St. James' Park
Barclays Premier League
By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor
At St. James' Park
Newcastle United 0
Arsenal 1 (Giroud 65)
SECOND HALF UPDATES
90+4mins: The Arsenal fans celebrate as their team climbs back to the top of the table but the Newcastle supporters are singing too - the Magpies went toe-to-toe with the Gunners but have lost 1-0. Click here for the match report.
90+3mins: Newcastle win one last corner and Krul again comes up but Szczesny punches away under pressure from his opposite number and Ben Arfa shoots wide. That must be it.
90+1mins: Tiote, who has dominated the midfield in this second half, wins the ball from Wilshere and releases Ben Arfa. He races down the right, cuts inside and shoots but his effort hits the side-netting.
90mins: As Newcastle force a corner, Krul comes up but Arsenal manage to clear. There will be four minutes of added time.
86mins: Nicklas Bendtner replaces Giroud, whose 65th minute goal looks like it will prove to be the winner unless Newcastle can do something special in the final four minutes plus stoppage time.
85mins: Cabaye finds Santon with the outside of his boot and the Italian heads it into the danger area but nobody is there to take advantage.
84mins: Mertesacker scuffs a clearance straight to Ameobi but the Nigeria international's shot from 20 yards is weak and doesn't trouble Szczesny.
83mins: Tiote plays a great pass to Santon on the right and the Italian responds with an even better cross which somehow evades everybody apart from Ameobi, who tries to head back across goal but can't quite do so.
81mins: A slack clearance from Szczesny cannons off Remy, who is closing down, and rolls just wide. That could have gone anywhere and the Frenchman was unfortunate not to get a goal for his troubles.
80mins: A third and final change for Newcastle - Massadio Haidara is on for Sissoko, with Santon switching to the right wing. Meanwhile Arsenal bring on defender Carl Jenkinson for Walcott.
76mins: Now Rosicky goes into Probert's book for a nasty challenge on Cabaye.
75mins: Flamini is booked for a late tackle on Ben Arfa near the right touchline.
74mins: Another attacking substitution for Newcastle as Shola Ameobi comes on for Anita to give United more punch up front. Remy has been a little isolated at times - can the big striker help to give him some more support?
70mins: Gibbs is replaced by Mikel Arteta just before Newcastle have a second penalty appeal turned down as Debuchy goes down under Flamini's little nudge in the box. It would have been a sort one had Probert given it, though.
69mins: Arsenal almost get a second as Wilshere threads the ball through to Walcott, who is denied by the legs of Krul and then, somehow, by Debuchy who heads his chipped follow-up away from underneath the crossbar, then Giroud somehow scuffs wide of an open goal.
67mins: A Cabaye corner is half-cleared but Santon's 30 yard follow-up is way off target.
65mins - ARSENAL GOAL (0-1): After Cazorla goes down under a challenge from Tiote, Theo Walcott delivers a wonderful free kick from a central position 22 yards out which Giroud applies the faintest of touches to and that's enough to beat Krul. Giroud has been poor today but he got a yard of space there and punished Newcastle.
62mins: Here's a really positive change from Pardew. Gouffran has worked tirelessly on the left today but he's now replaced by Ben Arfa - a sign that Newcastle's boss believes his side can win this game.
57mins: The Gunners create an opening for Flamini with some neat passing but the Frenchman's 20 yard effort is off target.
52mins: Anita clips a dangerous ball into the box and Szczesny flaps at it, with Arsenal rather lucky to clear their lines as far as Santon, whose shot is blocked.
46mins: Today's attendance is 52,161 including 3,150 Arsenal fans. Newcastle get the second half underway and they are now kicking towards the Gallowgate end. Stand by for a huge 45 minutes...
FIRST HALF UPDATES
45+2mins: Vurnon Anita bursts forwards and slips in Cabaye, whose shot is blocked. The ball runs to Sissoko whose piledriver is heading for the back of the net but pushed behind by the Gunners goalkeeper. Then Cabaye's corner from the left is met by Debuchy and hits the underside of the bar with Williamson lurking. Arsenal clear and Probert blows for half time. That was the closest either side has come to scoring. Click here for a half time report.
45mins: There will be a minimum of two minutes added on.
42mins: Gibbs plays the ball into the United box and Tiote clears partially but only as far as Mertesacker, whose low shot goes wide.
