Mikel Arteta anger at 'scandalous' penalty calls as Arsenal are held to draw by Newcastle

Premier League leaders cannot find way through determined Magpies at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday

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Arsenal missed the chance to go 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League table after being held to a goalless draw at home by Newcastle United on Tuesday.

Third-placed Newcastle produced a determined defensive display to frustrate the Gunners who could see their lead at the top cut to five points if Manchester City win at Chelsea on Thursday.

Arsenal had two penalty appeals waved away but neither side could genuinely claim to deserve more than a point from a fractious encounter that saw nine yellow cards but few chances.

Eddie Nketiah was denied a late winner by a fine save from Magpies goalkeeper Nick Pope as the hosts failed to score in the league for the first time this season.

Newcastle become the first visiting team to take points off the Gunners since Brighton secured a 2-1 victory in North London back in April.

Magpies left back Burn was fortunate to escape punishment for a shirt pull on Gabriel in his own area, while Arsenal players – and the home dugout – were furious when a handball call was not given against Newcastle substitute Jacob Murphy late in the game.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta described his team's failure to be awarded a spot-kick as “scandalous”.

“There were two penalties. It's very simple,” said a clearly frustrated Arteta. “I'm talking about what I've seen. It was two scandalous penalties. I'm so proud of the work we have done.

“I think we lacked an extra touch or movement to finish these chances in this game.

“Newcastle wanted to set-up like this. It is not the way they play. They have not set-up like this against anyone else.”

Arsenal were unchanged from their thrilling 4-2 win at Brighton on New Year’s Eve and started off very much on the front foot.

Captain Martin Odegaard volleyed over, while the lively Bukayo Saka went close after skinning Burn, before Granit Xhaka scuffed off target following fine work from Nketiah.

Seeking a response to a 0-0 draw with Leeds, the hardy Magpies fans saw recalled striker Callum Wilson fire straight at Aaron Ramsdale from distance and Fabian Schar head over inside the opening 20 minutes.

The rapid start quickly subsided into a more fragmented affair featuring a flurry of bookings, which enlivened the crowd and both benches.

Gabriel Magalhaes directed a looping header narrowly wide amid the frequent flashes of yellow from referee Andrew Madley, who booked eight players – and Newcastle substitute Jamaal Lascelles who never even made it on to the pitch.

Eddie Howe’s side almost snatched a half-time lead in added time but Joelinton was unable to direct his far-post header on target after Schar flicked on Kieran Trippier’s inswinging corner.

Home goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale almost gifted Newcastle a goal immediately after the interval when he carelessly surrendered possession inside his own area, but Wilson couldn't quite reach Kieran Trippier's ensuing cross.

Arsenal dominated after that narrow escape without being able to land the knockout blow.

Gabriel Martinelli went close with a header that looped narrowly wide from Odegaard's corner.

Nketiah had an even better chance in the 88th minute but Pope kept out the striker's low strike with his leg to ensure the points were shared.

“I thought we were resilient, dogged, brilliantly defending all areas of the pitch collectively. We managed the game well, a lot to like — maybe not with the ball but they are a top team,” said Magpies manager Howe.

“They [Arsenal] are very good tactically, technically and in wide areas. We had to find solutions to those problems and credit to the players for managing that.

“The start was tough, we grew into the game in the middle, the end was always going to be us having to be really solid to get the point.

Updated: January 03, 2023, 10:35 PM
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