A quick-fire brace from Olivier Giroud in the first half sealed all three points for Arsenal in what was very much a game of two halves.

Arsenal dominated the first 45 and were rewarded when Olivier Giroud netted his seventh goal in six games after 24 minutes before grabbing his eighth just four minutes later.

Going into the break it seemed as if this would be a routine win for the Gunners but Newcastle came flying out in the second and quickly got themselves on the scoresheet.

Arsenal were rocked and as fatigue from their midweek exertions started to bite, Newcastle were able to exert more pressure and test the Gunners defence which, for the most part, stood strong.

A number of good saves from David Ospina, including one superb reaction save from close range made sure that Arsenal continued their second-place chase but Newcastle can certainly feel unlucky to lose the game to two setpieces.

Then again, in seasons gone by this would have been just the type of game in which Arsenal would have dropped points but with the help of two defensive substitutions in the second half, Mathieu Flamini and Hector Bellerin both being introduced for Santi Cazorla and Danny Welbeck as well as Tomas Rosicky replacing Alexis Sanchez, they were able to hold on to what they had carved out for themselves in the first.

It was far from pretty, especially in the second half, but they got the win despite being knackered and overrun in the second half.

To the international break we go….