Emile Smith Rowe came off the bench to break the deadlock in extra-time as Arsenal – the competition’s defending champions – made hard work of seeing off Newcastle in the third round of the FA Cup.
The 20-year-old, who was shown a straight red card in normal time only for VAR to intervene and overturn the decision, finally broke the deadlock in the 109th minute with a smart finish, after coming on as a second-half substitute.
With the talented youngster omitted from the starting XI, Arsenal had really struggled to break down a resilient Newcastle side, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang going closest in the first half.
Despite Arsenal controlling the possession, it was Newcastle who created the best chances in normal time, and both fell to Andy Carroll. The 32-year-old inexplicably shot wide from just yards out in the 56th-minute. And as the game became really stretched, the 32-year-old was denied at point-blank range by Bernd Leno in stoppage-time.
Newcastle would rue such profligacy, with Smith Rowe latching onto a ball inside the visitors’ half and slotting it past the returning Martin Dubravka with a smart finish to finally break the visitors’ resistance.
And with Steve Bruce’s men tiring, Aubameyang made Arsenal’s place in the fourth round safe with a cool finish from the excellent Kieran Tierney’s cross in the 117th-minute.