Arsenal prepared for their Europa League showdown against Villarreal with a confidence-boosting win away to Newcastle at St James’ Park.
Mohamed Elneny scored his first Premier League goal for the Gunners, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – on his first start since 3 April having recovered from malaria – secured the points in the second half.
Arsenal trail 2-1 after the away leg of their semi-final tie with Villarreal and victory in the north east of England was their first in four games.
The Magpies had an excellent April to distance themselves from the bottom three but they struggled to impose themselves on Sunday.
Steve Bruce’s side, who lost Fabian Schar to a straight red card after a late challenge on Gabriel Martinelli, remain nine points above the relegation zone with four games remaining.
Arsenal, who host Villarreal on Thursday, move back above Aston Villa into ninth place in the table.
The perfect time to play Newcastle?
Arsenal travelled to Newcastle in need of victory after what manager Mikel Arteta described as a bad week of results before kick-off.
A disappointing draw against relegation-threatened Fulham was followed by defeats at Everton and Villarreal.
But with morale low, the trip to St James’ Park came at the perfect moment.
The Gunners had won their previous six games against the Magpies, keeping five clean sheets in the process, and they got off to an impressive start.
Elneny was the beneficiary when Aubameyang mistimed his shot, to open his league account on his 66th appearance.
Granit Xhaka also forced Martin Dubravka into an smart save in the first half, before Aubameyang marked his return to the side with an acrobatic finish after Martinelli’s pin-point cross.
The Gunners’ season now rests on whether they can overturn the deficit against Villarreal to reach a second European final in three years.
More to follow.
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- 18FernándezBooked at 62minsSubstituted forSchärat 72′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 2ClarkSubstituted forGayleat 84′minutes
- 36S Longstaff
- 24AlmirónBooked at 31minsSubstituted forJoelintonat 73′minutes
- 4M Longstaff
- 23David LuizSubstituted forChambersat 53′minutes
- 34XhakaBooked at 20mins
- 11ØdegaardSubstituted forParteyat 85′minutes
- 14AubameyangSubstituted forPépéat 78′minutes
- 17Cédric Soares
- 32Smith Rowe
Match ends, Newcastle United 0, Arsenal 2.
Second Half ends, Newcastle United 0, Arsenal 2.
Fabian Schär (Newcastle United) is shown the red card.
Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Fabian Schär (Newcastle United).
Substitution, Arsenal. Thomas Partey replaces Martin Ødegaard.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Dwight Gayle replaces Ciaran Clark.
Attempt missed. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Sean Longstaff.
Offside, Newcastle United. Jonjo Shelvey tries a through ball, but Callum Wilson is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joelinton.
Foul by Dani Ceballos (Arsenal).
Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Arsenal. Nicolas Pépé replaces Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Joelinton replaces Miguel Almirón.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Fabian Schär replaces Federico Fernández.
Attempt missed. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Federico Fernández.
Attempt blocked. Héctor Bellerín (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Martin Ødegaard.
Foul by Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal).
Jacob Murphy (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the right wing.