Arsenal and Newcastle played out a top-three clash to a draw on Tuesday. The league leaders certainly looked the more likely to score for much of the game. However, Nick Pope made a number of saves and Newcastle was defensively sound, keeping the game scoreless.

The scoreless draw is Newcastle’s seventh clean sheet in its last nine Premier League games. Overall, Newcastle has 10 clean sheets, with Nick Pope in goal for all of them.

This game had fireworks, and was far from the stereotypical 0-0 draw. At the conclusion of the game, the referee distributed nine yellow cards, including one to a substitute on the bench. Despite Arsenal attempting 17 shots, neither side found the back of the net.

As stated, Nick Pope was the hero on the day on a number of occasions. The English international notably made a save on Eddie Nketiah towards the end of the match to preserve the goalless game.

Penalty decision preserves scoreless draw between Arsenal and Newcastle

Even then, Arsenal thought it had a chance to win with a penalty. Granit Xhaka drove down the inside of the box to cross a ball in. He crossed it into the middle, but a sliding Jacob Murphy deflected the attempt. Upon review, the ball seems to have hit Murphy’s arm.

As co-commentator Jim Beglin noted, the issue for Arsenal was proximity. Murphy was practically on top of Xhaka as the Gunner played the ball in. There was simply nowhere else for Murphy to go.

No change in the table after Tuesday

Arsenal remains top of the table. The cushion over Manchester City is now eight points. However, Mikel Arteta will rue the opportunity to open a double-digit gap over the most likely title challenger. Regardless, the draw is just the third time Arsenal dropped points on the current season. The other draw was against Southampton, and Arsenal’s lone loss was at Old Trafford. Therefore, this was the first time Arsenal dropped points at the Emirates.

For Newcastle, the Magpies remain in third place. Manchester United’s win over Bournemouth today means that the Red Devils are level on points with Newcastle. However, Eddie Howe’s side has a vast a advantage in the goal differential department. Newcastle is at a goal differential of +21, while Manchester United, which won 3-0 on Tuesday, is only at +7.

Arsenal now prepares for a trip to League One side Oxford United in the FA Cup on Monday, Jan. 9. The Gunners return to Premier League play on Sunday, Jan. 15, with the North London Derby.

Newcastle is also making a trip to a third-tier side in the FA Cup third round, traveling to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. On Tuesday, Jan. 10, Newcastle plays in the Carabao Cup semifinals against Leicester City at St. James’ Park.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Colorsport