Dec 16, 2017 at 3pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 59,379
Arsenal
1-0
NewcastleNewcastle United
Ozil (24')
Monreal (87'), Xhaka (92')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Hayden (40')

Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United - as it happened

Live Commentary: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United - as it happened
© Offside
Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Mesut Ozil nets the only goal of the game as Arsenal beat Newcastle United in the Premier League.

Arsenal have moved into fourth place in the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United in Saturday afternoon's fixture at the Emirates Stadium.

Mesut Ozil scored the only goal of the game with a terrific volley from distance, and the Gunners were able to hold on for their first victory in four outings.

Newcastle had their moments, but this is now nine games without a win for Rafael Benitez's team who now sit closer to the relegation zone.

Find out how all of the action unfolded on in North London courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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2.00pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Premier League between Arsenal and Newcastle United. Both teams have put together runs without success in the top flight, but can Arsene Wenger or Rafael Benitez end that period this afternoon? Let's see who has been named in their respective starting lineups...

2.02pmARSENAL XI: Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Wilshere, Iwobi; Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette

ARSENAL SUBSTITUTES: Ospina, Chambers, Kolasinac, Coquelin, Elneny, Welbeck, Giroud


2.04pmNEWCASTLE UNITED XI: Elliot; Yedlin, Lejeune, Lascelles, Manquillo; Hayden, Merino; Atsu, Perez, Murphy; Joselu

NEWCASTLE UNITED SUBSTITUTES: Darlow, Clark, Dummett, Diame, Aarons, Ritchie, Gayle


2.06pmLATEST! Before we crack on with the ins and outs of the teams, we will point you in the direction of our coverage of the match involving Leicester City and Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium. Palace currently lead 2-0 in that one! Click here to follow the closing stages of the game in the East Midlands.

2.08pmBack to the team news and Arsenal have surprisingly made just one change from the team which recorded a goalless draw with West Ham United in midweek. The alteration comes in attack, with Alexandre Lacazette being preferred to Olivier Giroud. Sead Kolasinac had also been expected to return, but the Bosnian remains on the bench due to Ainsley Maitland-Niles being given a second start at left-back.

2.10pmThere had been a doubt over Alexis Sanchez but he starts, as does Mesut Ozil. The pair continue to be linked with a January move away from the Emirates Stadium. Iwobi makes just his seventh league start of the campaign and he will be looking to build on having only scored one goal in the top flight this season.

2.12pmMuch is often made of the fitness of Jack Wilshere but he features alongside Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park, and the rest of the defence remains the same with Shkodran Mustafi not being risked after a thigh injury.

2.14pmThe only change on the bench is Giroud replacing Lacazette. It means that Theo Walcott misses out on a Premier League squad for the third match in succession, despite having made a successful return from illness in the Europa League.

2.16pmAs for Newcastle, Benitez has opted to make five changes to the team which began the defeat to Everton. The most notable tinkering comes in goal, with Rob Elliot replacing Karl Darlow who has made a couple of mistakes in recent matches.

2.18pmIsaac Hayden is also given the opportunity to play against his former club due to the suspension of Jonjo Shelvey, while Joselu gets the nod over Dwight Gayle, despite Gayle already scoring at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge this season.

2.20pmThe other two changes also come in attack with Jacob Murphy being preferred to Matt Ritchie on the flank and Ayoze Perez coming in for Mohamed Diame. Both alterations suggest that Benitez is willing to throw caution to the wind this afternoon.

2.22pmFour of the players who have dropped out of the side are all on the bench, as is Rolando Aarons, who has played just 66 minutes of Premier League football this season.

2.24pmRESULT! Newcastle need to think that the unthinkable can happen this afternoon and they may be able to take encouragement from the result at the King Power Stadium because Crystal Palace have run out 3-0 winners over a Leicester City side who had won four on the bounce! What a result. Click here to read our on-the-whistle report.

2.26pmThat has consequences for both Arsenal and Newcastle in the league table. Many had expected Leicester to move within a point of the Gunners but defeat for the Foxes means that Arsenal retain their four-point cushion.

Down at the bottom, Palace have moved out of the relegation zone and above Newcastle. The Magpies now sit in 17th place in the standings...


2.28pmAs we noted earlier, Wilshere has been given a second Premier League start in the space of three matches - that after not beginning a top-flight fixture all season! Wenger has spoken about wanting the midfielder to prove his fitness if he wants to be offered a new contract, and he gets that chance this afternoon.

