go broad; Carroll then pressured Bernd Leno into his first motion with a snap shot after holding off Cédric Soares.
Newcastle had been trying bolder and within the 56th minute Carroll ought to have made it third time fortunate. Jeff Hendrick drilled the ball again in after a free-kick was half-cleared and Carroll, onside on the far publish, appeared sure to attain. As an alternative he sidefooted throughout Leno and broad; one would possibly charitably wonder if he had seen it late.
Within the meantime Pépé and Kieran Tierney had hit, hoped and failed to bother Dubravka. It was little shock when Mikel Arteta launched Smith Rowe instead of Nelson, who had pale. Virtually instantly Aubameyang reached Mohamed Elneny’s move and drew Dubravka solely to nudge harmlessly throughout purpose. The keeper then parried Joe Willock’s downwards header from a scrumptious Pépé cross as openings lastly started to reach semi-regularly.
Extra arrived at each ends because the 90 minutes ticked down, Carroll seeing one of the best however permitting Leno to avoid wasting. Instantly afterwards Smith Rowe was reprieved by Chris Kavanagh, who used his pitchside monitor to downgrade a purple card he had proven for a foul on Sean Longstaff, so additional time was contested on equal phrases.
Arsenal felt short-changed by the know-how when it was subsequent used to evaluate Ciaran Clark had not tripped Aubameyang. They pressed for a winner and had been finally rewarded when Smith Rowe managed his fellow substitute Alexandre Lacazette’s header earlier than firing in low off the far publish.
Aubameyang then made positive from shut in.