Christian Atsu

Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle: Terrific Ozil wins it

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  • Ozil tears into half volley
  • Gunners out-shoot Magpies, 20-8
  • Magpies set for bottom three

Mesut Ozil’s classy half volley led Arsenal to a 1-0 win over stubborn Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The Gunners move back into fourth with the win, on 33 points.

Newcastle will finish the weekend in the Bottom Three if West Ham holds on to beat Stoke City.

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No big surprise here: Arsenal was on its game early winning a corner after 90 seconds and testing Rob Elliot through Alexandre Lacazette as the clock hit 3:00.

Christian Atsu won Newcastle a free kick at the other end, and Petr Cech conceded a corner from Jamaal Lascelles‘ header.

Some neat movement between Hector Bellerin and Lacazette cued Alexis Sanchez up for a shot that zipped over the bar.

Alex Maitland-Niles picked up a careless Magpies pass and carried into a dangerous position only to rip his shot off the outside of the goal.

Ozil put Arsenal ahead with a terrific left-footed side volley. DeAndre Yedlin has blocked an Alexis shot toward Newcastle center back Florian Lejeune, who popped his clearance toward the German.

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The Gunners started as they finished, and Elliot was forced to slap a rebound away after he failed to corral an initial shot.

Newcastle had its moments in the first quarter hour of the second frame, with Matt Ritchie, Jacob Murphy, and Ayoze Perez especially active.

Elliot denied Jack Wilshere off an Olivier Giroud feed as the game edged toward its final 15 minutes.

Joselu ripped a shot through traffic that Arsenal deflected out for a corner in the 80th minute, and that set piece yielded another corner.

Newcastle had a few more chances, but Cech wouldn’t be beaten at home.

WATCH LIVE: Newcastle United vs. Leicester City

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Newcastle United hopes to halt the progress of visiting Leicester City when the two sides meet Saturday at St. James’ Park (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

USMNT right back DeAndre Yedlin starts for Rafa Benitez‘s Magpies, with Jamaal Lascelles and Christian Atsu both included on the bench.

Leicester have all their men, including Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, as Claude Puel seeks another win.

LINEUPS

Newcastle United: Darlow, Yedlin, Clark, Lejeune, Manquillo, Ritchie, Merino, Hayden, Murphy, Gayle, JoseluSubs: Elliot, Lascelles, Shelvey, Diame, Atsu, Perez, Mitrovic.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Maguire, Morgan, Chilwell, Mahrez, Iborra, Ndidi, Albrighton, Gray, Vardy. Subs: Hamer, Fuchs, Dragovic, King, Ulloa, Okazaki, Iheanacho.

Premier League preview: Newcastle vs. Leicester City

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  • Newcastle United welcome back Jamaal Lascelles and Christian Atsu and has a clean bill of health.
  • Leicester City has no new injury concerns with Matty James (Achilles) and Robert Huth (ankle) the only absentees.
  • Newcastle United have lost only two of their last 17 home league meetings with Leicester City, although the Foxes won on their last visit to St James’ Park in November 2015.
  • Jamie Vardy is one away from becoming the first Leicester City player to hit 50 Premier League goals.
  • Shinji Okazaki scored in both fixtures the last time these sides met in 2015/16, making Newcastle the only team he’s scored in more than one match against in the Premier League.

Newcastle has lost five of its last six games, but they return home to try and turn things around with Leicester City coming to St. James Park on Saturday evening. (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Rafa Benitez has plenty of big-game experience – usually in UEFA Champions League matches – but now his Newcastle side is in a relegation battle and needs a big performance to create some space between the side and the drop zone.

Leicester City meanwhile has won two games on the bounce and has lost just one game in its last nine fixtures, showing good form with Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Damarei Gray showing their talent on a week-by-week basis.

What they’re saying

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez on his team’s recent results: “We have to improve as a team to be sure we can compete against some of the top sides. The teams at the top at the moment, we are a little bit far away, but still we could do something against Liverpool, for example. I think it is important that the next two games at home, if we can compete, we can win. If we cannot compete – like happened in the second half against Manchester United or Chelsea – we cannot win. As I have said before, we have to maximize what we have, and what we have is fantastic fans behind the team, at home and away. So, they have to show again that they support the team because these are the players we have.”

