Mesut Ozil scored the only goal of the game to hand Arsenal all three points against Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Arsenal 1 Newcastle United 0
Ozil on target on 23′
Arsenal dominated this match but were only able to break down Newcastle on one occasion, with Ozil on target with an exceptional volley.
Arsenal were first to register an attempt through Alexandre Lacazette, who played a neat one-two with Alex Iwobi before forcing a good low save from Robbie Elliot.
Jamal Lascelles got a header on target for Newcastle that Petr Cech saved at his near-post before Deandre Yedlin blasted well over from the resultant corner.
Hector Bellerin had a shot blocked on eight minutes as he reacted quickest to a deflected Lacazette shot ahead of an Alexis Sanchez chance that he fired over after some good approach play from Bellerin, Mesut Ozil and Lacazette.
After a period of subdued play, Arsenal took the lead, with 23 minutes played, as a deflected Sanchez effort looped up perfectly for Ozil to fire an unstoppable left-footed volley past Elliot in the Newcastle goal.
Ozil then flashed off target from a Sanchez ball that arrived at the goalscorer via Bellerin.
Granit Xhaka was next to miss on the half-hour mark before Florian Lejeune turned a good Lacazette chip around a post.
Arsenal remained on top until the half-time break, with the last piece of action, a Sanchez effort that wasn’t too far off target.
Christian Atsu deflected a Sanchez effort inches wide at the start of the second half before Iwobi so nearly danced his way through to a goal, only to be stopped by Elliot as the ball just got away from him inside the six-yard area.
Lacazette did well to create space for a shot for himself to the right of goal moments later, but after turning Lascelles, he blasted well over.
Matt Ritchie curled over at the other end when he had more time to pick his spot, with 55 minutes on the clock, while Cech had to get down low to palm away a Jacob Murphy effort as he was allowed to cut across the 18-yard area and shoot unchallenged.
Lacazette wasted a really good chance to double Arsenal’s lead with a chipped effort when through on goal as Iwobi missed with a 61st minute overhead kick before firing tamely at Elliot.
Olivier Giroud came on with 72 minutes played and almost immediately set up a second goal for Arsenal with a knocked-down header that Jack Wilshere smashed into the onrushing Elliot, who did well to cover the target.
Newcastle then may well have stolen a point late on as Joselu’s strike took a big deflection off of Laurent Koscielny before rolling just past the left-hand upright.
And there remained some nervy moments for Arsenal as the visitors saw a lot of the ball in the dying moments. Nacho Monreal did well to clear a dangerous Lascelles cross from the right, as Ayoze Perez headed a good chance from a Ritchie ball, away from the Gunners’ goal.
But ultimately, Arsene Wenger’s side were able to see out the game, and claim a slender 1-0 victory, to stay amongst the Premier League chasing pack.
The boss was asked about @JackWilshere’s performance…
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 16, 2017