Four things Arteta got right as Arsenal breeze past Newcastle

Arsenal warmed up for their Europa League semi-final second leg in perfect fashion with a 2-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.

Mikel Arteta made a number of changes and his players didn't let him down, giving him a couple of things to think about ahead of the clash against Villarreal.

Mohamed Elneny opened the scoring after just six minutes while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wrapped up the win after the hour mark.

But the win didn't come without its negatives. David Luiz picked up what looked like a serious injury late on and will almost certainly miss Thursday's clash.

Daily Star Sport look at four things Mikel Arteta got right below…

Sticking to his guns

Following a rough couple of games at left-back it would have been very easy for Arteta to bring in Bukayo Saka instead of Granit Xhaka.

Saka has played the position many times in the past and assuredly so.

Arteta, though, stuck to his guns and played the hard tackling Swiss star against Newcastle. The Gunners kept a clean sheet so the proof is very much in the pudding.

Excellent Elneny

Mohamed Elneny doesn't get much game time these days but has, on occasion, the ability to impress.

When Arsenal ousted United earlier in the season the Egyptian had a stunning game. But he's flattered to deceive ever since.

If fans wondered why Arteta started Elneny against Newcastle on Sunday then he answered it after just six minutes.

A fabulous strike from the edge of the box set the tempo for his afternoon.

Braving Aubameyang

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  • The Gabon striker was suffering from a bout of Malaria and was ruled out for around four games before the Villarreal clash in midweek.

    He played just five minutes in the Europa League defeat and it seemed the Newcastle game might come too soon for him.

    However, Arteta bravely decided to start his captain and was rewarded with an assist and a goal.

    Listening to Keown

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    Club legend Martin Keown was positively furious over Martinelli's lack of game time. The Gunners boss even went as far as to suggest Arteta doesn't like the player.

    "Now it’s time to let him fly," urged Keown. "Let’s look at the positives. Let’s support him. When he came into the team I thought he did a great job. Not only was he making runs down the middle but he was coming back. He was like a Duracell battery."

    It seems Arteta listened to Keown and opted to start Martinelli against the Magpies.

    Bar a late injury scare, Martinelli repaid the faith shown in him with a wonderful cross to set up Aubameyang and seal the win.

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