Newcastle move 13 points clear of bottom three with win over Arsenal

Newcastle move 13 points clear of bottom three with win over Arsenal

Newcastle have pulled clear of the relegation zone in recent weeks with three successive wins and they will fancy their chances this afternoon in front of a packed house at St James's Park.

Newcastle United came from a goal down to beat Arsenal 2-1 on Sunday and extend the Gunners' wretched run away from home in the Premier League.

The centre-back has been a mainstay in Newcastle's starting XI under Benitez and his impressive performances have led to British media reports linking him with a £30 million (S$56.1 million) transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

The sixth-placed Gunners are 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with only five games remaining in the race to qualify for the Champions League. They face Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.

Arsene Wenger blamed Arsenal's loss at Newcastle on fatigue following Thursday's Europa League trip to Moscow, but admitted that the manner of the defeat summed up their away form for the entire season.

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Perez levelled the scores just before the half-hour mark with his third goal in as many league games, though, after the Gunners failed to deal with a long ball from the impressive Jonjo Shelvey.

"We tried to find an opening and a winning goal but we didn't create enough in second half". Shelvey's raking pass was cushioned back by Dwight Gayle to DeAndre Yedlin, and his low cross was cleverly steered into the net at Petr Cech's near post by Perez.

Calum Chambers was unable to get on the end of a Rob Holding centre as Arsenal looked to respond, while the half ended with Ritchie hitting a shot straight at Cech.

Just to rub it in, Matt Ritchie then sealed the three points in Newcastle's favour when Islam Slimani's headed pass bobbled through to him on the edge of the Arsenal 18-yard box via a Perez flick and the midfielder obliged by clipping home the victor.

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