40mins: Sissoko runs at the Gunners defence and jinks into the box before going down under Mathieu Flamini's challenge. The Leazes end fans appeal long and loud for a penalty and replays suggest that it was a foul - although it may also have been just outside the area.
38mins: Giroud again looks bemused as he sits on the ground after Tiote slides in with a great tackle. He's not enjoying his afternoon so far.
36mins: After a pause in play for Giroud to receive treatment, referee Lee Probert books the Arsenal striker for his foul on Tiote.
34mins: Giroud, already unpopular with the home fans for the way he went down after Williamson's tackle five minutes ago, further endears himself to the United faithful by bringing down Tiote and then going down claiming injury himself while Tiote gets up without fuss.
33mins: Arsenal really do move the ball so quickly and intelligently and Wilshere is again involved as he pokes the ball to Giroud, but the Frenchman's shot goes harmlessly wide. Alan Pardew sends three subs out to warm up - Hatem Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Massadio Haidara.
30mins: Rosicky finds Cazorla, who makes room for a shot which takes a nick off Cheick Tiote but Krul is still able to get down to hold onto the ball.
29mins: Williamson makes a hard, fair and very important challenge on Olivier Giroud just inside his own half which results in the Arsenal man going down in a heap. However, he's able to pick himself up eventually.
27mins: Arsenal work the ball from right to left before Tomas Rosicky shoots from 20 yards but his powerful strike is straight down the throat of Tim Krul, who holds on with relative ease. Then Davide Santon cuts in from the left and sends over a dangerous cross which Yoan Gouffran meets, but his header loops up in the air and Szczesny is able to claim.
25mins: Debuchy is proving to be Newcastle's best attacking option at the moment and after Cabaye's free-kick from just inside his own half misses everybody, the right-back is there to send a ferocious half-volley just wide of the Gunners goal.
23mins: Wilshere receives the ball from Cazorla and chances his arm but his 22 yard strike is high and wide.
20mins: Cabaye pumps a free kick into the box and Mike Williamson rises to head it into the danger area. Arsenal half-clear but only as far as Anita, who goes for the volley but completely miscues and the ball swerves away from its intended target. The former Ajax man certainly has the technique to score from there but he was nowhere near on that occasion.
18mins: With a sudden change of pace, Loic Remy leaves Germany international Per Mertesacker standing and stands up a great cross from the left. Sissoko steams in at the far post but can do no more than head it back across goal and Wojciech Szczesny is able to pluck it out the air.
15mins: Debuchy steals the ball from Santi Cazorla and finds Cabaye, who shoots from almost 30 yards but is well off target. Newcastle are starting to force the issue a little more.
12mins: Cabaye floats a lovely pass towards Mathieu Debuchy, who had pushed right on and could have been in on goal had his touch not deserted him. Instead the ball rolls out for a goal kick.
10mins: It's been a cagey opening so far, with both sides giving each other plenty of respect. For Arsenal, Jack Wilshere has been given plenty of responsibility with Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil both missing and he's enjoying himself so far; Newcastle must not let him dictate.
3mins: Yohan Cabaye clips a ball down the right-hand side for Moussa Sissoko to chase but the Frenchman fouls Kieran Gibbs as he goes for it which is a shame, because the Arsenal left-back looked worried for a moment.
1min: Well, what a big game this could be not just in Newcastle United's season but in terms of the Barclays Premier League campaign as a whole. Arsenal would return to the top of the table with a win but if the Magpies can claim the victory, they would be just three points behind the Gunners. There is a fantastic atmosphere at St. James' Park as the Gunners, in red and white, kick off. They're attacking towards the Gallowgate end in this first half.
Newcastle United (4-3-3): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini (c), Davide Santon; Vurnon Anita (Shola Ameobi 74), Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye; Moussa Sissoko (Massadio Haidara 80), Loic Remy, Yoan Gouffran (Hatem Ben Arfa 62)
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker (c), Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs (Mikel Arteta 70); Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky; Theo Walcott (Carl Jenkinson 80), Jack Wilshere; Santi Cazorla; Olivier Giroud (Nicklas Bendtner 86)
Subs not used: Lukasz Fabianski, Ryo Miyaichi, Serge Gnabry, Lukas Podolski
Referee: Lee Probert