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Arsenal hammer Newcastle to keep title pressure on Liverpool, Man City

Arsenal’s free-scoring Premier League form continued as Newcastle were blown away 4-1 at the Emirates on Saturday to move back within two points of leaders…

Arsenal’s free-scoring Premier League form continued as Newcastle were blown away 4-1 at the Emirates on Saturday to move back within two points of leaders Liverpool.

Mikel Arteta’s men stumbled to a 1-0 Champions League defeat at Porto in midweek, but were quickly back on the horse domestically to take their tally to 25 goals in six consecutive Premier League wins.

Arsenal’s prowess from set-pieces forced an own goal from Sven Botman before Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka and Jakub Kiwior from another corner killed off Newcastle.

“We continued in the same way, we maintained our rhythm and it was a joy to watch the team play,” said Arteta.

“The boys were really good, really aggressive and we deserved to win the game.”

The Gunners are aiming to win a first league title in 20 years and keen to make amends for faltering down the final straight last season as Manchester City stormed clear on their way to win the treble.

Arsenal are the side in red hot form but remain in third, one point behind second-placed City, with the title race fascinatingly poised 12 games from the end of the season.

Defeat is another blow to Newcastle’s aspiration of European football next season.

Eddie Howe’s men were outclassed to remain down in eighth, 15 points adrift of the top four, and have now conceded 23 goals in their last eight league games.

“We were off in most aspects of our game. We didn’t do the basics right,” said Howe.

“Sometimes away from home you have those spells in the game and you have to weather the storm. Unfortunately we didn’t do that and we conceded some bad goals.”

Howe was forced into handing goalkeeper Loris Karius just his second appearance since joining Newcastle in 2022.

Karius was unfortunate for the opening goal as he parried Gabriel Magalhaes’ powerful header, but the ball ricocheted back off Botman and crept over the line.

Arsenal have now scored 19 times from set-pieces in the Premier League this season.

If there was a hint of fortune about the opener, the hosts’ second was a thing of beauty.

Jorginho’s ball over the top picked out the run of Gabriel Martinelli, who turned the ball perfectly into the path of Havertz for his eighth goal of the season.

Saka has now scored seven times in the last five Premier League games and only a fine save from Karius at his near post delayed the England international continuing his scoring streak before half-time.

Havertz should have sealed the three points within two minutes of the second half when he dragged a shot wide after Martinelli’s pass played him clean through on goal.

But the German international was involved for the third goal as from his pass, Saka jinked inside and fired into the far corner for his 16th goal of the season.

Set-piece coach Nicolas Jover has been credited with Arsenal’s lethal threat from dead balls.

The Frenchman had more cause to celebrate 21 minutes from time when Kiwior’s header from Declan Rice’s corner deflected in off Lewis Miley.

Newcastle did at least muster a consolation five minutes from time when former Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock looped in a header off the post.

But that did little to spoil Arsenal’s Saturday night party as they made another statement to Liverpool and City that they will not crumble under the pressure of a title race like they did 12 months ago.