London, Jan. 10, 2021
Emile Smith-Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in extra time as Mikel Arteta’s side began their FA Cup defence with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Newcastle United on Saturday.
After arriving as a second half substitute in the third round match, Smith-Rowe had a red card rescinded for a tackle on Sean Longstaff in stoppage time following a VAR review.
The 20-year-old midfielder went on to score the opener as he latched on to a ball from Alexandre Lacazette inside the box before slipping it past Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.
Aubameyang also found the net from close range in the final minutes of extra time to extend Arsenal’s winning run to four games in all competitions.
“I was really happy, a bit of a relief for me with the incident before,” Smith-Rowe said. “It definitely wasn’t intentional —— happy to get the goal and get through to the next round.
“We knew how tough it was going to be, they’re a tough opponent. It was about breaking them down.
“It shows how together we are, we have been working off the pitch to get closer as a group and it shows.”
Arsenal, who have lifted the FA Cup a record 14 times, have failed to progress to the fourth round just once in the last quarter of a century.
Arsenal created the majority of the chances through forwards Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe but the hosts were denied an opening in 90 minutes at the Emirates Stadium.
Striker Andy Carroll missed the target from inside the six-yard box in the 56th minute before his efforts on goal in stoppage time were brilliantly blocked by Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
“I thought Andy did fantastically well, if he had topped it off by scoring a goal it would have been good for him,” Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce said.
“A lot of pleasing things, we’ve had a tough run of fixtures but we dust ourselves down and go again.”
The result left Newcastle United without a win in seven games in all competitions.
Osasuna, freezing conditions frustrate Real Madrid from La Liga top spot
Real Madrid were held to a goalless draw at struggling Osasuna on Saturday, failing to overcome the unforgiving conditions amid persistent snow and passing up the chance to go clear at the top of La Liga.
Zinedine Zidane’s side were held up on the runway in Madrid for four hours, a day before the game, due to the snowstorm that pummeled Spain.
Things also did not get any easier for them when they kicked-off on the snowy pitch at the El Sadar Stadium.
The closest they came to finding a breakthrough was when Karim Benzema had two goals ruled out for offside in the second half, while they were fortunate not to concede to an Osasuna side who got their tactics spot on.
The draw kept the champions second in the standings on 37 points, one behind leaders Atletico Madrid, whose game against Athletic Bilbao was postponed due to the snowstorm, leaving them with three games in hand. Osasuna stay 19th.
Real midfielder Toni Kroos said his side should have done better, not withstanding the tough conditions.
“We created very few chances, a team of our quality needs to create more, even when the pitch is difficult to play on like it was today.
“We knew that our opponents were going to defend like they did,” he said.
“The pitch is no excuse, both sides had to play on this pitch. We can’t be happy with the result because we’re fighting to be top of the league and this draw doesn’t help us.”
A team of 50 workers laboured throughout the day to make the pitch playable and clear it of the snow that covered the city of Pamplona and continued to fall during the match.
But the conditions inevitably favoured Osasuna, who were happy to sit back and defend deep to afford their visitors as little space as possible.
The plan worked, as Madrid failed to have a shot on target in the first half for the first time this season in the league.
Osasuna, who had lost six of their previous 10 league games and have not won a match since October, had the best chance to score in the first half when defender Oier got on the end of a cross from a corner.
However, Thibaut Courtois threw up a hand to keep the ball out.
Madrid’s only attempt on target came early in the second half when Marco Asensio let fly from outside the box but Osasuna keeper Sergio Herrera got across to make the save.
They beat Stade Brestois 3-0 at home, prevailing through goals by Moise Kean, Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia to be on 39 points from 19 games.
The title-holders are one point behind Lyon who salvaged a 2-2 draw at Rennes.
Three days after a lacklustre performance during a 1-1 draw at Saint-Etienne in Pochettino’s debut, PSG failed to impress again.
But at least they bagged three points at the Parc des Princes this time around.
Marquinhos’ header bounced off the post and into the path of Italy forward Kean, who tapped in for his ninth goal in 13 league games.
It took a quick save from Gautier Larsonneur to deny Marquinhos shortly afterwards as PSG kept the pressure on.
But the home side were far from convincing and left it late to wrap it up.
Icardi doubled the tally nine minutes from time with a cool finish from Kylian Mbappe’s pass, before Sarabia added the third two minutes later with a crossed shot.