Mesut Ozil said Arsenal had to be at their best to overcome an “aggressive” Newcastle United at St James’s Park.
Ozil scored the winning goal at St James’s Park, where Rafa Benitez’s side were beaten 2-1.
Newcastle matched Arsenal before the break, but their performance unravelled after the break, when Granit Xhaka opened the scoring with a stunning free-kick early in the half.
Ozil, making his 200th appearance for the visitors, added a second goal in the 58th minute.
Ciaran Clark scored a consolation goal in added time.
Asked about his appearance milestone, Ozil said: “Really, 200?
“I’m happy, but most importantly we took the three points.
“Congratulations to the whole team, we played well. Newcastle were good, aggressive.
“We showed our passion and took the points.”
United unsettled Unai Emery’s side before the break, when they pressed and tried to get the ball in behind right-back Hector Bellerin.
Arsenal manager Emery said: “In the first half, we couldn’t control the match like we wanted, and we needed that control to impose our ideas, our possession and our positioning.
“We conceded a lot of chances to counter-attack in transition and a lot of chances from corners and possibilities to arrive into our box.
“In the second half, the balance on the pitch was better.
“The first goal gave us confidence to continue and improve in the match and the second finished the match.”
Reflecting on the game, Newcastle manager Benitez said: “Two moments of quality changed the game.
“We did enough in the first half to score and show we can compete against this kind of team, but it was hard once we conceded the two goals and our goal came too late.
“It’s always about a short blanket, because when we attacked to try to get back into the game we left ourselves open to the counter-attack.”