Leicester City manager Claude Puel on his side’s performance since joining the club: “I don’t know if I expected this but the most important thing is to continue this work and to keep building momentum and confidence. It is important to get results for confidence and to try and improve all the time. Time will tell. For me it is about keeping a good focus and concentration on the next game and to try and play a strong game.”

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Prediction: Newcastle will come out with plenty of energy and spirit, but defensive frailties, even with the return of Jamal Lascelles will cause them to lose as the quality of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez take over. Leicester City 2-1 Newcastle

Premier League preview: Man United vs. Newcastle United

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  • Red Devils unbeaten in 31 of last 32 home fixtures vs. Newcastle
  • Newcastle winless in its last six PL matches
  • Lukaku hasn’t scored in United’s last seven games

Manchester United hosts Newcastle United on Saturday from Old Trafford (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC and NBCSports.com) as the Red Devils could potentially welcome back several of it biggest stars for the match.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo could return for Jose Mourinho’s side this weekend, as Man United looks to bounce back from its 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Nov. 5.

The ex-Sweden international Ibrahimovic hasn’t appeared in a match since April 2017, after being United’s top goalscorer a season ago.

The Red Devils will have to deal with the absence of Phil Jones at the back, though, as the England international misses out on the match with a thigh injury.

Newcastle will be without Christian Atsu and Jamaal Lascelles, which certainly hurts the squad’s attack, while Mikel Merino and Paul Dummett remain sidelined with respective injuries.

What they’re saying

Jose Mourinho, on Paul Pogba’s status:  “I can say now because he’s back – I don’t like to speak while he’s injured – you can clearly see there is a Manchester United this season before Paul’s injury and after Paul’s injury. There are qualities in our football, qualities that influence our approach in matches, with Pogba and without Pogba. Simple as that.”

Rafa Benitez, on growing pains of being a young side“We are a newly-promoted club that has to settle down in the Premier League. We have a young squad, so it’s a learning process for everyone and losing some games is part of the process. Hopefully we can stop that this weekend, but we know it has to be like this. We have to think that the target is to stay in the Premier League, then after try to go as high as we can in the table.”

Prediction

Newcastle has had its share of struggles this season, and running into a Man United side that is gaining full fitness is a dangerous task. The Red Devils are a tough squad to beat at home, so Rafa Benitez and Co. have their hands full. Man United 2-0 Newcastle

Newcastle 0-1 Bournemouth: Cook wins it in stoppage

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  • Cherries ride strong second half
  • Newcastle wasteful in first
  • Cook nets first of year

Steve Cook‘s stoppage time goal gave Bournemouth a deserved win over Newcastle United at St. James Park on Saturday.

Bournemouth’s win pushed Swansea into the drop zone, and lifts the Cherries out on 10 points. The Magpies drop bottom half with 14.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle started well, but a Jonjo Shelvey giveaway sprung Bournemouth into the Magpies third for an early corner kick.

Matt Ritchie laced a left-footed shot that Asmir Begovic pushed wide of the far post in the sixth minute. And Dwight Gayle, getting a rare start, headed Ritchie’s 13th minute cross off a defender and out for a corner.

Begovic stopped Christian Atsu soon after, as the Magpies kept knocking. That’s when Ritchie cranked a shot off the post and Gayle’s rebound goal was deemed offside. It was razor thin if off.

Joselu missed Newcastle’s next chance, after an uncharacteristic turnover from Andrew Surman. It remained scoreless in the 29th minute.

Bournemouth turned the tide for a five-minute span, and Rob Elliot made a pair of strong saves including a remarkable stop on Joshua King.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Begovic was just a busy after the break, palming over a header from Joselu off a Newcastle corner.

The Cherries should have taken the lead when Callum Wilson found himself alone with Elliot, but he hammered his shot wide.

Bournemouth was very much in the match, and Marc Pugh got away from DeAndre Yedlin to force Elliot into a leaping collection in the 62nd.

Yedlin had a penalty shout at the other end, but Paul Tierney was rightly unmoved. Ciaran Clark then headed a Shelvey corner over the bar.

Pugh cut Yedlin again and beat Elliot only to be denied by Clark and the goal post. Elliot then denied substitute and noted Newcastle killer Jermain Defoe in stoppage time.