Premier League: Arsenal Move To The Top With 1-0 Win Over Newcastle
Arsenal moved two points clear of Leicester at the top of the Premier League table with a win over Newcastle.
The unconvincing Gunners looked set for a point on a soggy Emirates Stadium pitch until defender Laurent Koscielny came to the rescue with a close-range poked winner in the 72nd minute.
The Magpies should have come away with at least a point, having been on the front foot for much of the second half.
Georginio Wijnaldum went closest but his shot was saved by Petr Cech.
It was not pretty, nor was it particularly effective but it was a win that kept the belief going among Arsenal fans that this might be their season.
The Gunners did not deserve the three points, and few would have begrudged the Magpies victory, but the goal encapsulated why Arsenal are top and why the visitors are struggling.
Newcastle striker Ayoze Perez covered a lot of ground, helping out his team-mates in midfield to quell the danger posed by the likes of Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
However, the young Spaniard switched off in the 72nd minute, allowing Koscielny to stick out a foot and convert an Olivier Giroud header.
The stats don’t lie
Few would have expected this possession stat: Arsenal 51% – Newcastle 49%.
The Magpies midfield dominated their counterparts for periods of the match. The wingers did not look up for the battle, with Oxlade-Chamberlain only winning 33.3% of his duels, while Theo Walcott won 36.4% of his – the two lowest figures in the Arsenal side.