Helpless for every Arsenal goal. Had little to do in the second period as his side completed an unbelievable comeback.
A very tough afternoon for the full-back who had the roaming Andrey Arshavin to deal with, aswell as the overlapping Gael Clichy. Joey Barton’s lack of pace put more pressure on Simpson, and like the rest of his team, he couldn’t cope with Arsenal’s attacking ability.
An afternoon that the Argentinean will like to forget, very quickly. Torn apart by Theo Walcott’s pace within 45 seconds, the Newcastle number 2 was all over the place all afternoon, and never recovered from Arsenal’s early onslaught.
Was wasteful in possession and found it impossible to cope with the pace of Theo Walcott. Showed his attacking ability in the second period though by linking up well in numerous attacks.
The former Watford defender gave everything despite an opening ten minutes that defied belief. Couldn’t handle Van Persie who seemed to be in acres of space everytime he got the ball.
Much the same as Tiote. His licence to attack was limited due to Arsenal’s brilliance. He may have scored ten goals this season, but on this evidence he won’t be adding many more to that tally.
The midfielder has been Newcastle’s stand out performer this season, but his lack of pace couldn’t have been more apparent as Arsenal’s free flowing football was too much for Newcastle’s number 7. The second half was a totally different story though, with Barton netting twice from the spot and showing his superb ability to deliver a ball to set up countless attacks.
Scored an absolutely wonderful left foot volley which almost took the roof off St James' Park. Absolutely remarkable strike and although he was bypassed in the first half, all will be forgiven after that wondergoal.
- 11 P. Løvenkrands
- 20 L. Best
You have to have nothing but sympathy for the Arsenal goalkeeper. After looking so comfortable and bringing an air of calmness to Arsenal's defence, the 'keeper was helpless to prevent Newcastle's miraculous comeback as the players in front of him fell apart.
Arsenal’s most improved player this season. Building a good partnership with Koscielny and scored a fantastic header to give Arsenal a two nil lead. His day was soured though when he limped off with an injury at the beginning of the second half. Arsene Wenger will be hoping it’s not too serious as they need Djourou if they are to sustain a title challenge.
Most of Newcastle’s attacking play came from the left-hand side, with Enrique and Gutierrez always looking to come forward, and credit to Sagna who held his own and even made some ventures forward of his own.
Never has a game of two halves been summed up more by the performance of the French centre-back. Outstanding in the first half and all over the place in the second, giving away two penalties and gifting Newcastle a route back into the game.
The left-back is showing some real maturity of late, made some very good tackles on Barton and Simpson and stuck to his task well. Can't really be blamed for Newcastle's late fightback as Barton elected not to take on the full-back and whip in early crosses instead.
The Arsenal fans were singing his name throughout the first half and rightfully so. The World Cup winner provided the cross for Djourou to head home Arsenal’s second and played a pivotal role in Arsenal’s stunning first half display. Was helpless in the second half though as Newcastle dominated the midfield after Diaby's sending off, and Newcastle's long ball style kept Fabregas out of the second half.
Cost his side the game. After a superb opening 45 minutes where he dictated the play in the middle of the park, the Arsenal no. 2 hit out at Joey Barton and was correctly sent off. A real shame after a fine display in the first half.
Arshavin has been a shadow of the player that made himself one of Europe’s hottest properties this season, but in the last few games he has shown why he is so highly regarded. His jinking runs and inch perfect passing returned to give Arsenal a real cutting edge. Shame for him though that Diaby’s sending off ruined Arsenal’s game plan.
England's midfield prodigy showed why he is rated so highly with a calm display in the centre of the park. Got lost in the second half though as Newcastle resorted to a long ball style to salvage something from the game, but when the ball is on the deck there are few better than Wilshere.
He destroyed Newcastle almost single-handedly in the League Cup earlier in the season, and after 40 seconds he showed why as his blistering pace set Arsenal on the way to a four nil first half lead. Continued to be a threat but was replaced by Rosicky in the second half.
R. van Persie
The Dutchman took his two chances superbly in the first half, showing both his aerial prowess and his finishing ability. Went missing in the second half though as Newcastle mounted their comeback.
- 1 Almunia
Replaced Djourou and didn't do himself any justice. Arsenal's defence looked very comfortable with Djourou and Koscielny together but Squillaci simply couldn't handle the aerial bombardment that Newcastle gave the Gunners in the second half.
Came on and didn't really have a chance to influence the game as Newcastle laid seige to the Arsenal goal.
- 28 K. Gibbs
Tried to bring a touch of class to the midfield but couldn't get his foot on the ball as Newcastle constantly got the ball out wide and in the box.
- 29 M. Chamakh
- 52 N. Bendtner