By Dan King
Andy Carroll rose above everything, including Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, to give Newcastle their first ever win at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.
The striker put any off-the-pitch distractions to one side to meet Joey Barton's free-kick with a towering header on the stroke of half-time, and although Tim Krul was forced to make a couple of vital saves, The Magpies fully deserved their 1-0 win.
And matters were made worse for Arsene Wenger's side when defender Laurent Koscielny was sent off late on for bringing down sub Nile Ranger as he raced through on goal.
It ended The Gunners' recent hoodoo over United - it was nine seasons since Newcastle had last beaten the North Londoners - and propelled Chris Hughton's side up to the dizzy heights of fifth in the Barclays Premier League after their third win in succession.
Unsurprisingly, there were no changes to the starting XI which defeated Sunderland 5-1 seven days earlier, although Sol Campbell did take a seat on the bench against his former club having returned to training earlier this week.
Arsenal - who would have gone second with a victory - welcomed Robin van Persie back into their squad after injury, and were able to include the likes of Andrey Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner amongst their subs.
But Newcastle have shown on plenty of occasions already this season that they are equipped to handle any team on their travels and started in the type of confident fashion befitting of a side who had thrashed their local rivals so convincingly last time out.
Winning the early duels in the centre of the park, United looked to get the ball out wide at every opportunity early on, and had an early penalty appeal waved away by referee Mike Dean when Jonas Gutierrez went down in the area but perhaps went to ground too easily.
But Arsenal probed and prodded, as they do so well, and keeper Krul had to be off his line quickly to smother at Theo Walcott's feet after Cesc Fabregas had slipped the ball through.
Then, after Coloccini had fouled Jack Wilshere 30 yards from goal, Fabregas' swerving free-kick crashed off the bar, with Krul doing well to tip the ball over the bar as it threatened to drop into the goal.
However, Cheik Tiote soon got to grips with Arsenal's Spanish star, after recovering from an early knock, and as the Ivory Coast midfielder's influence grew, Fabregas' waned. Both Tiote and Fabregas were booked for fouls on each other - but Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh escaped punishment for a blatant dive following a Jose Enrique challenge.
Shortly before half-time, United were indebted to Krul for a superb save from Samir Nasri, whose effort following a Fabregas pull-back looked in all the way only for the Dutchman to spring full-length to his left to palm his placed effort behind the post.
And in first half stoppage time, the visitors took full advantage. Joey Barton's hanging free-kick from deep near the right-hand touchline tempted Fabianski to come and claim it, but Carroll got up highest to get a vital touch and the ball dropped into the empty net.
Arsenal predictably came out for the second half with an increased tempo, and looked likely to equalise in the first ten minutes following the interval.
A right-wing cross from Walcott came back off the bar, then a couple of minutes later he saw another effort cannon back off the frame of the goal after a typical Arsenal move which saw him shoot after a clever ball from Wilshere inside the box. Then Chamakh was just beaten to Alex Song's low cross by Danny Simpson.
The Gunners brought on Arshavin and Van Persie as they looked to make the pressure tell, but instead United soaked it all up and began to threaten themselves once again.
Two successive Magpies corners saw Carroll's volley deflected over and Mike Williamson's header drop just wide, then Carroll's snap-shot flashed narrowly wide after he'd instantly controlled Barton's crossfield ball.
Nicklas Bendtner was brought on in Wenger's final throw of the dice, but the Dane, who scored against United in fine style when the two sides met in the Carling Cup last month, contributed little other than being regularly caught offside.
Fabregas, already on a yellow card, could have seen red for a foul on Carroll, and the Spaniard then failed to make the most of a good opportunity, heading straight at Krul from Arshavin's left-wing cross.
Nile Ranger replaced the excellent Ameobi for the final ten minutes, and was unlucky to see an acrobatic bicycle kick go over the top after he reacted to Carroll's knock-down.
And in stoppage time, the young Londoner was halted illegally by Koscielny, meaning Newcastle could see out the final seconds against ten men.
ARSENAL: Lucasz Fabianski, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Laurent Koscielny, Sebastien Squillaci, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere (sub Nicklas Bendtner 73), Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song, Samir Nasri (Andrey Arshavin 56), Marouane Chamakh (sub Robin van Persie 57). Subs not used: Wojciech Szczesny, Johan Djourou, Emmanuel Eboue, Tomas Rosicky. Bookings: Sagna, Clichy, Fabregas. Sent off: Koscielny.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Tim Krul, Danny Simpson, Jose Enrique, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Joey Barton, Cheik Tiote, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Andy Carroll, Shola Ameobi (sub Nile Ranger 82). Subs not used: Ole Soderberg, Sol Campbell, Steven Taylor, Alan Smith, Wayne Routledge, Peter Lovenkrands. Bookings: Tiote.