•      Wed Jun 19 2024
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Arsenal beats Newcastle United, Keep hopes for league title



NEWCASTLE, England, May 7 (AP) — Arsenal kept the pressure on Manchester City in the Premier League title race by beating Newcastle 2-0 in a huge test of its credentials on Sunday.

Martin Odegaard’s first-half strike and Fabian Schar’s own-goal, combined with some breathtaking saves by Aaron Ramsdale, saw Arsenal come through the toughest of its final four games with a rare win for a visiting team at St. James’ Park.

Arsenal moved back to one point behind City, which has a game in hand but some potentially tricky matches to finish the season as Pep Guardiola’s team goes for a third straight title.

Odegaard slammed home a low shot from outside the area to give Arsenal the lead in the 14th minute against the run of play, with third-place Newcastle having already struck the post through Jacob Murphy and had the awarding of a penalty overturned after a VAR check.

Before Schar’s own-goal in the 71st, Ramsdale saved brilliantly off Joe Willock and Schar from point-blank range while Alexander Isak headed against the post as Newcastle piled forward in waves.

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The second goal changed the atmosphere and Arsenal ultimately eased home to become just the second visiting team — after Liverpool — to win at St. James’ Park this season.

Arsenal was not without its own chances in a breathless match, with Gabriel Martinelli – whose cross was deflected in by Schar for the second goal – curling against the crossbar and Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope saving well in one-on-one situations with Bukayo Saka and Odegaard.

Arsenal’s remaining matches are at home to Brighton, at Nottingham Forest and at home to Wolverhampton. City’s are more difficult on paper — away to Everton, at home to Chelsea, then trips to Brighton and Brentford.

Arsenal is bidding for its first league title since 2004.

Newcastle stayed three points ahead of fifth-place Liverpool and has played one game less in the race for Champions League qualification.