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Winners & Losers

Arsenal's need for January signings is still clear: Winners, losers and ratings as Newcastle frustrate table-topping Gunners

22:19 GMT 03/01/2023
Martin Odegaard Arsenal 2022-23
Mikel Arteta's side couldn't break down the visitors at the Emirates Stadium, with their lack of attacking alternatives on the bench laid bare

Arsenal missed out on the chance to open up a 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League after being held to a 0-0 draw by a resolute Newcastle team.

Mikel Arteta's side, who had won all seven of their home league games prior to Tuesday's clash, shaded what was a tight contest but were unable to find their way through a defence that has now kept five clean sheets in a row in all competitions.

Gabriel Martinelli went close with one header that flashed just past the back post and Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka also saw efforts denied. And, with three minutes remaining, Eddie Nketiah had a low drive kept out by the legs of Nick Pope as Arsenal desperately searched for a winner.

But Newcastle, who have lost just once in the league all season, demonstrated once again how far they have come under Eddie Howe as they held firm under plenty of pressure.

The draw moves Arsenal eight points clear at the top of the table ahead of Manchester City's trip to Chelsea on Thursday, but the leaders will certainly see this an opportunity missed ahead of their next two games against Tottenham and Manchester United.

GOAL breaks down all the winners and losers from the Emirates Stadium...

  • Mykhailo Mudryk Shakhtar Donetsk 2022-23

    The Winners

    Shakhtar Donetsk

    The Ukrainian side will probably be looking forward to Arsenal's next phone call after this game. So far, they have held firm when it comes to their valuation of Mykhaylo Mudryk and this scoreline will do little to weaken their resistance. This was not a poor performance from Arsenal by any means. They played well and were the better side against an impressively strong Newcastle outfit, but the lack of attacking options on the bench were very apparent as the game wore on. The fact that Mikel Arteta made just one change, a like for like replacement at right-back, said it all. There's no doubt Arsenal need at least one more attacker during the January window and Mudryk is the man they really want. Despite that, Shakhtar have made it clear during prolonged negotiations that they want big money for the 21-year-old, and this goalless stalemate will only strengthen their hand as talks continue.

    Gabriel Magalhaes

    There were several excellent performances from defenders on both sides, but none better than the one Gabriel Magalhaes produced. Up against Callum Wilson and then Chris Wood, Gabriel barely put a foot wrong during an extremely physical encounter. He stood up to everything that was thrown at him and you could see he was enjoying the battle.

    The chasing pack

    A win for Arsenal tonight would have sent them 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League, for two days at the very least. Obviously, there is still plenty of time to go, but Manchester City, Newcastle and even Manchester United will be delighted to have seen the the Gunners' momentum halted slightly just as they were threatening to really break away from the chasing pack.

  • Andy Madley 2022-23

    The Losers

    Any Arsenal fans' hopes of a title procession

    If there really were any Arsenal fans out there who were starting to believe that their side was going to steamroll their way towards the title, then this was a little bit of a reality check. The prospect of a 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League was an enticing one, but Arsenal were reminded by Newcastle that there is still an awful long way to go this season. All the talk has centred around a battle between the Gunners and Manchester City at the top of the table, but this is far from a two-horse race. Newcastle have now gone to Old Trafford, Tottenham and Arsenal this season and have remained unbeaten at all three. Eddie Howe's side look like a proper team and do not look they are going anywhere, while an in-form Manchester United side also look like they shouldn't be ignored. It's been a fabulous start to the season from Arsenal, but there is a long, long way to go.

    Andy Madley

    This was horrible performance from the referee. Madley lost control of the game in the final 20 minutes of the first half and never looked like being able to get it back. Both teams worked out that they could bully him into decisions and the game became scrappy as a result. It certainly suited Newcastle more, and Arsenal became frustrated as a result. Madley really should have got a grip on things, especially the visitors' blatant time wasting, but instead he let them get away with it - much to the frustration of the Arsenal fans inside the stadium and a clearly enraged Arteta on the touchline.

  • Ben White Arsenal 2022-23

    Arsenal Ratings: Defence

    Aaron Ramsdale (6/10):

    Barely had a thing to do. Looked nervy with the ball at his feet at times.

    Ben White (7/10):

    Looked to bomb forward whenever he could. Strong performance.

    William Saliba (7/10):

    Looked far sharper than he did against Brighton.

    Gabriel Magalhaes (8/10):

    Defended on the front foot, sent one header just wide.

    Oleksandr Zinchenko (6/10):

    Bit sloppy in possession at times.

  • Thomas Partey Arsenal 2022-23


    Thomas Partey (8/10):

    Another fine performance from a player who is at the top of his game.

    Granit Xhaka (7/10):

    Looked dangerous when he got forward.

    Martin Odegaard (7/10):

    Got into some good positions, but couldn't quite take advantage.

  • Bukayo Saka Arsenal 2022-23


    Bukayo Saka (6/10):

    Saw plenty of the ball, but Newcastle handled him well.

    Eddie Nketiah (8/10):

    Excellent. Worked tirelessly and held the ball up really well.

    Gabriel Martinelli (7/10):

    Hugged the touchline all night as he looked to stretch Newcastle. Always a threat.

  • Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Takehiro Tomiyasu (5/10):

    Brought on to add some height defensively late on.

    Mikel Arteta (7/10):

    Was clearly frustrated by Newcastle's tactics. Had nothing on the bench to really change things.