There is still a long way to go for this youthful Arsenal side, as evidenced by their humbling at the hands of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, and the scoreline could have been even more embarrassing for the Gunners had it not been for the heroics of Aaron Ramsdale.
However, the Englishman’s resolve was eventually broken through a Sadio Mane header which he would have been frustrated not to save, and Diogo Jota, Mohamed Salah and Takumi Minamino would complete the rout for a ruthless Liverpool in the second half.
A resurgent Arsenal missed the chance to rise into the top four last weekend, but Mikel Arteta’s side remain fifth in the rankings amid their turnaround in fortunes – three points behind West Ham United following their defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Arsenal’s -4 goal difference certainly does not embody that of a side with aspirations of a European return, but home is where the heart is for the Gunners, who have taken 13 points from the last 15 on offer at the Emirates Stadium.
In fact, Arsenal boast the joint-best home record this year alongside Manchester City and Chelsea – the latter being the only team to beat their capital counterparts in North London so far this season – and they have never lost a home game versus the side starting the gameweek at the bottom of the table.
A bout of COVID-19 prevented Eddie Howe from taking his place in the dugout for his first game in charge of Newcastle, but unfortunately for him, the opening 45 minutes of the 43-year-old’s reign against Brentford were truly unmissable.
Jamaal Lascelles and Joelinton both netted for the Magpies either side of Ivan Toney and Rico Henry’s efforts, and none other than Allan Saint-Maximin would be the saviour for Newcastle with his 75th-minute equaliser after Lascelles’s own goal.
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A spectacular watch for the neutrals ended in another less-than-satisfactory result for Newcastle, though, with the Magpies still winless in the 2021-22 Premier League and sitting rock bottom of the rankings – five points adrift of safety – as a result.
Howe’s men are the only team in the top four English divisions yet to pick up a victory this season, but one area they can boast a stronger record than Arsenal is goals, with the Gunners notching up 13 top-flight strikes this season while Newcastle boast 15.
Such a record may pale into insignificance this weekend, though, as Arsenal have won the last six meetings between the teams without conceding a goal, and not since 2014 have the Magpies found the back of the net at the Emirates Stadium