Nightmare for Krul as Walcott cuts Newcastle down to size

Newcastle United 0 Arsenal 4

While arsene Wenger was left to wax lyrical over Theo Walcott's return to form while reflecting on a place in the last eight of the Carling Cup, Chris Hughton's main task in the aftermath of a particularly harsh scoreline was to ensure everyone he'll still be in charge this weekend.

Newcastle saw fit to issue a statement to such effect late last night in the wake of a frenzied round of betting that the manager wouldn't see out the day, hardly ideal preparation to face a side the North-East club remain without a knock-out victory against since the 1952 FA Cup final.

"I assume the statement was put out due to the unjust speculation, it's speculation I don't welcome," Hughton insisted after his side had been undone by near carbon copy second-half finishes from Walcott, who continues his rehabilitation after injuring an ankle on England duty earlier this season.

Hughton added: "I have a remit to do the best job I can for this team and to keep us in this division. The league table at the minute says we're doing okay. Nothing's different from yesterday or the day before. Anything re my contract you'll have to speak to the club."

Wenger, his future on rather less rocky ground than his counterpart, with whom he shared 18 changes in playing personnel, lauded Walcott for keeping a cool head in front of goal, especially for the contest's decisive second goal eight minutes after the restart. Nicklas Bendtner, returning from an offside position, compounded the sin by appearing to baulk Mike Williamson in the defender's attempts to reach the speedy Arsenal midfielder.

"Theo's more composed in front of goal, he's worked hard on his finishing and you could see that he's ready to go to another level," Wenger said, his only concern the latest injury suffered by Kieran Gibbs, which forced the defender off before the interval.

Surprisingly, Wenger failed to get a clear view of Bendtner's bodycheck on Williamson, a pivotal moment in what until then had been a close contest. He added: "I'll have to see if Bendtner blocked the defender on purpose, but for me Walcott was well in front so I don't think that's influenced the goal."

Hughton was happy to put the myopic Arsenal manager right: "We thought the second goal was offside, as well as Mike Williamson being impeded. After that we had to go in search of a way back and that can be hard against a side as good as Arsenal."

At the Emirates Stadium, they count their trophy hiatus in years, at Newcastle, it's so long now they deal in decades. In both cases, it's five, but on this evidence the former look ideally placed to end their unwanted run. "This is a competition we're taking seriously," Wenger insisted.

The first goal, crucially, arrived as the interval loomed to give Wenger's side a vital psychological advantage courtesy of the back of Tim Krul's head, when the keeper inadvertently got in the way of Ryan Taylor's goal-line clearance from Bendtner's header.

Bendtner showed his more creative side eight minutes from time as Arsenal embellished their margin of victory, dispossessing Danny Guthrie to curl home a memorable third. Walcott once again turned on the afterburners to add the fourth with a minute left, the final scoreline rather harsh on the hosts, who go into derby battle at home to Sunderland winless in their last four games at St James' Park.

After Carlos Vela and Bendtner spurned early openings, Wojciech Szczesny's fingertips diverted Alan Smith's long-range effort onto the bar, while Arsenal's third-choice keeper was fortunate not to bring down Nile Ranger as the forward burst through, the Pole's intervention sufficient to allow Laurent Koscielny to clear the youngster's weak follow-up a off the line.

"It was a harsh result," Hughton insisted after he had finished fielding questions about his immediate future. The Newcastle manager added: "Arsenal are a top-class side and for long periods we tamed them but you can't afford to concede when we did which allowed them to come out for the second half in the ascendency. We will put this one behind us because what we do have is a very big game on Sunday – and I can guarantee you that come Sunday, the lads will be very focused."

Newcastle United (4-4-1-1) Krul; R Taylor, Williamson, Perch, Kadar; Routledge (Gutierrez, 56), Guthrie, Smith (Barton, 71), Vuckic; Lovenkrands; Ranger. Substitutes not used Coloccini, Enrique, Carroll, Tiote, Soderberg (gk).

Arsenal (4-3-3) Szczesny; Eboué, Djourou, Koscielny, Gibbs (Sagna 19); Denilson, Rosicky, Eastmond; Walcott, Bendtner, Vela (Fabregas, 70). Substitutes not used Fabianski (gk), Arshavin, Emmanuel-Thomas, Lansbury, Nordtveit.

Referee A Marriner (Birmingham).

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn