Arsenal keeps pressure on Man City with 2-0 win at Newcastle
NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Arsenal kept the pressure on Manchester City in the Premier League title race by beating Newcastle 2-0 in a huge test of its credentials on Sunday.
Martin Odegaard’s first-half strike and Fabian Schar’s own-goal, combined with some breathtaking saves by Aaron Ramsdale, saw Arsenal come through the toughest of its final four games with a rare win for a visiting team at St. James’ Park.
Arsenal moved back to one point behind City, which has a game in hand but some potentially tricky matches to finish the season as Pep Guardiola’s team goes for a third straight title.
Odegaard slammed home a low shot from outside the area to give Arsenal the lead in the 14th minute against the run of play, with third-place Newcastle having already struck the post through Jacob Murphy and had the awarding of a penalty overturned after a VAR check.
Before Schar’s own-goal in the 71st, Ramsdale saved brilliantly off Joe Willock and Schar from point-blank range while Alexander Isak headed against the post as Newcastle piled forward in waves.
The second goal changed the atmosphere and Arsenal ultimately eased home to become just the second visiting team — after Liverpool — to win at St. James’ Park this season.
Arsenal was not without its own chances in a breathless match, with Gabriel Martinelli – whose cross was deflected in by Schar for the second goal – curling against the crossbar and Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope saving well in one-on-one situations with Bukayo Saka and Odegaard.
Arsenal’s remaining matches are at home to Brighton, at Nottingham Forest and at home to Wolverhampton. City’s are more difficult on paper — away to Everton, at home to Chelsea, then trips to Brighton and Brentford.
Arsenal is bidding for its first league title since 2004.
Newcastle stayed three points ahead of fifth-place Liverpool and has played one game less in the race for Champions League qualification.
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The Associated Press