Newcastle United 2 Arsenal 1
Perez 29, Ritchie 68, Lacazette 14

End of term. You know that feeling. All academia has been largely surmounted, it’s just the results that matter but you still have to turn up for lessons. Arsenal were certainly given another Premier League away day lesson, despite having taken the lead through Alexandre Lacazette. But when will they learn to keep what they hold and then build on it ? Making sure of their top flight status for another season, kudos to Rafa Benitez who despite having virtually nothing in the way of funds or support from Newcastle United’s owner, he does however have the players on side with the exception of maybe a certain striker. Ayoze Perez’s leveller lifted the mood on Tyneside and Matt Ritchie ensured that the home side had their first win over the Gunners in 13 years. Arsenal have their eye on Europa League success as the springboard to Champions League football next season, but first they must overcome Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals. At least they’ll have close to their strongest line up possible out there, unlike here where the players’ minds seemed elsewhere.

Arsene Wenger has endured a torrid time from the terraces of late, and this result will do nothing to silence his doubters.

“There’s a difference between the performance and the result because I felt we played very well in the first half especially and should have put the game to bed. In the second half I felt the team played with a good spirit but you could see that some players had played on Thursday night, especially late in the game,” said Wenger with reference to the 2-2 draw against CSKA in Moscow last week.

Poor away Premier League form in sharp contrast to form at the Emirates where Arsenal have only suffered reverses to both the Manchester clubs. City in particular seem light years away from Wenger’s side. The Arsenal manager tried to explain the away form conundrum especially given that it has been better in Europe.

“That is a little bit subconscious and psychological as (in Europe) is a different competition, the history is not the same weight and that shows you how difficult the game is because the rationality is not always there, but certainly in our minds it plays a part.”

On a bright note, Wenger reflected on the paring of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lacazette who combined for the games’s opener.

“They were dangerous and I felt what we missed in the first half is just to score a second goal. Overall offensively we were quite dangerous.”

Arsenal could have levelled when Lacazette aimed a pass to Aubameyang which Joe Willock intercepted before scuffing his shot.

“You see the talent and you also see the lack of experience in some situations of the game, but overall I believe it was promising,” noted Wenger of Willock who will improve.

The Gunners next welcome West Ham United to the Emirates in a London derby which is crucial to their city rivals. Given their woes on the road, Arsenal have to consign any end of term blues aside and give another rousing account of their game ahead of the Europa League Atletico visit.