A resilient effort from Newcastle United saw them hold Premier League table-toppers Arsenal to a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners missed the chance to consolidate their lead at the top of the table as Newcastle’s defence frustrated the table-toppers.
Arsenal failed to score in a Premier League game for the first time in 17 games in this chaotic match as they failed to create original chances against Eddie Howe’s team despite dictating possession.
Jacob Murphy’s late handball challenge for a penalty, which the referee did not grant while refraining from deploying VAR, added to Arsenal’s dissatisfaction. Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, described the decision to not resort to the VAR as ‘scandalous’.
The draw boosted Newcastle’s chances of finishing in the top four as they skillfully defended their box and safeguarded goalie Nick Pope. Having let up just 11 goals and recording 10 shutouts this season, Howe’s team continues to have the finest defence in the Premier League.
Just before halftime, Newcastle had the finest opportunity of the game, but Joelinton’s header from four yards narrowly missed the mark.
Manchester City play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night are now eight points behind Arsenal while Newcastle is just one point behind City to be ranked third in the Premier League table.
“They are two penalties, it’s very simple. I’m talking about what I’ve seen, now, and it’s two scandalous penalties. I’m extremely proud of my players. The way we played, the way we dominated the game, the way we tried, the way we continued. We missed in the final third, we had so many situations and then we had two scandalous penalties. We had enough chances to win the game. Newcastle haven’t played any team like us this season. It’s credit to my players,” said Mikel Arteta as quoted by Sky Sports, while discussing his team’s two penalty appeals, one involving Gabriel’s shirt being tugged by Dan Burn, and the other being the handball by Murphy.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe appreciated the team’s defensive play and their teamwork against a top team like Arsenal.
“I think it was a very, very good defensive display. A very good mentality from the group, I think you saw real teamwork today. Arsenal are very, very good, they pose you different problems, they really stretch you and we knew defensively we needed to be rock solid. They’re a top side and I think we did really well in the second half when pressure grew. Nick had one save to make, apart from that it was just pressure. I was just a little bit disappointed we couldn’t pose more of a threat,” mentioned Eddie. (ANI)