Season 2005-06 Result
Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United
 T.Henry 81 (pen),
 R.Van Persie 87.
Date: 14/08/2005  Venue: Emirates Stadium  Competition: Premiership
Crowd: 38,072
Match Report Submitted on 15/08/2005 by Smike
Robbed At The Library?

A commendable Toon performance was completely ruined once again by a totally inept referee. Steve Bennett (who incidentally comes from less than 20 miles from Highbury) can add the sending off of Jenas to his growing list of absolute howlers while officiating Toon games. With 11 against 11 we were equally as good as Arsenal and had control of the midfield with both Emre and Parker showing their worth.

Dyer was hauled down by Senderos in what seemed from our end like a goal scoring opportunity. We waited for Mr Bennett to produce at least a yellow card – we got a free kick and nothing else. Shortly afterwards to rub salt in the wounds, Jenas won the ball with a one footed challenge on Silva who then rolled around as if he was dying. We questioned whether it was even a free kick and out came the red card. Apparently the reasoning behind his decision was that Jenas used ‘excessive force’. TOTAL BOLLOCKS!! Ever seen anyone tackle without using force? Anyway he took the ball first with a one footed tackle, not even a booking as far as I’m concerned. Predictably Silva was running around like a ‘Tow Law rabbit’ moments later obviously none the worse for Jenas’ ‘forceful’ challenge and he went on to complete the game.

We probably had our best spell after JJ was sent off - Shearer had a goal ruled off side. At half time we were very happy with our first half performance.

The second half game plan was to try to frustrate Arsenal by getting men behind the ball and perhaps to catch them on the break. We contained them until the 81st minute when N’Zogbia found himself too close to Ljunberg in our box and Henry netted the resulting penalty. Even the penalty was debatable as Ljunberg seemed to kick the ground rather than be fouled by N’Zogbia. Van Persie then scored at the near post in the 87th minute and that was that.

Generally we had a good day. The Drayton Park pub provided pre-match refreshment. We stood outside and admired the impressive-looking new stadium. I just hope that the Gooners can generate a better atmosphere in their new home as their support was quite poor again at Highbury.

Who knows what may have happened had we kept 11 men on the pitch. I suspect that the red card will be rescinded; little consolation for those of us who made the journey. We got home in time to see Match of The Day 2, and to witness Adrian Chiles, Graeme Le Saux and Bob Wilson unanimously agree that it was definitely a sending off. Biased tossers!

Still, with more of the same commitment from the players it may end up not being the disastrous season most people seem to be predicting.