Newcastle United drop down to eighth in the table as Olivier Giroud grabs the winner for Arsenal FC at St James’ Park.
This was their first loss at home in the league since the 2-3 defeat against Hull City back in September, but one which has ended the year on a relatively bitter note as Alan Pardew’s men were building up good momentum and went into this game high on confidence.
Both Arsenal and Newcastle cancelled each other out in what seemed like a tactical battle on the pitch with neither of the side prepared to take the extra risk in attack. But the Gunners took the lead as Olivier Giroud headed home from fairly innocuous free-kick , which proved to be the winner. The home side did put a lot of pressure on the Arsenal defence at the end, but it was too little too late as they failed to break through. Newcastle will be disappointed about the fact that they managed only three shots on target in the whole match.
Alan Pardew expressed his frustration at some of the refereeing decisions that went against his side and felt his side deserved more out of this game.
“There was definitely a foul before then on [Vurnon] Anita, without a shadow of a doubt; there was a foul on [Moussa] Sissoko that he [referee Lee Probert] didn’t give.
“In terms of the breaks of the decisions, I don’t want to say the referee had a poor game, but sometimes he sees those calls and they go your way, sometimes they don’t.
“Against Stoke, we had all the calls go our way and today, perhaps we were on the other side of it.
“It’s just frustrating, a little bit, that we have not got something on the scoreboard in terms of a point, no more than that.
“One set-play where we didn’t defend well has cost us and we have been good at them all year.” – The Newcastle United manager said.