Arsenal 4-0 Newcastle: Pepe shines on a day of many positives - football

Arsenal 4-0 Newcastle: Pepe shines on a day of many positives

Match report – Player ratings – Video
Mikel Arteta made some changes. For a while it looked as if nothing much was different. But then it was quite different indeed. Arsenal scored four times in the second half to take three very enjoyable points. It’s fair to say that the scoreline had some gloss based on the game itself, but that’s not a complaint, to be clear ? it’s about time we did something like that, and I was glad to see it.
The surprise inclusions of Dani Ceballos in midfield, his first start since November, and Eddie Nketiah up front, his first ever Premier League start, showed the manager was prepared to do something out of the ordinary to get his team going again. Afterwards, he talked up the hard work both those players had been doing in training (Ceballos trained like an animal, he said), but it also felt a bit like their inclusion was a message to players they were potentially replacing. Alexandre Lacazette hadn’t scored since December, so dropping out can’t have been a huge surprise to him. The fact that it was for Nketiah, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stationed out wide again, might have been though. We know the captain is capable of scoring from there, but had it been Gabriel Martinelli left and Auba up front it would have made more sense based on what we’ve seen so far this season. Nketiah’s selection might have been primarily to give him a chance, but I’m sure there was an element of doing som...
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