Martin Odegaard hit a stunning 30-yard goal for Arsenal shortly after the Gunners survived a handball penalty shout at Newcastle.
- Visitors take the lead at St James’ Park
- Captain crashes home from distance
- Spot-kick claims waved away after VAR check
WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners knew that the hosts would look to start quickly in front of a boisterous fan base, and the Magpies thought they had earned a spot-kick when Jakub Kiwior appeared to handle a goal-bound shot. The award of a penalty was checked by VAR and, following a pitch-side review, that call was reversed once it became apparent that the ball struck Kiwior’s thigh first. Having seen off Newcastle’s early charge, Arsenal then went in front when talismanic captain Odegaard drilled a low strike from distance into the bottom corner.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal have slipped from the top of the Premier League table after dropping priceless points in a run of dramatic draws, with defending champions Manchester City now in charge of the title race. However, a Fabian Schar own goal extended their lead in the second half against Newcastle and they held on for the victory to close the gap on City back to a single point. Pep Guardiola’s men do still have a game in hand on the Gunners, though.
WHAT NEXT? Mikel Arteta has vowed that his side will fight to the finish, with a home fixture against Roberto De Zerbi’s high-flying Brighton up next on May 14.
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