Arsenal news: Pepe praise, Lacazette reacts to ending goal drought, player ratings vs Newcastle

All the latest news from around the Emirates Stadium including the fallout from the Newcastle United game and looking ahead to the Europa League tie against Olympiacos.

Arsenal are back in the top half of the Premier League table following a 4-0 win over Newcastle United.

After dropping to 11th following Burnley’s victory over Southampton on Saturday afternoon, Mikel Arteta’s side knew only a win would see them reclaim 10th spot in their first game after the winter break.

It was a slow burner against the Magpies, but the hosts were rampant in the second half and eased to victory thanks to goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette.

The Gunners don’t have long to reflect on events against the Magpies as they’re back in European action on Thursday as they make the trip to Greece for a Europa League round of 32 first-leg clash against Olympiacos.

Player ratings

There were many contenders for Arsenal’s man-of-the-match after a much improved second half display against the Magpies.

Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka were very impressive, while Dani Ceballos caught the eye in central midfield.

Click here for football.london‘s Arsenal player ratings vs Newcastle

Arteta transcript

Arteta faced the media following the Newcastle game and one of the main talking points from his press conference was the performance of Pepe.

“Hopefully, we just need consistency from him.

“For wide players and talented players up front in this league it isn’t easy because this is the most difficult thing to do – to create things – but (there are) certain things with Nico that he needs to maintain game by game.

“He knows that, he’s trying, the way he applied himself defensively as well in a few moments was top drawer – things that he wasn’t doing in the past – and when he does that, after the rewards in the other box come and he made the difference today.”

Full transcript.

Lacazette’s brilliant reaction

After nine games without a goal across all competitions for Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette found the back of the net in the 4-0 win over Newcastle.

The goal was somewhat fortunate as the Frenchman appeared to have struck the ball twice before the ball hit the back of the net.

But that couldn’t wipe the smile from across his face.

Lacazette himself was clearly delighted to have ended his goal drought and this was evident when he celebrated with strike partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Football.london were at the Emirates and noticed that Lacazette jumped into the arms of the Arsenal captain.

Smith Rowe decision

Emile Smith Rowe was a surprise absentee from Huddersfield Town starting lineup against Derby County on Saturday afternoon.

The teenager had started every game since his arrival at the John Smith’s Stadium, but in a surprise selection, was left on the bench until the final 15 minutes of the game.

After the match, Terriers boss Danny Cowley explained his decision to leave the midfielder out of the starting lineup.

“Well we didn’t want to leave Emile Smith Rowe out. Don’t think I woke up pleased that I had to leave Emile out of the starting eleven because he’s been excellent for us,” he said, as reported by ExaminerLive.

“Really as a football manager you’re a supporter as well because you want the team to win, obviously.

“But I just think obviously Emile is very precious to us and it’s the first time he’s lived a three-game week in his life, let alone at Championship level. He’s 19.”

 

 

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