Newcastle beats Arsenal, virtually assures Premier League status

Jamaal Lascelles' sole focus is improving his game says boss Rafael Benitez

Jamaal Lascelles' sole focus is improving his game says boss Rafael Benitez

Newcastle's fourth successive win ended Arsenal's unbeaten run of seven games in all competitions.

Benitez is fully deserving of his place in the upper half of the Premier League, and when taking into account Newcastle's off-field struggles this season, his ability to maintain their charge warrants more praise.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says the Premier League's decision not to implement VAR next season is a "very, very bad decision" that could cost them a generation of fans.

Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were among the Arsenal players rested after completing its defeat of CSKA Moscow in Europa League play on Thursday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, playing for the first time together, had linked up for Arsenal's opener in the 14th minute.

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Arsenal had a couple of half chances, with both Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi unable to beat Martin Dubravka in the Toon goal.

Ritchie tested Cech before 18-year-old Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock's poor finish wasted an opportunity to mark his Premier League debut with a goal. "Still feel you're capable of finishing above Burnley", - Match of the Day host and former Tottenham striker Gary Lineker fired over a sarcastic tweet as his former rivals sit sixth in the table and just two points above the Clarets.

Referee Anthony Taylor awarded a corner rather than a spot-kick and Newcastle levelled the scores just 12 minutes later through Ayoze Perez.

Ritchie put Newcastle ahead in the 69th minute, with substitute Islam Slimani winning a header that Perez nudged to the Scot.

They might have extended their lead further with a quarter of an hour left when Kenedy's shot looped up off Mustafi and hit the crossbar, but had to withstand a late assault to prevail.

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