Arsenal’s Wenger hails 9-point festive period, backs Newcastle to stay up

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Gutsy work on a scrum in the 18 gave Laurent Koscielny and Arsenal a 1-0 win over visiting Newcastle United, and left the Gunners boss with two thoughts.

  1. His side showed great resolve on a day when it wasn’t at its best.
  2. Newcastle United will not stay in the drop zone.

Koscielny zipped in front of Ayoze Perez after Olivier Giroud nodded a 50/50 ball toward the back post, and the Frenchman buried his chance.

[ MATCH RECAP: Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle United ]

It was their best opportunity, and it boosted the Gunners atop the table.

From the BBC:

“If you are down there then those are the matches you lose but they will not stay down there – they are a good team.

“It was about solidarity, tired legs and taking a chance from a set piece. We were not at our best today, but over Christmas in four games we took nine points so we can look back and say we did 75% of our job as we lost at Southampton.”

Arsenal has a two-point lead on Leicester City, and the Gunners are nine points ahead of fifth place. After an FA Cup match versus Sunderland, Arsenal has a tricky pair of road Premier League fixtures in Liverpool and Stoke City.

Now in the driver’s seat for the Premier League crown, will this be Arsenal’s first title year in well over a decade?