Dec 29, 2013, 10:27 AM EDT
Arsenal weathered q fury at St. James Park as Olivier Giroud nodded in a 64th minute free kick in with his head to send Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League table.
With Manchester City having taken a two-point lead the day before, Arsene Wenger played a possession game and forced Newcastle onto the counter.
The visitors asked the early questions of the Newcastle defense, but the back line held strong early on with some quality tackles in the box.
As Newcastle settled in, the match opened up into an end-to-end affair but nothing substantial resulted inside the first half-hour.
Arsenal, often so good in the counter, played a possession game in the first half, forcing the home side to get their opportunities on the break.
An awkward moment surrounded Olivier Giroud in the 35th minute as he put in a nasty challenge on Cheick Tiote – a sentence usually reserved for the other way around – before rolling around on the ground in an attempt to play it off. He received a yellow card for his efforts despite the theatrics.
As Newcastle pressed on the counter and challenged Arsenal’s possession, the visitors were pegged onto the back foot late in the first half.
Referee Lee Probert was called into question when it appeared Loic Remy was possibly taken down on the edge of the box near the 40th minute but it was waved off by the official.
Newcastle had their best chance of the first half on the counter in stoppage time as a blocked shot fell to Moussa Sissoko who fizzed an attempt from distance towards the top of goal but Wojciech Szczesny dove and tipped over.
The home side began where they left off in the second half, coming close seven minutes after the break but Szczesny and company managed to clear with Remy and Younes Gouffran lurking.
With Arsenal finally building back possession, they finally built the advantage they’d been looking for. Tiote caught Santi Cazorla and sent him to ground on the ball, giving the Gunners a free kick in a central location.
Cazorla took the set-piece himself, and Olivier Giroud latched onto it with his head, beating Davide Santon in the air to touch past Krul for the away lead on 65 minutes.
They nearly doubled their lead just four minutes later as Wilshere sprung Theo Walcott through, but Mathieu Debuchy did well to press the winger and his first touch was saved by Tim Krul. Walcott attempted a chip on the rebound, but Debuchy rescued again by clearing off the line with a header.
Newcastle continued to charge forward looking to break the clean sheet, even sending Krul forward for a pair of corners in stoppage time, but they could not break through.
Arsenal return to the Premier League table’s pole position by a point over City, with Newcastle remaining in seventh two points ahead of Tottenham who play after.
Arsenal – Giroud 64′
Newcastle – Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon; Anita (Shola Ameobi 74′), Tiote, Cabaye; Sissoko (Haidara 79′), Remy, Gouffran (Ben Arfa 62′).
Arsenal – Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs (Arteta 71′); Flamini, Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott (Jenkinson 80′), Cazorla; Giroud (Bendtner 86′).
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Van Gaal: “He’s very special but he is very special for me because we’ve continued our relationship.”
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The midfielder is yet to make a Premier League start this season as rumors surfaced that he could return to Brazil on loan.
Oct 24, 2014, 10:33 PM EDT
Chicago ended their season with a win as Florent Sinama-Pongolle tallied in stoppage time to erase Houston’s first half lead.
Oct 24, 2014, 9:22 PM EDT
You can watch the match live on NBCSN or online via Live Extra.
Oct 24, 2014, 8:51 PM EDT
Neil Warnock could be answering to a new boss if American billionaire Josh Harris purchases Palace.
Oct 24, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT
Jose Carlos Rivero was charged with two felonies earlier this month but continued to work games for the MLS.
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The New York Red Bulls made a young girl’s dream come true as she signed a one-day contract with her favorite team.
Oct 24, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
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Oct 24, 2014, 5:31 PM EDT
UEFA handed Serbia a 3-0 win but deducted points after their match against Albania was called off due to violence.
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The former England captain and Manchester United legend plans to retire after his season at QPR.
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Watch as Leicester City travels to Liberty Stadium tomorrow live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Oct 24, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT
Pogba broke through with 9 goals and 10 assists across all competitions for Juventus last season and a goal and assist at the World Cup.
A coach tells a fan tells a ticket rep… How soccer fans and the Red Bulls created this adorable goal video
Oct 24, 2014, 2:26 PM EDT
It’s a little dusty in here. Godspeed, Irelyn. May a cure be found in short order!
Oct 24, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT
It’s going to be ugly and we’re going to shake our heads. Some will feign shock. And the whole cycle will repeat itself again at Barcelona.
Oct 24, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT
Here’s how PST’s editor and lead writer sees things panning out this weekend.
Oct 24, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Perhaps a respite for Tim Howard and Brad Guzan, as their clubs face lesser competition this week in Burnley and QPR, respectively.
Oct 24, 2014, 12:25 PM EDT
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