In what was a feisty affair from the Emirates on Tuesday night, Arsenal eventually had to settle for a 0-0 stalemate against top-four rivals Newcastle.
While the Gunners might have at least briefly extended their buffer at the top of the Premier League table to eight points, Mikel Arteta’s side could be feeling that they deserved to leave north London with more to show.
However, despite Eddie Nketiah spurring a wonderful chance in the final moments, Newcastle put in another rugged display away from St. James’ Park as they extended on what has been a remarkable run of form this season.
With their sights firmly set on securing a shock Champions League spot in 2023, the Magpies also underlined why they have received many plaudits for their defensive resolve.
On a night that was often an ill-disciplined affair from the capital, we have taken a look at the main talking points.
Arsenal inch further ahead
Although Arsenal might have been frustrated with not widening their advantage to double digits on Tuesday night, the Gunners will undoubtedly find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high.
While Arteta’s youngsters might have eventually missed out on a Champions League return last season, the Gunners are in the midst of what could be a famous campaign in north London this year.
Suffering just a single Premier League defeat this season and now holding a stunning eight-point buffer over defending champions Manchester City, Arsenal will now face a real psychological test during the second-half of the campaign.
Continuing to excel despite once again being without attacking talisman Gabriel Jesus, Arteta will also be hugely excited by his side’s continued success in north London.
Doing all of the late pushing on Tuesday night despite drawing their first Premier League blank of the season, the Gunners are now unbeaten in each of their previous 11 top-flight showdowns at the Emirates – a run that stems all the way back to April 9th.
Newcastle’s remarkable defensive resolve
While Arsenal might find themselves holding a shocking eight-point buffer over the chasing pack, Tuesday’s hosts are not the only Premier League outfit in the midst of a famous flurry.
Although Eddie Howe’s side might have spent the majority of last season at the heart of a relegation scrap, it is no secret that the Magpies now have a Champions League spot at the top of their agenda this year.
Once again showing real fight in north London as they will feel that a point was the least that they deserved, the former Bournemouth boss has seen his side gain a real reputation for their defensive steel on either side of the World Cup break.
While Newcastle might have had to settle for back-to-back 0-0 stalemates against Arsenal and relegation scrappers Leeds, Howe’s men have now come away from each of their previous six domestic matchups across all formats – a run that stems back to November 6th.
In fact, shipping just 11 Premier League strikes from their 18 appearances, Howe’s side have conceded three fewer goals than any other top-flight outfit this season.
All eyes fall on Stamford Bridge
At least briefly extending their buffer at the top of the Premier League table to eight points in midweek, there is no doubt that the whole Arsenal squad will be firmly watching Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.
With Manchester City left stunned at the Etihad last week as they signed off 2022 with a 1-1 draw against relegation scrappers Everton, Areta’s youngsters will be desperate for their London rivals to do them a favour.
With Chelsea welcoming the defending champions to west London in 48 hours, the Gunners will be hoping that Tuesday’s minor slip-up will not prove to be a costly one.
However, with Pep Guardiola’s side seeking an immediate response in the capital, Arsenal will be worried by Chelsea’s continued struggles under Graham Potter.
Watching Chelsea have to settle for a 1-1 draw away at Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day, the former Brighton boss has seen his side muster just a sole Premier League win from their last seven appearances.
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Odegaard, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli
Newcastle: Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Willock, Guimaraes, Longstaff, Joelinton, Wilson, Almiron
Subs: Wood, Saint-Maximin, Murphy
Yellow Cards: Arsenal: Zinchenko, Odegaard, Xhaka, Nketiah – Newcastle: Wilson, Joelinton, Almiron, Guimaraes, Lascelles
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Andy Madley