Well, practically a completely different team to the weekend's game versus City but not far off the same result, a rather solid 4-0 win in the end. The scoreline probably flattered us somewhat but I don't think many people would argue that we deserved the win.
The negatives included another really unfortunate injury to Kieran Gibbs, he had started brightly but then limped off shortly after a rather innocuous collision, I do hope this bad luck runs out soon. Carlos Vela didn't really do enough, again, one wonders just how many chances he will get before being shown the door. The midfield were pretty decent but the ball was given away a tad too frequently for my liking, still one shouldn't dwell on the negative when we've just won 4-0.
Szczesny was outstanding, he has a real presence, he made some top saves, the one thing that stood out was his final touch of the game, a punch from a corner and the ball travelled about thirty five yards in the air! The lad is a beast and a future Arsenal no1, make no mistake about it, the save from Carroll near the end showed just how hard to beat this young Pole is, top goal keeping indeed.
Koscielny had an extremely tidy game, nipping in with some good interceptions, positionally solid and he used the ball well. Djourou won a lot in the air, the odd error on the ground, but he generally looked decent. Eboue was very capable at left back, having switched there to accommodate the injured Gibbs.
The midfield did ok, we dominated in patches, the start and finish of the first half in particular, but our distribution was not all that it could have been. There were spells when Newcastle did seem to rattle us. Eastmond and Denilson worked hard, as did Rosicky, to be fair they put in a solid if unspectacular shift.
Walcott was awesome, his pace electric, his finishing immaculate, brilliant goals. Bendtner had a very good game given he's been out for so long, he looked sharp, ran well with the ball and capped it with a lovely right footed curler into the top corner for the third goal. Vela did ok, but no more, he never attacked his full back with enough vigour, the end product was lacking on too many occasions.
Overall a solid win, we were never going to dominate the game for the whole ninety minutes but a little bit of luck with the second 'offside' goal definitely helped. The offside rule is stupid, Bendtner was clearly interfering with play in my book, by hey ho, the rule seems to be completely daft and open to any interpretation, either way Newcastle can count themselves unlucky that it stood. Still, we defended pretty solidly, played some good stuff on the counter and came out worthy winners. The three stand out men for me were Szczesny, Koscielny and Walcott.