Patient Arsenal add to Newcastle’s woes, Liverpool dominate Southampton




Mikel Arteta has praised his Arsenal side’s patience as they moved right into the mix for a top-four place in the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United.

It had looked like being a frustrating afternoon for Arsenal on Saturday as they sought to rebound from last week’s 4-0 hammering at Liverpool, a result that ended a ten-game unbeaten run.

But Bukayo Saka slotted home in the 56th minute and Gabriel Martinelli sealed the points ten minutes later, shortly after coming on to replace the injured Saka.

Bottom club Newcastle had new manager Eddie Howe on the touchline for the first time, but it made no difference as they were well beaten and remain without a league win after 13 games.

The victory moved Arsenal level on 23 points with fourth-placed West Ham, who face champions Manchester City on Sunday.

The only bad news for Arteta was the injury to Saka, who had been Arsenal’s best player.

“I am happy with the points after losing last weekend. You have to win straight away. Overall, I’m pleased,” Arteta said.

Arteta made one change from the side that lost at Liverpool with Alexandre Lacazette making way for Martin Odegaard who came close with a first-half free-kick.

“You have to trust them and give them confidence after difficult moments,” Arteta said. “I thought they needed another chance and they’ve done it today.”

With a game at Manchester United looming on Thursday, Arteta will have an anxious wait over Saka.

“He was uncomfortable to continue. We will have to probably scan him tomorrow and see if there’s any injury there,” he said.

Howe, who had to watch last week’s 3-3 draw against Brentford from a hotel room due to a positive COVID-19 test, took some encouragement from his team’s display.

“I thought it was a good performance, especially the start. We were good for the first half an hour,” he said.

“The pleasing thing today is how we started and finished the game. We created chances.”

Liverpool sailed past Southampton 4-0 in a game that was never close, with Dioga Jota starting things off quickly with a second-minute goal before adding another at the 32-minute mark.

Thiago Alcantara and Virgil van Dijk also scored to complete the beatdown.

Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa made it two in a row, squeezing past Crystal Palace 2-1 thanks to a John McGinn goal in the 86th minute.

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