Newcastle United frustrated Premier League leaders Arsenal to earn a point with a tenacious performance at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal were hoping to extend their lead at the top of the table to 10 points, but they found themselves drawn into a tough and tough encounter with a Newcastle Untied side who have top-four ambitions of their own.
Chances were plentiful, and Newcastle’s Joelinton probably wasted the best of all when he headed home in first-half stoppage time.
Arsenal went close through defender Gabriel and forward Gabriel Martinelli, who both headed wide, while Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope made a crucial late save with his feet from Eddie Nketiah.
The Gunners also appeared to have a clear penalty claim denied when Gabriel was brought back by Dan Burn.
The game descended into a scrappy affair with seven yellow cards and the deadlock remained unchanged, with Arsenal now eight points ahead despite being held at home.
Arteta left disappointed
It may only be early January, but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s frenzied behavior may have given an insight into the growing expectations surrounding the Gunners after their excellent season so far.
Arteta was on the edge of his technical area for most of the night until the very end, confronting fourth official Jarred Gillett with just five minutes added on and then heading towards opposite number Eddie Howe after late penalty appeals were turned down before what he took away.
He certainly didn’t give the impression of composure when needed as Newcastle’s resolute defensive approach and desire to draw Arsenal into the match led to frustration on all sides.
When Arteta settles down, he can still judge a job well done, but this was a night when his Arsenal side came up against a huge barrier in the form of Newcastle, their performance deteriorating after a bright start, although they still almost grabbed it at the end through Nketiah.
Arsenal still have that eight point lead, even though Manchester City have a game in hand.
It was never going to be easy for the Gunners and this was one of those occasions and Arteta’s behavior reflects what Newcastle will consider a very satisfying outcome.
Newcastle are showing progress
Newcastle’s push into the top four was met with resistance against Leeds United at St James’ Park, but they showed they can dig deep themselves as they battled for a crucial point at Arsenal.
Manager Eddie Howe will be delighted with both the performance and the result, although he will know that it might have been better if Joelinton had taken a relatively simple chance with a header.
This will be a minor gripe overall as Newcastle have shown they are prepared to fight for anything, overzealous in the eyes of some Arsenal fans, but they won’t care, and neither will the Toon Army, who celebrated a point raucously after the final whistle. .
Newcastle were well organised, trying to threaten when they could and reaffirmed the huge progress they have made under Howe and with the influx of money from their owners in Saudi Arabia.
The top four were pipe dreams at the start of the season, but Newcastle are now genuinely in that conversation and showed why as they earned what could be a vital draw.
Player of the match
Squad number2Player nameTrippier
Squad number22Player namePapa
Squad number4Player nameBoatman
Squad number33Player nameBurn
Squad number5Player nameSchär
Squad number24Player nameAlmiron
Squad number7Player nameJoelinton
Squad number39Player nameBruno Guimarães
Squad number9Player nameWilson
Squad number28Player nameWillock
Squad number10Player nameSaint Maximin
Squad number20Player nameWood
Squad number23Player nameMurphy
Squad number36Player nameWith Longstaff
They set up
- 4WhiteReplaced byTomiyasuon 76′minute
- 35ZinchenkoBooked for 90 min
- 8ØdegaardBooked for 40 min
- 34XhakaBooked in 42 minutes
- 14NketiahBooked in 32 min
- 21Fábio Vieira
- 23Sambi Lokonga
- 36With Longstaff
- 39Bruno GuimarãesBooked in 27 minutes
- 28WillockReplaced bySaint Maximinon 87′minute
- 24AlmironBooked in 59 minutesReplaced byMurphyon 68′minute
- 9WilsonBooked in 28 minutesReplaced byWoodon 68′minute
- 7JoelintonBooked in 58 minutes
- 10Saint Maximin
- Andy Madley
End of game, Arsenal 0, Newcastle United 0.
End of second half, Arsenal 0, Newcastle United 0.
Attempt missed. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.
Corner, Arsenal. Confessed by Nick Pope.
Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United) has received a yellow card.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal) has received a yellow card.
Corner, Newcastle United. Received by Bukayo Saka.
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United).
Attempt saved. Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) header from the center of the box is saved in the center of the goal. He was assisted by Granit Xhaka.
Thomas Partey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Joelinton (Newcastle United).
Attempt saved. Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the center of the goal.
The delay is over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Allan Saint-Maximin replaces Joe Willock due to injury.
Postponement of the match due to injury to Joe Willock (Newcastle United).
Attempt missed. Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
Attempt blocked. Thomas Partey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. He was assisted by Bukayo Saka.
Corner, Newcastle United. Received by Gabriel Martinelli.
Attempt missed. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) header from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Martin Ødegaard with a cross after a corner.
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