Arsenal kept their Premier League title hopes alive as they grabbed a vital 2-0 away win against Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.

The result means that the Gunners moved to within one point of reigning champions Manchester City, having played an extra game. 

High-pressure game

It would always be a tough game for Mikel Arteta’s side, and they were put under severe pressure right from the first whistle.

Newcastle played with great tempo and were almost ahead in the second minute as Jacob Murphy struck the post with a stunning effort. 

The Magpies were then awarded a penalty in the ninth minute by the referee when Bruno Guimaraes’ strike appeared to hit the arm of Jakub Kiwior.

However, VAR intervened, and the decision was overturned after replays showed that the ball had first struck the Arsenal defender’s thigh before striking his arm. 

Arsenal take the lead

Much against the run of play, Arsenal took the lead thanks to a brilliant long-range strike from Martin Odegaard, who drilled his shot in the right bottom corner past Nick Pope.

The Magpie’s goalkeeper made a double save minutes later to keep his side in the game.

The hosts didn’t let their heads drop and were relentless on the ball mounting attacks on every occasion. Aaron Ramsdale superbly denied former Arsenal man Joe Willock before Pope also kept the score at 1-0, denying Gabriel Martinelli right on the stroke of half time. 

Eddie Howe’s side almost got their equalizer just four minutes after the restart, but Ramsdale kept out Fabian Schar’s goalbound header with a stunning stop. End-to-end stuff also saw Martinelli strike the post minutes later. 

The hosts piled on the pressure in search of the equalizer, but much like the first half, the Gunners were lucky to double their lead on the day.

Martinelli’s low cross deflected off Schar’s toe to hit the back of the net as Arteta’s men ran away with all three points. 

The Magpies will be disappointed with the result despite dominating possession and being on top for most of the encounter. Despite the loss, Newcastle remain third with 65 points from 34 games.

Howe’s side will look to pick themselves up and come back with a victory in the next game as they continue to remain in their quest for a Champions League berth.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Action Plus