Arsenal misses chance of 10 points difference with Newcastle draw
Arsenal and Newcastle played a top three clash to a draw on Tuesday. The front-runners certainly seemed to be the most likely to score for much of the match. However, Nick Pope made a number of saves and Newcastle were sound defensively, leaving the game scoreless.
The scoreless draw is Newcastle’s seventh clean sheet in their last nine Premier League games. In total, Newcastle has 10 clean sheets, with Nick Pope all in goal.
This game had fireworks and was far from the stereotypical 0-0 draw. At the end of the game, the referee handed out nine yellow cards, including one to a substitute on the bench. Despite Arsenal attempting 17 shots, neither side found the back of the net.
As mentioned, Nick Pope was the hero of the day a number of times. The England international notably saved Eddie Nketiah towards the end of the match to preserve the goalless game.
Penalty decision preserves scoreless draw between Arsenal and Newcastle
Even then, Arsenal thought they had a chance to win with a penalty kick. Granit Xhaka drove around the inside of the box to cross a ball inside. He put the ball to the middle, but a sliding Jacob Murphy averted the attempt. Upon review, the ball appears to have hit Murphy’s arm.
As co-commentator Jim Beglin pointed out, the issue for Arsenal was proximity. Murphy was practically on top of Xhaka when the shooter played the ball in. Murphy simply had nowhere else to go.
No change in the table after Tuesday
Arsenal remains top of the table. The lead over Manchester City is now eight points. However, Mikel Arteta will lament the chance to take a double-digit gap to the most likely title challenger. Regardless, the draw is only the third time Arsenal have dropped points in the current season. The other draw was against Southampton and Arsenal’s only defeat was at Old Trafford. Therefore, this was the first time that Arsenal dropped points at the Emirates.
For Newcastle, the Magpies remain in third place. Manchester United’s victory over Bournemouth today means the Red Devils are level with Newcastle. However, Eddie Howe’s side have a huge goal difference advantage. Newcastle is on a goal difference of +21, while Manchester United, who won 3-0 on Tuesday, are only +7.
Arsenal are now preparing for a trip to League One side Oxford United in the FA Cup on Monday 9 January. The Gunners return to the Premier League on Sunday 15 January with the North London Derby.
Newcastle also makes a trip to a third division team in the third round of the FA Cup and travels to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. On Tuesday 10 January, Newcastle will play Leicester City in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup at St. James’ Park.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Colorsport
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