Arsenal 1 - 0 Newcastle United

A second-half header from Laurent Koscielny has helped Arsenal to a 1-0 win over Newcastle United, a result which extends their lead at the top of the Premier League table to two points.

Arsenal were expected to quickly stamp their authority on a fixture that they have dominated in recent years, but aside from an effort from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that went wide, they barely had an impact during the opening 45 minutes.

Hector Bellerin was a threat on the right flank, but that was as good as it got for the Gunners, who found themselves under pressure from the Magpies after the opening quarter-of-an-hour of the contest.

Georginio Wijnaldum forced a solid save out of Petr Cech, who had to react well to prevent Jack Colback from connecting with the rebound, before Ayoze Perez curled an effort narrowly wide of the far post.

Arsenal improved slightly as the game ticked past the half-hour mark, but just before the break, Cech had to come to the rescue again to deny Wijnaldum his eighth goal of the campaign. 

Two minutes after the restart, Wijnaldum was thwarted by Cech for a third time, before Aleksandar Mitrovic somehow failed to hit the target from inside the six-yard box as Newcastle continued to threaten an opener.

Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud tried to hit back for Arsenal, but as the game approached the final quarter, they were very much second-best, although that mattered little when they went ahead on 72 minutes. 

A corner into the box was only headed into the air by Giroud, but Koscielny reacted fastest to send a header past Rob Elliot from close range. Arsenal pushed for a second goal, with Theo Walcott seeing a volley at the back post go harmlessly over the crossbar, while Newcastle remained a threat as Wijnaldum directed a header off target.

Ramsey and Mesut Ozil failed to test Elliot as the game entered added-on time, but the Gunners comfortably held on to extend their lead over Leicester after the Foxes' goalless draw with Bournemouth.


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