Arsenal win 2-0 at Newcastle to stay in title hunt

AFP

Arsenal showed no sign of raising the white flag in the Premier League title race with a 2-0 victory at Newcastle United on Sunday to close the gap on leaders Manchester City to one point.

Defeat would have left Arsenal's hopes of a first title since 2004 hanging by a thread but Martin Odegaard's brilliant strike and a Fabian Schar own goal sealed a vital victory.

Newcastle, bidding to cement third place and take a big step towards a top-four finish, dominated early on but Odegaard's sweet strike after 14 minutes gave the visitors the lead.

Schar then inadvertently turned in Gabriel Martinelli's cross with 20 minutes remaining.

City, who have won 10 straight games to catch and then overhaul Arsenal, have 82 points from 34 games with the Gunners on 81 having played a game more.

Newcastle remain in third spot on 65, helped byfourth-placed Manchester United's surprise 1-0 defeat at lowly West Ham United later on Sunday.

If ever there was a test of the resolve of Mikel Arteta's Arsenal team it was a trip to St James's Park to face a Newcastle side on a roll in their quest to return to the Champions League after an absence of two decades.

They also had the bitter memory of a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle a year ago that scuppered their top-four hopes.

But this Arsenal side, despite the recent wobbles that have cost them top spot, are made of much sterner stuff.

"The message (to City) is we'll go as hard as we can for three games and we will be pushing and if City slip up we will be there to pick up the pieces," keeper Aaron Ramsdale said.

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