Koscielny the hero as Arsenal manage to see off Newcastle


Unconvincing Gunners looked set for a point on a soggy Emirates Stadium pitch until defender Laurent Koscielny came to the rescue with a close-range poked winner in the 72nd minute.
The Magpies should have come away with at least a point having been on the front-foot for much of the second half.
Georginio Wijnaldum went closest but his shot was saved by Petr Cech.
It was not pretty, nor was it particularly effective but it was a win that kept the belief going among Arsenal fans that this might be their season.
The Gunners did not deserve the three points, and few would have begrudged the Magpies victory, but one moment – the goal – encapsulated why Arsenal are top and why the visitors are struggling.
Magpies striker Ayoze Perez covered a lot of ground, helping out his team-mates in midfield to quell the danger posed by the likes of Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
However, the young Spaniard switched off in the 72nd minute, allowing his man-to-mark Koscielny to stick out a foot and convert a Giroud header.
Few would have expected this possession stat: Arsenal 51% – Newcastle 49%.
The Magpies midfield dominated their counterparts for periods of the match. The wingers did not look up for the battle today, with Oxlade-Chamberlain only winning 33.3% of his duels, while Theo Walcott won 36.4% of his – the two lowest figures in the Arsenal side.
Newcastle can take heart from their battling display. Jack Colback and Wijnaldum were particularly outstanding in the middle of the park, winning more than 70% of their duels.
Defence? Fine. Midfield? Excellent. Strikers? Hmm…
The Magpies have looked a threat in attack in their last three outings, but Steve McClaren’s forwards have been misfiring terribly.
From their 32 efforts on goal, they have only managed to find the target once. Newcastle have only …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper