That was a lot of fun yesterday, wasn’t it? We wanted revenge, we came for revenge, we got revenge. There was no ‘desgracia’ yesterday at The Emirates, because an excellent Arsenal team dispatched a shaky Newcastle team, leaving the home fans once again in dreamland as chants of “who put the ball in the Geordie’s net” reverberating around London.

Pre game discussion was all focused around how we were going to deal with the Newcastle sh*thousery that would inevitably come. They have the players, they have the recent history at the Emirates from last season, but they also had a blueprint laid down by Porto in the Dragao on Wednesday night in the Champions League. I was convinced this would be a horrible game to watch; they would employ just about all of the dark arts available.

IF we don’t score early though”

That was the repeated sentence in the restaurant we went to beforehand. Because that caveat would mean that Newcastle couldn’t sit deep and play for the draw. If we got the first goal and got it early then there would be a game to be had and that is exactly what happened yesterday evening. The atmosphere was rocking, the crowd were massively up for this and so were the players, as Set Piece FC stepped forward for the first one. I got chatting to my mates Steve and Luke at halftime and Steve said that part of him wanted the goal to be controversial, maybe not go over the line but we get given it anyway, which I thought would have been a delicious bit of karma for those Newcastle fans who went hard on their winner against us at St James’. Did you see that guy who got in a bathtub fully clothed with the caption about bathing in our tears on the goal they scored? Yeah, that. Where’s ol bathtub boy now, eh?

We were excellent though. From the first minute there was a purpose, determination and press to this performance that had you convinced that Arteta’s team talk was about inflicting damage on the night. The team had underperformed in midweek and this was exactly the reaction we all wanted. Pressing, harrying, hassling, winning the ball high up the pitch and not giving Newcastle a sniff. It was brilliant. In that first half I’m not even sure that they had an attack up our end of the pitch in the North Bank. It was one-way traffic and just six minutes after the Botman own goal opener, we had doubled our lead and you sensed that the game was done.

How good is that by the way? That 24 minutes in to a match you know that you’ve got the points in the bag. Of course I can say this now, you can’t say it out loud in the moment, but deep down when Havertz slid the ball nonchalantly into the back of the net in front of delighted Clock End Gooners, we all knew that the points were ours.

We could have had more that first half too. Saka forced a good save from Karius and there was a header from Martinelli that I suspect he’ll have felt that he could have done better on. But by the end of the first half it was “job half done” and we’d restricted Newcastle to zero shots on goal, 37% possession, whilst we’d racked up 11 attempts at goal, four on target and an xG of 1.73. This was a performance with purpose and we weren’t going to let those three points slip. 

And the second half delivered more of the sane from a goals perspective, although Newcastle did come out and play a little more. I guess they had to; Eddie Howe wouldn’t have been happy with the complete lack of threat in that first half and they at least started to keep hold of the ball a bit more. But we were in control and were creating chances. Within a few seconds of the restart Havertz was in on goal and should have scored. I turned to the guy next to me – Nick – and said that we need that third to out the final nail in the coffin. 

Step forward Bukayo Saka. It was an initial mistake by Newcastle that forced the turnover in the middle of the pitch, but as soon as we got the ball back you knew Newcastle were in trouble. Havertz will claim the assist for the pass but let’s be frank here, it was all Bukayo Saka that secured the points. The way he keeps such close control of the ball is a nightmare for defenders and the fact he can go left or right and deliver end product just makes it all the more difficult to assess how to stop him. That’s 16 goals and 13 assists in all competitions – 29 involvements in 34 matches. This kid is class. World class.

The fun wasn’t over though. The points may have been secured but this Arsenal team are bloodthirsty right now and they smelt blood yesterday. So Jakub Kiwior stepped forward to bag number four with another set piece. It doesn’t matter how much teams prepare for us on set pieces, we are absolutely deadly, although when I watched that goal again I will say that the ‘keeper will feel like he could and should have done better I think. 

There was a bit of a blot on the copy book with the Joe Willock looping header goal as a consolation, but that’ll just annoy our back line more than anything else. Ultimately this a=was a game that was won early, involved total dominance and saw Arsenal keep up the pressure on Liverpool and City. Plus, our goal difference is now the best in the league, with us having scored one less than Liverpool and conceded two less as well. This Arsenal team is clicking and the hope has to be that we can sustain this form u=between now and the end of the season.

The good news was also that we were able to bring players off and Arteta did just that after that fourth goal, with ESREddie and Reiss all coming on with 15 minutes plus stoppages to go. It meant we couold rest up some of those legs who were perhaps a little tired and with a whole week until our next game, hopefully we can get more good minutes on the training ground and be ready for Sheffield United away next weekend.

It’s another weekend of smashing teams up in the Premier League and whilst we all know it won’t last forever, right now we can just bask in the absolute tonking we’re giving teams.

That’s me done on here for today, but in about 20 minutes at the time of writing we’re going live on the Same Old Arsenal podcast, so if you fancy a watch/listen you can do so here.