Alan Shearer accepts the ‘best team won on the day’ as Arsenal earned a vital victory over Newcastle United. Martin Odegaard’s long-range strike and an own-goal from Fabian Schar either side of the break saw the Gunners emerge with a 2-0 victory from a feisty encounter.
Mikel Arteta’s side arrived on Tyneside in desperate need of three points to keep their faint title hopes alive. However, St James’ Park was the venue last season where the Gunners saw their top-four hopes all but extinguished.
Newcastle made a fast start once again, and twice struck the woodwork through Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak. However, Odegaard’s goal against the run of play changed the course of the contest, with Nick Pope called upon several times before the break to keep the deficit to one.
Eddie Howe’s side came out of the blocks again quickly following the restart, with Isak’s header striking the base of the post before Fabian Schar was denied by Aaron Ramsdale. The Gunners took firm control with 19 minutes left, as Gabriel Martinelli’s fierce cutback was inadvertently knocked into his own net by Schar.
Shearer was left to rue the missed chances for the hosts after the full-time whistle, but hailed the title chases for a ‘solid away performance’. The defeat – only United’s fifth in the league this season – means they remain third, with Manchester United set to face West Ham on Sunday evening.
Shearer posted: “Well done Arsenal. Best team won on the day. Newcastle didn’t take their chances when they had them, Arsenal did. Solid away performance from them.”
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