Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5 February 2011 - I've Always Said A 4-Goal Lead Is The Most Dangerous Lead

On 5 February 2011, Newcastle earned a dramatic point against Arsenal, coming back from a 4-goal deficit to draw 4-4.

Newcastle were in their first season back in the Premier League after a one-season spell in the Championship and had already beaten Arsenal away in the league, 0-1. But in the return fixture at St. James's Park, the visitors from London took a quick lead with a strike from Theo Walcott in the first minute.

Nine minutes later, Arsenal were up 0-3 with additional goals from Johan Djourou (3') and Robin van Persie (10'). Van Persie scored again in the 26th minute and, to all appearances, a rout was on. Down 0-4 at the break, Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton later commented that the hosts were just hoping to "avoid a cricket score."

The momentum shifted in the second half, however, as Djourou left the game with an injury in the 48th minute. Two minutes later, they were down to ten men as referee Phil Dowd ejected midfielder Abou Diaby after an incident with Barton.

Barton went on to score twice from the penalty spot (68', 83'), with his brace sandwiched around a 75th-minute goal from Leon Best. Cheik Tiote (pictured) then completed the comeback with an 87th-minute blast from the edge of the box that beat Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczęsny and landed in the bottom corner of the net.

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