Kerala News Journal

Premier League: Arsenal defeats Newcastle 2-0 to maintain title hopes

With a 2-0 win against Newcastle United on Sunday, Arsenal demonstrated that they are still in the Premier League championship fight and have cut the deficit to one point behind leaders Manchester City.

Losing would have left Arsenal's chances of winning their first championship since 2004 hanging by a thread, but Martin Odegaard's spectacular goal and an own goal from Fabian Schar clinched a crucial victory.

In an effort to secure third place and move one step closer to a top-four finish, Newcastle controlled the first 14 minutes, but Odegaard's lovely goal gave the visitors the lead.

Then, with 20 minutes left, Schar unintentionally turned in a cross from Gabriel Martinelli.

The Gunners have 81 points after playing one more game than City, who have won 10 consecutive games to catch and then pass Arsenal.

Newcastle continues to be in third place with 65 points, although Manchester United may pass them later on Sunday if they win against West Ham United.

When Mikel Arteta's Arsenal squad traveled to St. James's Park to play a Newcastle club that was hot off their quest to qualify for the Champions League again after a 20-year absence, it was a test of their mettle.

They also carried the sour memory of their 2-0 loss to Newcastle a year before, which ended their chances of finishing in the top four.

But despite recent stumbles that lost them first place, this Arsenal team is far tougher than that.

Keeper Aaron Ramsdale stated, “The message (to City) is we'll go as hard as we can for three games and we'll be pushing and if City slip up, we'll be there to pick up the pieces.”

With Newcastle's Jacob Murphy smashing a shot against the foot of the post in the second minute and Alexander Isak forcing Ramsdale into the first of many crucial stops, Arsenal was lucky to withstand an early assault.

Jakub Kiwior stopped a Bruno Guimaraes effort, and referee Chris Kavanagh pointed to the spot for what seemed to be a handball. Newcastle was subsequently given a penalty.

To the evident relief of the visitors, the decision was reversed after a VAR review.

Inspiring Odegaard then gave Arsenal the lead with their first shot, dragging a shot inside the post from beyond the penalty area after being given too much time.

Odegaard was the driving force behind all of the visitors' finest counterattacking, which allowed Martinelli to release Nick Pope into a brilliant save.

After a chaotic first half, Pope saved Newcastle once again by blocking Odegaard's effort with his legs in stoppage time. The Norwegian seemed to be the match's likely scorer.

Isak headed Murphy's cross against the post to start the second half, and Ramsdale somehow stopped Schar from converting a close-range header.

Martinelli's shot against the crossbar came from an Arsenal breakaway, however.

The Brazilian then finished it off as he advanced with the ball down the left side, sped up to the byline, and sent in a low cross that fortunately rebounded off Schar and into the goal.

Eddie Howe, the manager of Newcastle, remarked, “Fine margins for us today and we just came out on the wrong side of them.” “The game changes completely if Jacob's chance falls early.”

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