Eddie Howe was dissatisfied with a taste of his own medicine as Newcastle were beaten in their own time-wasting match in a 2-0 defeat at home to Arsenal.
Newcastle suffered only their second Premier League home defeat of the season when a Martin Odegaard goal in the first half was followed by a Fabian Schar own goal after the break.
The Magpies had chances but in the end they were hoist with their own shitty firecracker while Arsenal handled the game flawlessly.
While Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak both hit the post between fine Aaron Ramsdale saves from Schar and Granit Xhaka’s saved block from Joe Willock, Arsenal could have scored more and were, in Odegaard’s words, more capable to be «smart» ” and “ugly” when necessary.
Howe saw it differently, blaming referee Chris Kavanagh for allowing the game to work out the way it did, which he perceived to be in the visitors’ favour.
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“It was frustrating from our point of view. We wanted the ball to play, we wanted to find our rhythm. It was very stop-start,” said the Newcastle manager.
“This suited, of course, the away team. As a home team, you want the ball in play, so it was frustrating in that sense for us, definitely.
“They managed the match well from their point of view. They slowed it down, lots of game interruptions, frustrating for us. Naturally we wanted the ball to be more in play, especially when chasing play.
“But we have to look at what we can control. We can’t control it, it’s the referee’s job. What we can control is our ability to exploit our chances and possibly defend ourselves better than we did today.»
The comments are surprisingly in stark contrast to what Howe said after Arsenal complained on their antics after a goalless draw at the Emirates in January.
«We are not here to be popular and to be liked by other teams,» he underlined. “We are here to compete and to compete, we have to give everything to try and get a positive result”.
When asked if his team had intentionally wasted time at any point, Arteta simply replied: “Definitely, our team is not like that.
“I don’t even want to get close to that conversation with the match we were supposed to play today. We did what we had to do to win the game and I’m very happy about it.»