Not only do I feel that Arsenal were very lucky to leave the north east with all three points yesterday, but I do feel sorry for Newcastle who will play a lot worse than that and win games. They were clearly stung by the `flip flop´ jibes from their defeat last weekend and we nearly paid the price.
I have rarely seen such hunger and determination than we did from the Magpies in the second half but thankfully Giroud had taken his shooting boots with him and we defended well and rode our luck.
The fact that the Gunners struggled against a Newcastle team depleted by injury problems and suspensions and with nothing but pride to play for may have been the reason why Arsene Wenger all but dismissed our hopes of challenging Chelsea for the Premier League title this season, as reported by Sky Sports.
Wenger said, “I think Chelsea have too much security. I just think at the moment we are not concluding, we are in a fight.
“You have seen the game today – in every game, we need to turn up and fight until the last minute to get the points.
“That’s what we have to do, just go for the next game and win it. The players want to do as well as they can. We know we have a fight first to be in the top four. We will go step by step, game by game.”
I think, however, that the fact we won yesterday in a match that we could so easily have drawn or even lost, highlights that we are now able to win in different ways, grinding out results, digging in or playing on the break as well as the more usual Arsenal way of dominating the ball and playing fluent and attractive football, means that we do still have a chance.