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Arsenal showed no sign of raising the white flag in the Premier League title race with a 2-0 victory at Newcastle United.
Arsenal players celebrate

Arsenal players celebrate Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Arsenal showed no sign of raising the white flag in the Premier League title race with a 2-0 victory at Newcastle United to close the gap on leaders Manchester City to one point.

Defeat would have left Arsenal's hopes of a first title since 2004 hanging by a thread but Martin Odegaard's brilliant strike and a Fabian Schar own goal sealed a vital victory.

Newcastle, bidding to cement third place and take a big step towards a top-four finish, dominated early on but Odegaard's sweet strike after 14 minutes gave the visitors the lead.

Schar then inadvertently turned in Gabriel Martinelli's cross with 20 minutes remaining.

City, who have won 10 straight games to catch and then overhaul Arsenal, have 82 points from 34 games with the Gunners on 81 having played a game more.

Newcastle stay third on 65, two points ahead of Manchester United who were beaten 1-0 at West Ham.

If ever there was a test of the resolve of Mikel Arteta's Arsenal team it was a trip to St James's Park to face a Newcastle side on a roll in their quest to return to the Champions League after an absence of two decades.

They also had the bitter memory of a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle a year ago that scuppered their top-four hopes.

But this Arsenal side, despite the recent wobbles that have cost them top spot, are made of much sterner stuff.

"The message (to City) is we'll go as hard as we can for three games and we will be pushing and if City slip up we will be there to pick up the pieces," keeper Aaron Ramsdale said.

Meanwhile a howler by Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea gifted West Ham United three vital points in their battle against relegation as the Londoners snatched a 1-0 win at the London Stadium.

United are fourth on 63 points after 34 games, one ahead of Liverpool and with a game in hand over the Merseysiders, while West Ham are 15th on 37 points, seven ahead of third-from-bottom Nottingham Forest.

The visitors enjoyed the better chances in the opening half but they went behind when De Gea somehow failed to keep out a tame bouncing shot from Said Benrahma that nestled in the bottom corner, despite the Spaniard getting a strong hand to it.

United were lucky not to concede a penalty when Victor Lindelof moved his arm into the path of a ball across the box from Benrahma, but the VAR decided not to award a penalty as the first half came to a close.

De Gea redeemed himself somewhat early in the second half with a superb reaction save to deny Tomas Soucek, but he looked shaky again as Soucek scored with a header in the 73rd minute, only to see the goal chalked off for offside.

Marcus Rashford and substitute Anthony Martial both forced saves from Lukasz Fabianski late in the second half but despite 10 minutes of stoppage time United could not fashion a goal and they slumped to their second league defeat in a row.

-Reuters

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