- Koscielny scores in 72nd minute
- Mitrovic, Wijnaldum threaten without finish
- Arsenal goes atop PL table
Laurent Koscielny‘s late goal helped Arsenal overcome a game effort from visiting Newcastle and go atop the Premier League table with a 1-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners now have 42 points, two more than Leicester. Newcastle is still in 18th, with 17 points.
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Koscielny put the Gunners in front when he darted in front of Ayoze Perez off a goal-mouth scramble to make it 1-0 in the 73rd minute. Giroud won the cross toward the goal post and Koscielny finished it off.
Arsenal dominated the first 15 minutes, but was frustrated by Newcastle’s packed-in defense. The Magpies broke with a dangerous counter soon after, and Petr Cech was forced to make a pair of good saves.
Ayoze Perez put a similar rare chance wide in the 26th minute. And despite Arsenal’s control in possession, Newcastle arguably had the best opportunities to score in the final 20 minutes or so (including an overhead kick missed by Aleksandar Mitrovic).
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— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 2, 2016
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The Magpies countered well in the second half, with Georginio Wijnaldum stopped by Cech 1v1 and Mitrovic hitting a close-range shot over the bar. Chancel Mbemba would later head a good cross high as well.
Mitrovic would head another over the goal 10 minutes from time. Wijnaldum did the same off a short corner in the 85th minute.
Cech stood tall to stop Siem De Jong‘s overhead kick in the game’s final moments.