Arsenal 1 Newcastle United 0: Missed chances leave McClaren's side deeper in trouble

Laurent Koscielny

Laurent Koscielny

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Newcastle United were again left to rue the chances that got away at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon.

A second-half goal from Laurent Koscielny gave Arsenal a 1-0 Premier League win over Steve McClaren's relegation-threatened side.

Newcastle, however, were the better side for much of the game, and Aleksandar Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum had chances to put them in the lead.

Missed opportunities had proved costly in the club's previous two games, the defeats to West Bromwich Albion and Everton.

And the match again underlined the need for a striking reinforcement in this month's transfer window.

The club remains in 18th place, but Sunderland – who beat basement club Aston Villa at home – have closed the gap on them to two points.

There was a minute's applause before the game for former United goalkeeper this week, who passed away nine days after suffering a heart attack while running.

Newcastle soaked up a spell of early pressure from Arsenal before settling into the game.

And United, playing against a strangely subdued home side, had the first half's best chance.

Wijnaldum, playing in his favoured No 10 role, forced a save from Petr Cech with a header from a right-wing Chancel Mbemba cross in the 17th minute.

United went on to dominate possession, but, yet again, they couldn't take their chances.

Mitrovic should have put Newcastle ahead early in the second half, but he couldn't hit the target from close range after Ayoze Perez knocked the ball to him.

Arsenal gave United time and space on the ball, but McClaren's team weren't able to take advantage of their superiority.

And there was an inevitability about the opening goal given the chances that had gone begging at the other end of a sodden Emirates Stadium pitch.

Olivier Giroud headed a corner down, and Koscielny was at the far post to poke the ball past Rob Elliot, recalled to the starting XI after recovering from a stomach bug.

Head coach McClaren threw on Florian Thauvin and Siem de Jong, but there was to be no way back into the game for Newcastle, who had Elliot to thank for two late saves.

ARSENAL: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Ramsey, Ozil; Chamberlain (Campbell, 68), Walcott (Gibbs, 81), Giroud (Chambers, 89). Subs not used: Ospina, Gabriel, Iwobi, Reine-Adelaide.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot, Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Tiote (de Jong, 87), Colback (Thauvin, 79), Wijnaldum; Perez, Mitrovic. Subs not used: Darlow, Gouffran, Lascelles, Toney, Mbabu.

Goal: Koscielny 72

Bookings: Colback 35, Janmaat 68, Flamini 82, Ozil 90

Attendance: 59,257

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Wythenshawe)