Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bank Holiday stroll in the park

Newcastle Utd 0 - 0 Arsenal

Soporific is the only way to describe yesterday's match at St James' Park, with neither side seemingly capable of rousing themselves to claim the three points on offer to the first team to raise the pace.

With the sun shining down, the game was very much the Bank Holiday afternoon stroll in the park, with little to trouble either keeper. For Newcastle, the best moments came from an Onyewu shot which Lehmann easily dealt with, and a Milner cross / shot which rebounded off the cross bar early in the second half. For Arsenal it was Gilberto Silva's late efforts which saw Solano block the first and then recover to head the follow-up over the bar to safety. But that was pretty much it.

Despite such a relaxed game, referee Howard Webb still saw fit to penalise anything approaching a physical challenge, yet curiously ignore late Newcastle claims for a penalty when Onyewu was clearly held back in the area.

That said, the draw was clearly a fair result, with neither side particularly troubling the other - surprising, seeing as Arsenal at least still have something to play for. For Newcastle, the sight of Given, Dyer and latterly Emre all leaving the field with what looked to be injuries may mean that the season really does limp to a conclusion, but until we can find some means of giving Martins support we're left looking for a flash of inspiration, rather than any likelihood that we can really build attacks.

Milner and Butt once again stood out, but on a day when so little effort was required both teams simply coasted through the game untroubled (more than can be said for the crowd, who were subjected to Rod Stewart record after Rod Stewart Record, the DJ either under instructions to mercilessly plug his forthcoming gig, or simply having only brought one CD with him - either way it was bloody painful to listen to.)

An Arsenal fan's perspective: East Lower

Other reports: BBC, Guardian


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