Superb volleyed goal from Mesut Ozil seals win for Arsenal
Mesut Ozil scored the only goal as Arsenal beat Newcastle United 1-0 in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon.
A spectacular first half left-footed volleyed goal from Mesut Ozil (23rd minute) sealed the win for the Gunners
Arsene Wenger made one change to the side that drew 0-0 with West Ham United at the London Stadium on Wednesday.
Alexandre Lacazette replacing Olivier Giroud up front.
The win moves Arsenal into 4th position in the Premier League table, ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s match with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium tonight and Liverpool’s trip to AFC Bournemouth tomorrow.
It was Newcastle’s 10th straight Premier League defeat to Arsenal and they are now without a league win since 21 October when they beat Crystal Palace 1-0.
The result drops the Magpies into the relegation places. Newcastle have picked up just one point in their last nine Premier League games (W0 D1 L8).
Arsenal enjoyed 71% of possession in the match. They had 23 shots on goal, but just five on target.
The Gunners pressed for an early goal, with Lacazette, Hector Bellerin and Alexis Sanchez all had attempts on goal.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles then bought a muted home to their feet with a purposeful mazy run through the Magpies defence. He sent his right footed shot from outside the box into the side netting.
It was Ozil though who opened the scoring. Newcastle struggled to clear the ball from their own penalty area and when it fell to Ozil he beat Rob Eliott with a brilliantly executed left foot volley.
Granit Xhaka sent a left-footed shot just wide on the half-hour mark.
After a swift break Ozil was set up by Lacazette, but the German’s shot on goal was blocked away for a corner.
As the break approached, Sanchez scuffed a shot just wide of the post.
Newcastle carried more threat in the second half.
Jacob Murphy’s right footed shot forced Petr Cech into a save low down to his left in the 56th minute.
Three minutes later Lacazette should have doubled the lead for the home side, but spooned his shot over the crossbar with just Elliott to beat.
With the match going into the final 15 minutes, substitute Olivier Giroud nodded down to Jack Wilshere, but Elliott blocked his shot.
The Magpies were forcing an increasingly nervy Arsenal defence back as they tried to force an equaliser.
Ayoze Pérez sent a header from the centre of the penalty box just wide, as the game went into its final ten minutes, from a cross from substitute Matt Ritchie.
But Arsenal held on to take the three points.
This is what Arsene Wenger had to say after the match:
“The necessity to win was playing on the mind of the players towards the end.
“We had three games in six days. In the last one you could suffer because Newcastle produced a physical performance.
“We had two away games and two draws. Against Manchester United we had a quality performance but couldn’t get the win.”
Arsenal face West Ham for the second time inside a week when they host the Carabao Cup quarter-final at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, 19 December. The Gunners then host Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Friday 22nd December.
Arsenal: Cech 6, Bellerin 5, Maitland-Niles 7, Koscielny 6, Monreal 7, Xhaka 5, Wilshere 7, Iwobi 6 (Welbeck), Ozil 8, Sanchez 6 (Coqulin), Lacazette 6 (Giroud)