June 19, 2024

With a 2-0 victory over Newcastle on Sunday, Arsenal maintained their chances of winning the Premier League, although Eddie Howe claimed the visitors used some dishonest tactics.

They say ‘you can’t argue with stats’ – and Laura Woods followed the mantra when delivering the perfect riposte to Eddie Howe’s complaints about Arsenal.

The Gunners kept themselves alive in the title race on Sunday, with Martin Odegaard and a Fabian Schar own goal giving them a 2-0 win at St James’ Park, halting Newcastle’s own charge towards a Champions League place in the process. Mikel Arteta’s side now lie just a point off leaders Manchester City, albeit having played a game more.

But in his post-match press conference, Howe voiced his discontent over the tactics of the visitors. And whilst he steered clear of terminology like ‘gamesmanship’ and ‘timewasting’, there was little doubt as to what the Newcastle boss was implying.

“They managed the game well from their perspective,” he told reporters. “They slowed it down, lots of breaks in play, which was frustrating for us. Naturally, we wanted the ball in play more. Especially when you’re chasing the game.”

Suggesting that official Chris Kavanagh, who was booed off the field by frustrated home fans at the final whistle, should have clamped down on the antics, he added: “But we have to look at what we can control. We can’t control that. That’s the referee’s job. What we can control is taking our chances and possibly defending better than we did today.”

But famous Arsenal fan Woods hit back at Howe on the talkSPORT Sports Breakfast show on Monday, and she came prepared, outlining statistics which suggest the Englishman’s complaints were more than ironic: “Howe was referencing the lack of time the ball was in play – which is a big problem across the league,” she said.


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