Arsenal were not at their best on Sunday as they slipped to third in the table as they lost to Newcastle 1-0. Andy Carroll scored the only goal of the game as he continued to stake his claim for a place in the England squad with Fabio Capello watching on. Lauren Koscielny was sent off late on for the second time since joining the club and has been banned for 2 games for his challenge on Nile Ranger. Robin Van Persie was back for the Gunners and played just over 30 minutes after coming on for Marouane Chamakh. Many big names for Arsenal were definitely not at their best.
Arsenal got the first good chance of the game 11 minutes in when they were awarded with a free kick after Coloccini had clipped Wilshere. Fabregas took the kick and it took a deflection off the ball and onto the bar.
Fabregas then had another chance to break the deadlock when Nasri slipped a ball through to the captain who tried to find the net from a tight angle but Krul in the Newcastle goal just managed to divert the ball into the side netting.
Fabregas took the corner but the ball was cleared out, only as far as Wilshere though. He then gave the ball back to Fabregas again, who then found Nasri on the edge of the box who smashed a shot towards goal but Krul dived to his left hand side to keep the ball out brilliantly one handed.
Then just before half time Newcastle grabbed a surprise lead when Joey Barton floated in a free kick from outside the box. The ball found its way onto the head of Andy Carroll who couldn't miss and found the back of the net to break the deadlock.
The score at half time was 1-0 to Newcastle.
Early into the second half Arsenal should have had their equaliser when Wilshere found Walcott inside the box only to see his shot smash against the bar and back out.
Arsenal were creating a lot of chances and Song managed to squeeze a cross into the box but the defender just got in the way of Chamakh to prevent what might have been an easy tap in for the Moroccan.
Andy Carroll then got a chance for Newcastle. He smashed a speculative left footed effort from outside the box but the shot did not trouble Fabianski and went wide for a goal kick.
Arsenal in recent weeks had failed to convert the huge amounts of chances they had had and today seemed to be the same case. Arsenal got another chance and Arshavin was allowed to get to the byline and then find a cross onto the head of Fabregas but his header was straight at Krul.
Newcastle then had a chance to kill the game off when Nile Ranger went to attempt to score with a bicycle kick but the ball went harmlessly over Fabianski's cross bar.
Then in the dying minutes of the game Laurent Koscielny was shown a straight red card when he brought down Ranger as he was charging towards goal.
The final scored ended Arsenal 0-1 Newcastle.
The teams lineups:
Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Walcott, Fabregas, Wilshere(72), Song, Nasri(55), Chamakh(57).
Subs: Szczesny, Djourou, Eboue, Rosicky, Arshavin(55), Van Persie(57), Bendtner(72).
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Jose Enrique, Gutierrez, Nolan, Tiote, Barton, Ameobi(82), Carroll.
Subs: Soderberg, Campbell, Taylor, Routledge, Smith, Lovenkrands, Ranger(82).
My man of the match: Jack Wilshere
Referee: Mike Dean