Arsenal 1 Newcastle United 0: Rafa Benitez's side teetering above relegation zone

Newcastle United are teetering above the Premier League's relegation zone after a defeat at the Emirates Stadium.
Florian LejeuneFlorian Lejeune
Florian Lejeune

A first-half goal from Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal a hard-fought 1-0 win this afternoon.

The defeat, the club's eight loss in nine games, has left Newcastle in danger of dropping into the bottom three ahead of next weekend's game away to West Ham United, who will climb above Rafa Benitez's side if they beat Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium today.

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Manager Benitez made five changes for the fixture against Arsenal.

Rob Elliot, Ayoze Perez, Isaac Hayden, Joselu and Jacob Murphy were all restored to Benitez's starting XI.

Arsenal dominated both halves, though United had spells where they caused problems for Arsene Wenger's team.

They were also dogged and determined in defence.

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Ainsley Maitland-Niles hit the side netting with an early effort, and the home side took the lead in the 23rd minute when the visitors only cleared a cross as far as Ozil.

Ozil beat Elliot with a stunning volley, and had another deflected shot cleared off the line later in the first half.

Newcastle managed to get to the break without conceding another goal.

And United slowly grew in confidence in teh second half. Substitute Matt Ritchie shot over, while Murphy had a shot parried by Petr Cech.

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Joselu also had a shot deflected wide.

However, Newcastle just couldn't get the goal they needed, and they have now taken just one point from a possible 27.

ARSENAL: Cech, Koscielny, Sanchez (Coquelin, 89), Lacazette (Welbeck, 71), Wilshere, Ozil, Iwobi (Giroud, 71), Monreal, Bellerin, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles. Subs not used: Ospina, Chambers, Kolasinic, Elneny.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot; Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Manquillo; Hayden, Merino; Atsu (Ritchie, 54), Perez, Murphy (Gayle, 67); Joselu. Subs not used: Darlow, Clark, Dummett, Diame, Aarons.

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Goal: Ozil 23

Bookings: Hayden 40, Monreal 86

Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

Attendance: 59,379