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Newcastle 1-2 Arsenal: Three points all that matters

Arsenal held out to win 2-1 at St. James Park

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

0-1 Giroud 24'
0-2 Giroud 28'
1-2 Sissoko 49'

Arsenal are now only 4 points behind leaders Chelsea after winning their 6th Premier League game in a row, beating Newcastle 2-1. Goals from Olivier Giroud proved to be the difference, though Arsenal should've been well away at half time, before Newcastle came back into the game in the second half, putting Arsenal under relentless pressure.

Arsène Wenger made three changes to the side that won 2-0 against Monaco: Calum Chambers replaced Héctor Bellerín, Aaron Ramsey replaced the sick Mesut Özil and Gabriel came in for Per Mertesacker. Arsenal started poorly, with the side having the look of a European hangover about them. Two set piece goals in 4 minutes, however, saw the Gunners go up 2-0. For the first, Cazorla's free kick was flicked on by Welbeck and diverted by Giroud. 4 minutes later, Cazorla's corner was met by the head of Giroud, who scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season.

Arsenal could've scored more goals: Aaron Ramsey had a chance that he fluffed, and Danny Welbeck had two great chances provided by Alexis Sánchez that he could not take advantage of.

For a time, it looked as if Arsenal would regret those misses. Moussa Sissoko swept home Ryan Taylor's cutback in the the 49th minute after Francis Coquelin failed to track him, and Newcastle dominated the second half with Arsenal unable to control the midfield or possession for meaningful periods of time. Coquelin was particularly guilty, having his worst game since he returned to the fold. Mikel Arteta can't come back soon enough.

Arsenal eventually saw out the half, though Gouffran, Williamson and Perez all having great chances to equalise. Arsenal will need to play better in the next league fixture, against Liverpool, but for now, three points are all that matter, as Arsenal keep up the pressure on the rest of the top 6.