Newcastle United 0 Arsenal 2
- Mike Dean
A goal either side of the half-time whistle was enough to condemn Newcastle United to a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal at St. James’ Park.
For the second time in as many games, the Magpies found themselves a goal behind with less than ten minutes on the clock as Mohamed Elneny's low finish from the edge of the box had given the Gunners a lead to preserve in a match where the hosts rarely threatened.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ensured all three points would be going back to the capital midway through the second half with a close range finish.
The Magpies struggled to gain a foothold in the game in the opening 45 minutes and fell behind with just six minutes on the clock as Hector Bellerin's low cross from the right was cleared as far as Elneny, who fired low into the corner beyond the reach of Martin Dúbravka.
It was a first half that was largely dominated by the visitors but the ever-lively Allan Saint-Maximin came close with a mis-hit effort that almost looped over the head of Mat Ryan, but the Aussie keeper did well to claw the ball behind for a corner.
Ryan's opposite number, Dúbravka, was then called into action as he palmed a Granit Xhaka drive from the just outside the box behind for a corner and the Arsenal pressure didn’t relent as the resulting set-piece was forced towards goal by Elneny and cleared off the line by Miguel Almirón.
On his first start since early February, chances were at a premium for Callum Wilson - a header over the top of the crossbar from a Sean Longstaff corner as close as he came.
Last weekend's 1-1 draw with Liverpool would've given Steve Bruce's side hope of another second-half comeback but that was all but extinguished with 25 minutes left to play. Gabriel Martinelli's cross from the left was turned into the net at full stretch at the back post by Aubameyang - his second goal in his last two games at St. James' Park.
Fabian Schär was introduced from the bench soon after, with the Swiss defender making his first appearance since February after recovering from a knee injury, but the Magpies' disappointing afternoon was compounded when he was shown a straight red card in stoppage time for a lunge on Martinelli in midfield.