(Football news) Premier League leaders Arsenal dropped points at home for the first time this season as they were held to a goalless draw to Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium. Mikel Arteta’s side had the better of the opportunities in the first half but Newcastle showed why they have the best defensive record in the league this season to earn them a valuable point.
Arsenal had won all seven of their previous Premier League home games this season but they missed the chance to extend their lead over Manchester City at the top to 10 points. Pep Guardiola’s team now has a chance to cut the gap back to five points when they visit Chelsea on Thursday. With the draw, Newcastle remained third as they were nine points behind Arsenal but having played a game more. Arsenal made a bright start to the match as it appeared they could have taken an early lead against their visitors from the north east. The Gunners had five shots against Nick Pope’s goal in the first seven minutes of the match.
Granit Xhaka had two shots saved but his first effort was blocked by the Newcastle defence before shooting wide of the target from a tight angle. Martin Odegaard also put a volley high over the crossbar as Bukayo Saka was the only player to force Pope into action after beating two defenders. But Newcastle managed to slow Arsenal’s momentum and got a foothold in the match as five yellow cards were dished out in the first 45 minutes. There was a golden opportunity for each side before half-time, however, both sides couldn’t take advantage of the set piece opportunities.
In the second half another chance came off a dead ball situation as Gabriel Martinelli headed just wide of the target from an Odegaard corner. Arteta cut an increasingly frustrated figure on the touchline as Arsenal were again denied late on when Eddie Nketiah’s brilliant strike was blocked by Pope. Frustrations boiled on the touchline as in stoppage time Arsenal saw a penalty claim for handball in the box by Jacob Murphy waived off leading to a furious Arteta argument with Newcastle counterpart Eddie Howe.
Also read: Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr unveil Cristiano Ronaldo