Gun­ners get a lucky win

An own goal from New­cas­tle’s cap­tain gifted Ar­se­nal a sec­ond win, putting the Mag­pies in the dol­drums

CityPress - - Sport -

An own goal from Fabri­cio Coloc­cini handed an un­con­vinc­ing Ar­se­nal a 1-0 win over a 10-man New­cas­tle at St James’ Park yesterday.

The Mag­pies were left with a moun­tain to climb af­ter just 16 min­utes as Alek­san­dar Mitro­vić was con­tro­ver­sially sent off for a foul on Fran­cis Co­quelin, be­fore Coloc­cini de­flected Alex OxladeCham­ber­lain’s shot into the back of his own net early in the sec­ond half.

That goal would even­tu­ally prove decisive, with Ar­se­nal go­ing on to seven points from their open­ing four league matches, while New­cas­tle could end the week­end in the rel­e­ga­tion zone, with just two points so far.

The visi­tors en­joyed the ma­jor­ity of pos­ses­sion in the open­ing stages of the match and al­most made it count af­ter nine min­utes as Hec­tor Bel­lerin played a first-time pass to find the run of Theo Wal­cott, but the striker couldn’t get the proper con­nec­tion on his shot and Tim Krul man­aged a save.

The Gun­ners should have had a penalty a few mo­ments later as Flo­rian Thau­vin trod on the heel of Bel­lerin to bring an abrupt end to the full­back’s charge into the box, but the ref­eree in­ex­pli­ca­bly missed it and waved away the fu­ri­ous ap­peals.

The match of­fi­cial was again at the cen­tre of con­tro­versy a quar­ter of an hour in as Mitro­vić, in his first Premier League start for New­cas­tle, was shown a straight red card for a clumsy studs-up stamp on Co­quelin, although a send­ing off seemed a harsh de­ci­sion, with many feel­ing a book­ing would have suf­ficed.

The Gun­ners looked des­tined to take ad­van­tage of the num­bers just af­ter the half-hour mark as Krul could only fum­ble Alexis Sanchez’s strike into the path of Wal­cott, but the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional, with the en­tire goal at his mercy, could only con­trive to scoop the re­bound over the cross­bar.

The Ty­nesiders con­tin­ued to tread dan­ger­ously af­ter the restart af­ter pick­ing up their fourth and fifth book­ings of the af­ter­noon, with Vurnon Anita and Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum both go­ing into the ref­eree’s notebook for a foul and dis­sent, re­spec­tively.

Ar­se­nal fi­nally made their ad­van­tage count af­ter 52 min­utes, al­beit in for­tu­nate cir­cum­stances as Aaron Ram­sey’s ini­tial ef­fort was only par­ried into the path of Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain, whose low drive from the edge of the area took a big de­flec­tion off Coloc­cini be­fore find­ing the back of the net via the post, with the mo­ment go­ing down as an own goal by the Mag­pies cap­tain.

The Gun­ners al­most grabbed a sec­ond on 66 min­utes af­ter some clever in­ter­play on the wing ended with the ball be­ing fed to Santi Ca­zorla in the area, and although the Spa­niard got plenty of pur­chase on his shot, it was straight at Krul, who was able to make a com­fort­able stop.

New­cas­tle barely got a sniff of the ball in the fi­nal 30 min­utes as Ar­se­nal sim­ply dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion, although Arsene Wenger’s men seemed to be lack­ing cre­ativ­ity in the fi­nal third and Krul went largely untested in the clos­ing stages.

Steve McClaren’s men al­most caught Ar­se­nal nap­ping at a free kick, which was played short be­fore be­ing whipped into the area, but Ko­scielny just man­aged to get there ahead of Papiss Cissé to head clear the dan­ger.

– TeamTalk media


SILKY SKILLS Alex OxladeCham­ber­lain of Ar­se­nal drib­bles past Fabri­cio Coloc­cini of New­cas­tle United dur­ing their Bar­clays Premier League match at St James' Park yesterday

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