Former Fulham and Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes Arsenal’s composure under the press of Newcastle United was the reason behind their triumph at St. James’ Park yesterday. Mikel Arteta’s side ran out 2-0 winners to keep their title hopes alive, while the Magpies are now looking over their shoulders.
The Toon still have a game in hand on their top-four rivals Liverpool, but Jurgen Klopp’s side are in fine form and have reduced the gap to Eddie Howe’s men to just three points. The defeat to Arsenal shows the Magpies hierarchy the gap to the division’s top two sides with the Gunners deserving of all three points.
Murphy told Match of The Day: “Two really good teams, yeah, we love the energy and intensity but the quality of both sides, they’ve improved so much. It was a real pleasure to watch, Newcastle were actually unlucky, their performance was decent.
“Arsenal at times were back to their brilliant self and the main reason was their bravery to try and play through the lines when they knew Newcastle were going to come after them. When you go to Newcastle, you’re going to get pressed.
“This is the first minute of the game, they don’t disappoint. Wilson sets it off, Isak goes, the midfielder comes in behind. They’re trying really hard to get on the ball and make things happen.
“They’ve [Arsenal] not won in their last three away games. This was a really brave thing to do. On occasion, Newcastle got after them and won it back, that’s going to happen.
“The thing is, when that does happen, do you keep persisting? They did and they kept believing in what they’ve done all season. This is the difference now with Arsenal, they have complete belief in what they’re trying to do.”
Murphy added: “Let’s be really clear, they have progressed tremendously and quicker than anyone thought they would, even the most avid Newcastle supporter. The squad is tremendous, it’s getting better, they’ve got good competition.
“They’ve got good attacking options and they’re only going to get better.”
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