Saturday, 5 February 2011

Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4

Newcastle produced a stunning comeback from 4-0 down to earn a draw that shocked title hopefuls Arsenal.
Theo Walcott scored after 44 seconds before a Johan Djourou header and a strike from Robin van Persie put Arsenal 3-0 ahead inside 10 minutes.
Van Persie headed Arsenal's fourth but Abou Diaby saw red after the break for pushing Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan.
Joey Barton scored penalties either side of a strike from Leon Best before Cheik Tiote's long-range equaliser.
It has been a miserable week for Newcastle after the departure of Andy Carroll to Liverpool on Monday was followed by an injury to Shola Amebi during Wednesday's defeat at Fulham.
And Magpies manager Alan Pardew had his arms crossed for long periods of the opening half on Saturday as he looked on in horror from his technical area.
His team were seemingly blown away during the opening half, but they won the most unlikely point after playing with incredible drive and determination after the interval.
Arsenal could have kept the pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester United, at least temporarily reducing the deficit at the top to two points, but they crumbled after the dismissal of Diaby.
The confidence and attacking flair that had characterised their play in the opening half vanished, replaced by a shaky and unsure side that could not defend a handsome lead against a team that had not won in their previous four games.

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