Gunners slip up

Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce breathes a sigh of relief as his team snatch a point.

    How the Geordies love a Geordie: Newcastle United's Steven Taylor soaks up scoring [AFP]

    Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has seen defender Steven Taylor take some of the pressure off his management role as he scored midway through the second half to earn a 1-1 draw with Premier League leaders Arsenal.

    Taylor equalised in the 60th after taking a cross from Alan Smith.

    Emmanuel Adebayor put Arsenal ahead in the fourth minute with a volley after showing a superb touch to control a cross from Emmanuel Eboue.

    However, while many predicted the floodgate sto then open, Newcastle responded positively as Cameroon midfielder Geremi put a header wide.

    In the 33rd, Taylor fired his first warning shot as he had a header saved by goalkeeper Manuel Almunia.

    Despite heavy Arsenal pressure late in the second half, Newcastle held out for the draw, which ended a two-game league losing streak.

    The draw also offers some respite to beleaguered manager Sam Allarcyce.

    "I think tonight showed everyone is 100 percent behind everything we're doing," Smith said.

    "We need everyone together and we showed that tonight. With commitment like that we can only go forward."

    The result gave Arsenal 37 points atop the Premier League, leading Manchester United by four points.

    Newcastle remains 11th with 19 points, but they are still searching for their first league win since October 22.

    "I think we've lost the last two home games poorly, and it was difficult to take for us all," said Allardyce, whose team lost 3-1 to Blackburn on Saturday.

    "I didn't want to see confidence ebb away. I then saw a performance at Blackburn, but not a result. Tonight I've seen a performance and a result."

    The match was Arsenal's game in hand over their title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea and manager Arsene Wenger said his side let victory, and a chance to extend its lead, slip.

    "I would say, yes, but I must concede as well that overall Newcastle maybe deserved a point because they battled very hard. They did fight for 90 minutes for every ball," Wenger said.

    "We feel we didn't create enough going forward.

    "They slowly destroyed our game and we let them do it. My team gave absolutely everything tonight and they are frustrated, but I can, as well, not say that a point is a shame."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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