Arsenal’s away woes in the Premier League continued on Sunday when they were beaten 2-1 by Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
Alexandre Lacazette gave Arsenal an early lead but the visitors were left stunned as first Ayoze Perez pegged them back before Matt Ritchie netted the winner to push Rafa Benitez’s side further away from the relegation zone.
The defeat means Arsenal remain the only Premier League side to not pick up a single point away from home in 2018, losing each of their last five games on the road in the competition.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger named Lacazette up front with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang supporting from the left side of the attack, while 18-year-old midfielder Joe Willock made his Premier League debut from the start.
France striker Lacazette got Arsenal off to the ideal start when he guided Aubameyang’s hooked ball across goal in at the far post for his 13th goal of the season with just 14 minutes on the clock.
Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi both spurned promising chances to double Arsneal’s lead, and that allowed Newcastle to level as the half-hour mark approached.
Jonjo Shelvey’s long ball was laid off by Dwight Gayle to DeAndre Yedlin, whose cross from the left was swept home clinically by Perez at the near post.
The Magpies then went ahead midway through the second half when, after Arsenal’s defenders failed repeatedly to clear their lines, Perez helped the ball across the edge of the box to Ritchie, who fired past Petr Cech for his third goal in his last six league games.
Newcastle midfielder Kenedy had Cech beaten with 15 minutes remaining, only for his chipped effort from close range to rebound off the crossbar, but his side held on to secure a win which all but assures them of top-flight football next season.