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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 January 2008, 16:54 GMT
Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle
By Nathan Mercer

Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor was outstanding up front for the Gunners
Emmanuel Adebayor's brace helped secure Arsenal's passage to the FA Cup fifth round at the expense of Newcastle.

Kevin Keegan's side regularly worried the Gunners early on, with Gael Clichy heading Alan Smith's shot off the line.

But Arsenal dominated after the break and took the lead when Adebayor thrashed home a sumptuous strike.

The Togolese sealed the win with a superb run and composed finish, before Nicky Butt headed a Cesc Fabregas free-kick into his own net.

The Magpies showed glimpses of the attractive attacking football that Keegan has promised since returning to the club, but were ultimately undone by Adebayor's class.

Arsene Wenger made seven changes to the Arsenal side that were hammered by rivals Spurs on Tuesday with Adebayor claiming the bickering rights over Nicklas Bendtner, who started on the bench.


Newcastle shed the lethargy that embodied their performance during Keegan's first game in charge against Bolton and displayed an attacking purpose that threatened to upset the Arsenal defence.

Arsenal too, were positive in attack and after a shaky start, had chances to break the deadlock.

Eduardo's thumping half-volley brought a fine save from Shay Given, while the unmarked Fabregas should have made better contact with Clichy's pass from deep when put clean through.

The Gunners were too often fragile at the back with only captain William Gallas holding the unit together with a number of crucial blocks and challenges.

But for Clichy's positioning and headed clearance off the line, Smith would have given Newcastle a deserved lead when he dug out a shot on the turn.

The French full-back then showed his worth at the other end too when he forced Given into a firm save from the edge of the box.

Taylor looped over Jens Lehmann from Duff's clipped pass and Owen narrowly missed Stephen Carr's teasing cross with the Arsenal defence badly caught out.

On the stroke of half-time, Given pulled off another superb save - tipping the excellent Abou Diaby's 25-yard curler over the bar.

Shay Given
Keeper Shay Given was left with no chance for Adebayor's first goal

Five minutes into the second half, the home side moved ahead with a clinical finish from their leading scorer Adebayor.

Eduardo found space on the edge of the area and clipped his effort past Given on to the post. The rebound eventually found the Togolese who jinked past Claudio Cacapa and rifled his effort into the corner.

The goal lifted the Gunners with Fabregas and Diaby pulling the strings from midfield and Eduardo linking up neatly up front.

Adebayor put the tie beyond the visitors when his foraging run gave him the time and space to fire past Given with Taylor helpless to stop the shot on the line.

Butt inadvertently headed Fabregas' free-kick past Given in the closing stages to register a scoreline that flattered the Gunners.

  • Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:
    "It was a game where the first goal had a big impact on the result. We scored when we were in control and that was hard for them to absorb mentally.

    "We played against a good team who started well, but we eventually controlled the game in the second half.

    "The second killed them. But overall, it was a difficult game."

  • Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan:
    "It was a very good first half performance. We had the courage to play them.

    "We were going along nicely and causing them problems, while they were not giving us much grief.

    "We could not keep it up and they stepped up, we stepped back and in the end, the gulf was pretty big."

    Arsenal: Lehmann, Justin Hoyte, Senderos, Gallas, Clichy, Diaby (Silva 76), Flamini, Fabregas, Rosicky (Eduardo 9), Walcott (Hleb 76), Adebayor.
    Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Bendtner.

    Goals: Adebayor 51, 83, Butt 89 og.

    Newcastle: Given, Carr, Taylor, Cacapa, Jose Enrique (Rozehnal 77), Milner, Butt, N'Zogbia, Duff (LuaLua 82), Smith, Owen.
    Subs Not Used: Harper, Edgar, Carroll.

    Booked: Cacapa.

    Att: 60,046

    Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor 7.80 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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