2.30pmWenger has also been speaking on the future of Mesut Ozil, who continues to be linked with a transfer away from the Emirates Stadium. However, Wenger has insisted that there has been no offer from Manchester United. Click here to see what the Frenchman has to say.

2.32pmLike Ozil, Sanchez is constantly hitting the headlines and that was the case when the Chilean was withdrawn against West Ham. However, despite failing to score in three appearances, Wenger insists that he is pleased with his star man's contribution.

2.34pmMuch was made of Arsenal's winning streak at home earlier this season, but they need to ensure that they avoid defeat today to avoid suffering back-to-back setbacks in North London for the first time since 2010. Back then, Newcastle were one of the teams who prevailed in quick succession...

2.36pmHowever, it has been five years since Arsenal suffered defeat to a newly-promoted side - a period stretching 33 matches. Arsenal have recorded 28 wins and five draws since losing at Queens Park Rangers in 2012.

2.38pmWenger comes in for his fair share of criticism, but the Frenchman also has to deal with his fair share of bad luck too. Wenger has watched on from the sidelines as Arsenal have hit the woodwork as many as 10 times this season - more than any other team.

2.40pmGiroud only finds himself on the substitutes' bench this afternoon but is that a mistake from Wenger? The Frenchman may have put in a below-par showing against the Hammers but he has scored five goals in his last four games against Newcastle at the Emirates. Surely he will get a chance to add to that later this afternoon.

2.42pmLet;s take a look at Newcastle now and Benitez has called on his players to produce improved displays this afternoon. That's probably due to the North-East outfit having only recorded one point from their last eight games in the league. Click here to read what the Spaniard has to say.

2.44pmImprove they must, too. Earlier this season, everyone was raving about Newcastle's form the end of August and through September but at this stage of the campaign, a return of 15 points from 17 games is Newcastle's worst in the top flight since 1988-89.

2.46pmTheir form at St James' Park has been dire, but it has been much worse on the road. Newcastle have claimed just seven points from their last 19 matches in the top flight.

2.48pmAs we mentioned earlier, Hayden lines up against his former side this afternoon. While with the Gunners, the 22-year-old only made appearances in League Cup ties against West Bromwich Albion and Southampton. He's missed just two of Newcastle's top-flight matches this season.

2.50pmPREDICTION! Arsenal may be short of form on the road but that does not apply at the Emirates Stadium. Newcastle would not have wanted a trip to North London after eight games without a win and we think the home side will run out 3-0 victors.

2.52pmHEAD TO HEAD! Saturday's encounter will represent the 179th time in which these two teams have met in a competitive fixture, with Arsenal registering 74 victories in comparison to 66 wins for Newcastle. However, it's not been so competitive in recent years. Newcastle have won just once in their last 21 attempts, while Arsenal have prevailed in the last nine matches between the sides in all competitions.

2.54pmThe most recent encounter between the clubs took place in January 2016 with Laurent Koscielny scoring the only goal of the game at the Emirates Stadium. You can take a look back at that match by clicking here.

Even given their lack of wins in recent games, I'm sure that Arsenal fans will expect a wider margin of victory today.


2.56pmIt's time for the two teams to make their way out at the Emirates. It may not be as cold as it has been this week, but it's still relatively chilly in North London!

2.58pmA reminder of the two teams...

ARSENAL XI: Cech; Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles; Xhaka, Wilshere, Iwobi; Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette

NEWCASTLE UNITED XI: Elliot; Yedlin, Lejeune, Lascelles, Manquillo; Hayden, Merino; Atsu, Perez, Murphy; Joselu


1 minKICKOFF! Newcastle get us underway!

2 minIt's been a fast start from the home side who have already managed to win a corner. Nothing comes from it but it is a statement of intent from the Gunners.

4 minSHOT! The first shot of the game comes from the recalled Lacazette but the Frenchman's strike from distance is too close to Elliot.

6 minNewcastle fans will no doubt be interested in the result of the game between Stoke City and West Ham United but they may have to wait some time to get it. There has been a power outage at the Bet365 Stadium so supporters are only just making their way through the turnstiles! We are looking at a start time of past 4pm, GMT.

8 minCHANCE! Back to this game and Newcastle have gone straight up the other end and almost taken the lead. A corner found the head of Lascelles, but his effort was tipped wide of the post by Cech.

9 minSHOT! Moments later, Yedlin tried to score from distance but his effort went at least 30 yards over the crossbar. No exaggeration.

10 minThis has been a brilliant start from both teams. Arsenal go back up the other end and it takes an outstanding block from a defender to prevent Bellerin from, probably, giving the home side the lead.

