Search

Koscielny goal clinches unconvincing Arsenal victory over Newcastle

16:58 02 January 2016

Arsenal

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny (right) scores the opening goal against Newcastle

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsenal 1 Newcastle Utd 0

Laurent Koscielny’s second-half strike rescued Arsenal as they edged a scrappy encounter with Newcastle to stay top of the Premier League.

The Gunners defender – who has now scored three times in his last five appearances against Newcastle – struck 18 minutes from time, steering home Olivier Giroud’s knockdown from close range.

That was enough to take Arsenal two points clear of Leicester, who were held to a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth – although it was harsh on the Geordies, who deserved at least a share of the spoils.

Arsenal made the early running and might have opened the scoring in the third minute when Paul Dummett’s slip allowed Hector Bellerin to charge forward and cross for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who speared his volley wide.

The Gunners’ pace, particularly on the right-hand side, caused plenty of problems, but that initial impetus began to fade as the visitors settled into some semblance of midfield rhythm.

Newcastle started to threaten sporadically, with Petr Cech diving to parry Georginio Wijnaldum’s glancing header and reacting to save the rebound from Jack Colback.

Ayoze Perez flashed a scissor-kick wide of the angle, while Cech had to be alert to foil Wijnaldum once again after Koscielny had miscued his attempted clearance.

With the rain teeming down, the opportunities for flowing football were limited and, despite a chance for Giroud, whose shot was charged down, Arsenal could not coax a single save from Magpies goalkeeper Rob Elliot prior to the half-time whistle.

By contrast, Newcastle should have taken the lead soon after the restart as Colback’s pass split the home defence and found Wijnaldum in the clear, but Cech advanced to smother the chance.

And Arsenal’s back line was exposed again almost immediately when Perez turned back Moussa Sissoko’s cross for Aleksandar Mitrovic, who could only nudge the ball over from close range.

Elliot was finally called into action to keep out a low close-range attempt from Aaron Ramsey, but the Geordies still looked the more likely to score and went close again through a Chancel Mbemba header that flew over.

Yet the breakthrough came out of the blue – and at the other end – as Ozil’s corner was half-cleared and Giroud headed it on for Koscielny to prod past Elliot.

There were further opportunities for both sides, with Ramsey going close twice for Arsenal and Mitrovic and Wijnaldum both heading over at the other end.

And Cech underlined his worth again deep into injury time, fielding a volley from substitute Siem de Jong to ensure a winning start to 2016 for Arsenal – just.

Arsenal: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Ramsey, Flamini; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Campbell 68), Ozil, Walcott (Gibbs 81); Giroud (Chambers 89).

Latest Islington Sports News

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Skipper Dawid Malan struck an unbeaten half-century to lead Middlesex to a thrilling victory over Somerset in a rain-reduced T20 clash at Lord’s.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Jordan Nobbs, Arsenal Ladies

Jordan Nobbs says Arsenal Ladies must replicate their performance level from last month’s Wembley success to get their league campaign back on track.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins

It’s a shame Chris Gayle won’t be coming to Lord’s when we take on Somerset – in a way it would have been fun to play against him.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Islington BC's gold medal winners at the Haringey Box Cup, left to right: Amy Broadhurst, Lamin Conteh and Amy Andrew. Pic: Dieter Perry

A trio of Islington BC fighters maintained the club’s excellent record in the Haringey Box Cup with three gold medals at Alexandra Palace.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
George Bailey batting for Australia

Middlesex coach Richard Scott is predicting a “seamless transition” when George Bailey replaces Brendon McCullum as the club’s overseas player next week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Shotokan Karate London students recorded a 100 per cent pass rate with their gradings

Shotokan Karate London celebrated a 100 per cent pass rate as a total of 23 students successfully navigated their grading examinations.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Access2Sports U16 players Jason Prince (left) and Rio Murray-Webster in action

Rio Murray dominated the closing stages to ensure that Access2Sports defeated Kensington & Chelsea Knights 70-29 and clinched a place in the Community Basketball League Under-16 play-off final.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Islington sprinter Shania Umah with one of her medals at the London Schools Championships

Sprinter Shania Umah was Islington’s star performer as she collected two medals in the London Schools Championships at Battersea Park.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe