Arsenal overcame a stubborn defensive display from Newcastle United to record a 1-0 victory after Aleksandar Mitrovic was sent off for the hosts in just the 16th minute at St James' Park.

Referee Andre Marriner was the centre of attention for long spells of the game as Newcastle lost their discipline to pick up three yellow cards and a red before the half-hour mark, but Arsenal kept their cool in a fiery atmosphere to collect all three points.

The Gunners were unfortunate not to be given an early penalty when Florian Thauvin appeared to catch Hector Bellerin on the heel after the full-back had burst into the box.

Arsene Wenger's side were handed the advantage just a few moments later as Mitrovic failed to control a bouncing ball before planting his studs on Francis Coquelin, with Marriner showing no hesitation with the red card that followed for the striker.

Newcastle defended stubbornly after the early setback, but they should have fallen behind when Tim Krul pushed Alexis Sanchez's strike out to Theo Walcott, who could only send the rebound over the crossbar.

As the hosts settled for threatening on the break, Arsenal continued to struggle in the final third against a determined Magpies back four but the breakthrough finally arrived seven minutes into the second half.

Krul had come to the rescue by keeping out a powerful effort from Aaron Ramsey, but the loose ball fell to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and his low shot took a crucial deflection off Fabricio Coloccini to send it into the bottom corner.

Arsenal threatened to run away with the match after opening the scoring, and only fine saves from Krul to deny Sanchez and Santi Cazorla prevented Steve McClaren's side from falling further behind.

Newcastle were forced to take more risks in the closing stages as McClaren introduced Papiss Cisse and Ayoze Perez in the hope of snatching an equaliser, and although they asked more questions of the visiting defence, Arsenal remained in control.

However, the Gunners were unable to pull away from the hosts late on as Krul denied substitute Oliver Giroud with a block after rushing off his line as Wenger's side condemned Newcastle to a fourth game without a win....

29/08/15

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