12 minThe action has started to settle down but that's no surprise after a frantic opening. Benitez will be delighted with the ambition being shown by his side but they have to be careful at the back.

13 minCHANCE! Just like that, Arsenal almost score. A well-constructed move involving Ozil leads to Sanchez getting the chance to break the deadlock but his shot from around 16 yards goes over the bar.

14 minSHOT! It's now the turn of Maitland-Niles, who sends a strike whistling past the past. The youngster has looked good so far.

16 minThere's only been one goal in the 3pm kickoffs and that has come for Huddersfield Town, who lead at Watford. That's not exactly great news for Newcastle.

18 minA handball from Merino leads to Arsenal winning a free kick in a threatening position, but nothing comes from Ozil's delivery.

20 minNewcastle are not the biggest fans of playing in London - simply because they usually lose - but Benitez and the travelling support will be delighted to come through the opening 20 minutes without conceding. Still a long way to go, however.

22 minA quick word on Hayden against his old club and it's fair to say he is enjoying going toe-to-toe with Wilshere. He's not always coming out on the right end of their battle, but he is holding his own.

24 minGOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United (Mesut Ozil)

24 minIt had been going so well for Newcastle, too. A half-clearance from Newcastle leads to the ball falling at the feet of Ozil, and the German international wastes no time in pinging a volley into the top corner. What a strike.

Mesut Ozil celebrates getting the opener during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Newcastle United on December 16, 2017© Offside


26 minAll of a sudden, Newcastle are having to be careful to avoid falling further behind. Arsenal sense that they can effectively clinch this game with a second goal.

27 minSHOT! Bellerin tries his luck from outside of the penalty area but his shot is always rising over the crossbar.

29 minJust before that Arsenal goal, Huddersfield doubled their advantage against Watford at Vicarage Road. As it stands, the Terriers are moving six points clear of Newcastle. That could be crucial come the end of the season.

31 minWe are through half-an-hour at the Emriates and Arsenal are now completely bossing possession. The Gunners must have had three quarters of the ball.

33 minSHOT! Bellerin is finding himself in an attacking position more so than a defensive one today. He still can't score, though, with a volley with his weaker foot going into the stands.

35 minNewcastle have not had a shot since the early stages of this game, when Yedlin fired about 30 yards over the crossbar. If they can reach the break having not conceded a second goal, it will be considered an achievement.

37 minWhile Arsenal are seeing a lot of the ball in the final third, we haven't seen too much of Lacazette. The Frenchman is always lurking but the ball just isn't finding him today.

38 minCHANCE! Arsenal should be two goals to the good and Ozil should have his second. After advancing into the penalty area, the playmaker only has Elliot to beat but the goalkeeper make an excellent intervention.

40 minBOOKING! The first yellow card of the match goes to Hayden for a foul on Wilshere.

Jack Wilshere and Isaac Hayden in action during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Newcastle United on December 16, 2017© Offside


41 minIwobi is the next Arsenal player to threaten a second goal but again, a Newcastle defender gets his body in the way. Aside from Ozil's stunning volley, Newcastle have been superb at the back.

43 minNewcastle win a corner but from the delivery, Monreal and Merino clash heads in the box. We are going to have a stoppage in play but I think both players will be ok to continue.

45 minThere will be two minutes of added-on time.

45+2 minHALF TIME: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United

3.49pmThe half-time whistle goes at the Emirates and Arsenal lead thanks to Ozil's volley midway through the first half. The Gunners should be more goals to the good but Newcastle have just about survived. Benitez will feel that his team are still in this game.

3.52pmOzil's goal came in the 24th minute and it will be in the running for goal of the month. Newcastle's clearance fell invitingly for the German international on the edge of the box, but not many players in the world could have directed the ball into the top corner on the volley. It's his third Premier League goal of the season.

3.55pmSanchez and Maitland-Niles have also had opportunities for the Gunners, but credit has to go to the Newcastle defence for making a number of blocks to keep Arsenal from netting a second. Lascelles and Lejeune have been excellent.

3.59pmNewcastle had their moments at the start of the game, with Lascelles seeing a header tipped wide by Cech, but the Magpies were second best for much of that half. The defence deserve huge credit, but more ambition needs to be shown in the final third.

4.01pmThe two teams are starting to make their way back out at the Emirates. We await to see whether either manager will make a change. I suspect that won't be the case.

46 minKICKOFF! Arsenal get us back underway.

