Newcastle United frustrated Premier League leaders Arsenal to earn a point with a dogged display at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal were hoping to extend their lead at the top of the table to 10 points but found themselves drawn into an attritional and dogged encounter by a Newcastle Untied side with top four ambitions of their own.
Chances were at a premium and Newcastle’s Joelinton arguably wasted the best of all when he headed wide with the goal at his mercy in first-half stoppage time.
Arsenal went close through defender Gabriel and forward Gabriel Martinelli, who both sent headers narrowly off target, while Newcastle keeper Nick Pope made a crucial late save with his legs from Eddie Nketiah.
The Gunners also appeared to have a clear penalty claim rejected when Gabriel was hauled back by Dan Burn.
The game descended into a scrappy affair with seven yellow cards and the deadlock remained unbroken, with Arsenal’s lead now eight points despite being held at home.
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Arteta left disappointed
It may only be early January but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s frantic touchline behaviour perhaps gave an insight into the growing expectations surrounding the Gunners after their superb season so far.
Arteta was on the edge of his technical area for so much of the night right until the end, confronting fourth official Jarred Gillett when only five minutes were added on at the end then moving towards opposite number Eddie Howe after late penalty appeals were rejected before being ushered away.
It certainly did not give off an air of calm when one was needed as Newcastle’s determined defensive approach and desire to drag Arsenal into a dogfight led to frustration all round.
When Arteta calms down he can still assess a job being well done but this was a night when his Arsenal team ran into a formidable barrier in the shape of Newcastle, their work deteriorating after a bright start, although they still nearly snatched it at the end through Nketiah.
Arsenal still have that eight-point lead, although Manchester City have a game in hand.
It was never going to be all plain sailing for the Gunners and this was one of those occasions, the demeanour of Arteta reflecting what Newcastle will regard as a highly satisfactory outcome.
Newcastle demonstrate progress
Newcastle’s run into the top four ran into resistance against Leeds United at St James’ Park but showed they can dig deep themselves as they battled to earn a crucial point at Arsenal.
Manager Eddie Howe will be delighted with both the performance and the result, although he will know it might have been even better had Joelinton converted a relatively simple headed opportunity.
This will be a minor complaint overall as Newcastle showed they were prepared to fight for everything, over-zealously in the eyes of some Arsenal fans, but they will not care and nor will the Toon Army, who noisily celebrated the point at the final whistle.
Newcastle were well organised, tried to threaten when they could and reaffirmed the huge improvement they have made under Howe and with the influx of cash from their Saudi Arabian owners.
The top four was a pipe dream at the start of the season but Newcastle are genuinely in that conversation now and showed why as they earned what could be a vital draw.
Player of the match
with an average of 7.36
Squad number7Player nameSaka
Squad number8Player nameØdegaard
Squad number11Player nameGabriel Martinelli
Squad number5Player namePartey
Squad number4Player nameWhite
Squad number12Player nameSaliba
Squad number35Player nameZinchenko
Squad number14Player nameNketiah
Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães
Squad number34Player nameXhaka
Squad number1Player nameRamsdale
Squad number18Player nameTomiyasu
Squad number2Player nameTrippier
Squad number22Player namePope
Squad number4Player nameBotman
Squad number5Player nameSchär
Squad number33Player nameBurn
Squad number24Player nameAlmirón
Squad number7Player nameJoelinton
Squad number39Player nameBruno Guimarães
Squad number9Player nameWilson
Squad number28Player nameWillock
Squad number10Player nameSaint-Maximin
Squad number20Player nameWood
Squad number23Player nameMurphy
Squad number36Player nameS Longstaff
- 4WhiteSubstituted forTomiyasuat 76′minutes
- 35ZinchenkoBooked at 90mins
- 8ØdegaardBooked at 40mins
- 34XhakaBooked at 42mins
- 14NketiahBooked at 32mins
- 21Fábio Vieira
- 23Sambi Lokonga
- 36S Longstaff
- 39Bruno GuimarãesBooked at 27mins
- 28WillockSubstituted forSaint-Maximinat 87′minutes
- 24AlmirónBooked at 59minsSubstituted forMurphyat 68′minutes
- 9WilsonBooked at 28minsSubstituted forWoodat 68′minutes
- 7JoelintonBooked at 58mins
- Andy Madley
Match ends, Arsenal 0, Newcastle United 0.
Second Half ends, Arsenal 0, Newcastle United 0.
Attempt missed. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Nick Pope.
Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Bukayo Saka.
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United).
Attempt saved. Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Granit Xhaka.
Thomas Partey (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Joelinton (Newcastle United).
Attempt saved. Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Allan Saint-Maximin replaces Joe Willock because of an injury.
Delay in match because of an injury Joe Willock (Newcastle United).
Attempt missed. Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.
Attempt blocked. Thomas Partey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bukayo Saka.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Gabriel Martinelli.
Attempt missed. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Martin Ødegaard with a cross following a corner.
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