Arsenal have landed their first Premier League win of the month with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon, taking the North London outfit back above high-flying Burnley in the league table.
The Gunners required just the one goal from Mesut Özil, notched in the 23rd minute of the first half, with the hosts managing to hold on to their slender advantage throughout.
Arsenal made minimal changes to the side that drew to West Ham United in midweek, opting instead for Alexandre Lacazette over Olivier Giroud in attack.
The adapted Ainsley Maitland-Niles, from full-back, picked up the first effort on goal after a nippy interception infield allowed him to progress into the final third and fire a shot low at Rob Elliot’s goal, as the ball found the side-netting with danger after quarter-of-an-hour played.
Arsène Wenger’s men wouldn’t need to probe much more, with Mesut Özil picking out the top corner with a well-hit first-time-volley after the Newcastle defence were unable to clear their lines, giving Arsenal a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute.
Alexis Sanchez came close to taking Arsenal a step closer to comfort with a fierce strike on the brink of half-time, skipping by Elliot’s post before the interval could come.
Control remained with the hosts into the second-half, but there was still a threat to be guarded against coming from Newcastle’s end, as Jacob Murphy forced a save from Petr Čech with a speculative effort.
In the 58th minute, Lacazette had the chance to double Arsenal’s advantage from Alex Iwobi’s through ball, with the wait for the game’s next goal increasing after the Frenchman’s over-hit chip.
The Gunners turned to Giroud to vary the play and it was off the target man’s head that Arsenal came close once more, as a nod into the path of Jack Wilshere prompted Elliot into a quick save from the midfielder’s follow-up deep inside the Newcastle area.
Joselu’s attempt at goal in the 80th minute demonstrated just how important a second goal would be, as the Spaniard’s strike, deflecting goalwards from Granit Xhaka’s block, spun just past the post and out for a corner.
Arsenal wouldn’t reach a second goal, but joy would also evade Newcastle’s grasp, as the Gunners marked their return to winning ways in the Premier League.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Starting XI: Petr Čech (6) – Héctor Bellerín (5), Laurent Koscielny (6), Nacho Monreal (6), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (6) – Jack Wilshere (7), Granit Xhaka (6) – Alex Iwobi (5), Mesut Özil (7), Alexis Sanchez (6) – Alexandre Lacazette (6)
Subs: Danny Welbeck (-), Olivier Giroud (-)