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Arsenal: Gabriel was a titan vs Newcastle

Arsenal were the better team against Newcastle United on Tuesday night but for the first time this campaign, they dropped points at the Emirates Stadium.

Indeed, the Gunners dominated possession (67%) and fired off over double the number of shots (17) than the Magpies, to no avail.

It was certainly a resolute and turgid defensive display from the visitors as none of Mikel Arteta’s frontline could find a way past the best defence in the Premier League.

Bukayo Saka was a key man in the final third, having fired off two shots and made three key passes, and such a display saw the Evening Standard’s Simon Collings name him as his ‘Man of the Match.’

Who was your MOTM vs Newcastle?

Nketiah

Nketiah

Saka

Saka

Gabriel

Gabriel

Zinchenko

Zinchenko

However, despite Newcastle not being as threatening as the north London giants, they were equally impressive at the back, led by Brazilian titan Gabriel Magalhaes.

He has been the better of Arsenal’s two centre-backs in recent outings and it was much the same at the Emirates again. ‘Dealt well with the threat of Callum Wilson. Went close to scoring a header,’ the aforementioned reporter wrote in the same column.

Meanwhile, football.london’s chief Gunners writer Kaya Kaynak also waxed lyrical: ‘The Brazilian is such a useful tool from set pieces and nearly caused havoc on a few occasions. Looks to be the more solid of the defensive pairing at the moment. Some excellent passes towards the end too.’

A lot of Arsenal’s build-up play began with the former Lille colossus – who cost around €26m (£23m) back in 2020 – as he registered the third-most touches of the ball (83) of any player on the pitch. It was the same for the number of successful passes (65) and he did so with the best success rate (94%), via Sofascore.

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WHO IS THE PLAYER?

Elsewhere, Gabriel also won 60% of his ten duels, made two tackles, put in three clearances and had one interception, only further highlighting just how much he was on his game on Tuesday night.

To top everything off, the Brazilian also should have won his side a penalty after being pulled down by Dan Burn inside the penalty area. Some would call it stonewall but it wasn’t to be.

As such the £50k-per-week “rock” – in the words of former Gunners striker Kevin Campbell, who has also previously dubbed him a “big player” – was arguably Arteta’s true standout star in the 0-0 draw with Newcastle.

AND in other news, Arteta eyes Arsenal move for “incredible” £33m gem, he’s a great Tielemans alternative