Arsenal edged to a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at the Emirates on Saturday thanks to a scrappy goal from Laurent Koscielny.
After a busy festive period, the Gunners looked somewhat insipid for most of the game, but were able to grab a goal to snatch a vital three points.
Steve McClaren’s men will be left ruing a couple of crucial misses, particularly two one-on-one chances either side of halftime. For their part, Arsenal will once again be grateful to Petr Cech, who made several vital saves to help Arsene Wenger’s team to their clean sheet.
Arsenal have begun 2016 with a welcome victory, and extended their lead at the top of the Premier League in the process.
Although Koscielny will doubtless be hailed as the hero for breaking the deadlock, Cech’s contribution should not be forgotten. He made two point-blank saves, one either side of half-time, to prevent the Gunners falling behind. Once again, the former Chelsea man underlined his importance to the team — and added another Premier League clean sheet, too.
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