Arsenal discover new Fabregas in Newcastle win as title race heats up

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard has once again proven that he can be the club’s new Cesc Fabregas following their tough 2-0 win over Newcastle on Sunday. A trip to St James’ Park was always going to be a tough test for Arsenal – just as it has proven for every other Premier League team so far this season.

Liverpool held the record as the only side to leave St James’ Park with a win this campaign ahead of Arsenal’s trip to the north east. For Mikel Arteta, it was another test for his side to try and keep the heat on Manchester City at the top of the table.

Pep Guardiola’s side continued their relentless winning streak with a 2-1 victory over Leeds on Saturday, putting them four points ahead of Arsenal. It’s a tall order for Arsenal to claw City back in, but a precious victory over Newcastle could go a long way.

Newcastle started the game like a house on fire with the home crowd pumped up in the sunshine. Arsenal needed someone to try and calm things down to get them back on top. In stepped Odegaard just as he has done all season.

The Norway international noticed how vulnerable his side’s defensive line was looking early on and dropped deeper to help relieve some of the pressure on them. After acting as a shield in his own half, Odegaard was soon able to start dictating play going forward.

And it was his piece of magic midway through the first half from the edge of the box that ended up breaking the deadlock. Odegaard needed just a few yards of space when he let fly with his left foot, scoring past a helpless Nick Pope.

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It’s the kind of goal Arsenal fans were used to when Fabregas was running things for the club in midfield. But not only was his goal reminiscent of the former Spain international, it was also Odegaard’s calming presence in midfield and ability to slow things down in midfield.

Fabregas is regarded as one of the greatest Premier League midfielders for his abilitiy with the ball at his feet and Odegaard is certainly on his way to emulating a similar career trajectory.

The £30million Arsenal paid to sign Odegaard from Real Madrid in 2021 now looks like an absolute bargain. And he could still yet help Arsenal pull off a miraculous comeback late on in this year’s Premier League title race.

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