Newcastle share spoils in eight goal thriller

Newcastle 4 Arsenal 4

Cheik Tiote's first goal in English football secured a remarkable point for Newcastle as they fought back from 4-0 down against 10-man Arsenal.

The Ivory Coast international pegged back the Gunners with a stunning 87th-minute volley after Joey Barton had scored twice from the penalty spot either side of Leon Best's fourth goal of the season.

Alan Pardew's men were in complete disarray as the Gunners raced into a 4-0 lead at St James' Park within the opening 26 minutes.

Goals from Theo Walcott, Johan Djourou and a Robin van Persie double looked to have wrapped up the points and allowed Arsenal to keep the pressure on Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United.

But after midfielder Abou Diaby had been sent off for furiously pushing Barton to the ground after a no-holds-barred 48th-minute challenge, Newcastle, roared on by a crowd of 51,561, pulled off the most unlikely of recoveries.

Life for Newcastle without Andy Carroll had got off to a bad start at Fulham on Wednesday evening, and the mood inside St James' was decidedly ugly by the time 10 chaotic minutes had elapsed.

Arsenal were breathtaking as their pace and movement left the men in black and white at times bewildered.

However, they met little resistance as a Newcastle side which had won 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium in November showed few signs of producing a similarly dogged display on their own pitch, even with combative midfielder Tiote restored to the side after his three-match ban.

The worry before kick-off had been that, without Carroll, now at Liverpool, and the injured Shola Ameobi, the ball would not stick in the final third of the field and that would invite pressure on to Newcastle's back four.

In the event, neither Carroll nor Ameobi would have made a significant difference as their side saw too little of the ball to worry the Gunners.

They did not see it at all in amid a red and white blizzard as Arsenal had the game under control before they had broken sweat.

Walcott had scored twice in a 4-0 Carling Cup victory on Tyneside in October, and he needed only 42 seconds to increase his tally as he ran on to Andrey Arshavin's pass and slid the ball past Steve Harper with Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson trailing in his wake.

There were less than three minutes on the clock when Djourou was inexplicably allowed to meet an Arshavin free-kick seven yards out, and his header flew in off the underside of the crossbar.

When Van Persie fired home a third goal from Walcott's cross in the 10th minute, a packed house settled down for what looked certain to be an agonising remaining 80 minutes.

The first chorus of disapproval aimed at owner Mike Ashley rang around St James' Park as the game restarted.

Wenger's men were simply irresistible, with Cesc Fabregas and Diaby dominating in the middle of the pitch to allow Arshavin, Walcott and Jack Wilshere to repeatedly run at the shell-shocked Newcastle defence.

Arsenal increased their lead with 26 minutes gone when Van Persie headed Bacary Sagna's cross home, and it came as a surprise that the scoreline remained at 4-0 when the half-time whistle handed the Magpies brief respite.

Van Persie might have done better after running on to Williamson's weak header and shooting wide, and Harper managed to turn the Dutchman's shot against the post in injury-time.

But the cracks started to appear after Diaby over-reacted to Barton's rugged challenge and pushed him to the ground to earn an inevitable red card.

Newcastle took the Frenchman's untimely departure as their cue to step up a gear, and they got their reward after 68 minutes when, after Koscielny had brought down Best inside the box, Barton converted from the penalty spot to at least give the more optimistic members of the Toon Army some hope.

Alarm bells started ringing for the Gunners when Best struck from close range with 15 minutes remaining, and when Barton drilled home a second penalty with seven minutes to play, a point was there for the taking.

Tiote saved the best for last when he lashed an 87th-minute left-footed volley into the bottom left corner to complete a remarkable repair job.

Kevin Nolan might even have won the game for Newcastle in injury-time, but that was a little too much to ask.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?