48 minArsenal have started this second half on top and a move involving a number of players threatens to result in another chance. However, when the ball reaches Xhaka, the momentum is lost and Newcastle are able to see off the danger.

49 minThis is a bit of a let off for the Magpies. Atsu did well to deal with a threat offered by Sanchez, but the ball ricocheted off the winger and almost found the net!

51 minIf the opening six minutes of this second half is anything to go by, it won't be long before Arsenal score a second. It's not quite survival mode from Newcastle, but Joselu is becoming increasingly isolated.

53 minHuddersfield have scored another goal against Watford! I think we can say with a fair degree of certainty that the Terriers are creating some distance between themselves and Newcastle.

55 minSUBSTITUTION! Benitez is probably doing the right thing by making an early change. Ritchie is being introduced for Atsu.

56 minSHOT! Moments after that change, the ball arrived at the feet of Lacazette but the forward sent a weak effort over the crossbar. It's not been his day so far.

57 minSHOT! Better from Newcastle and Ritchie soon gets himself involved in the action. However, his first contribution is to fire a shot high into the stands.

58 minSHOT! Is this the Newcastle onslaught? Murphy is the next player to get an opportunity but Cech is able to prevent his well-struck effort from going inside his right post.

60 minThe game involving Stoke City and West Ham United has now gotten underway and the Hammers have taken the lead from the penalty spot through Mark Noble. If the current scorelines remain the same, Newcastle are heading into the bottom three...

62 minArsenal still lead this football match but they are at least being made to think by Newcastle. The expected goal glut has not materialised and the Gunners are going to need a second to make sure of the points.

64 minIt would not come as a huge surprise if Wenger decides to introduce one of Coquelin or Elneny in place of Iwobi in order to allow Wilshere to play further forward. It would at least tighten things up in the middle.

66 minCHANCE! Forget that, Iwobi has nearly scored. The Nigerian international should net from close range but Elliot somehow keeps his shot out. The recalled goalkeeper is justifying a show of faith from his manager.

68 minSUBSTITUTION! A second alteration for Newcastle sees Gayle introduced in place of Murphy.

70 minJust the 20 minutes to go and this match remains very much in the balance. In all honesty, I didn't think I would be saying that! Newcastle are looking at a ninth game without a win but they certainly don't look low in belief.

72 minWe are having a brief stoppage in play while Iwobi receives some treatment. That may encourage Wenger to make his first change sooner rather than later.

73 minSUBSTITUTION! Yep - that's exactly what has happened. Welbeck and Giroud are on for Iwobi and Lacazette.

75 minCHANCE! Nearly a second and match-clinching goal for Arsenal. Giroud does well to tee his teammate up inside the penalty area but - again - Elliot makes the save. Don't expect Darlow to be returning to the starting lineup any time soon.

77 minSHOT! It's starting to look like Newcastle needing something spectacular to get back into this match and Merino tries just that. However, his long-range curler goes well off target.

79 minSHOT! Newcastle almost find that equaliser! Joselu's shot from 20 yards is deflected towards goal by Koscielny but the ball goes just wide of the post! Was that the chance?

80 minJust the 10 minutes to go at the Emirates. Newcastle have the momentum but Arsenal have the lead.

81 minSHOT! We have not seen much of Perez in this game and he doesn't make an impact here with his long-range effort going over the crossbar.

83 minSUBSTITUTION! Newcastle's third change sees Diame come on to replace Merino.

85 minCHANCE! Another opportunity for Perez and this time he should do much better. The Spaniard was able to get a header ion goal after meeting a cross but it went off target.

87 minBOOKING! Monreal goes into the referee's book for a cynical foul on Joselu.

89 minSUBSTITUTION! The final substitution for Arsenal sees Coquelin replace Sanchez.

90 minThere will be four minutes of added-on time.

90+1 minJust before the fourth official had put his board up, Bellerin looked like he was about to score but Elliot once again kept the Gunners at bay.

90+2 minBOOKING! Xhaka goes into the referee's book for an elbow. He's an extremely lucky boy.

90+5 minFULL TIME: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United

5.03pmThe full-time whistle goes at the Emirates Stadium and Arsenal have earned a much-needed win over Newcastle thanks to Ozil's brilliant volley in the first half. The Gunners also move into the top four of the table, while Newcastle will be in the relegation zone if West Ham United beat Stoke.

5.05pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this match. Thank you for joining us this evening and we hope to see you again soon.

If you would like to read out on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.


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Arsene Wenger gestures during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United on December 2, 2017
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