Fabricio Coloccini’s own goal handed Arsenal their second win of the Premier League season away to ten-man Newcastle on Saturday.
Newcastle had to defend in numbers without having a single shot on target after losing Aleksandar Mitrovic to a straight red card with just 16 minutes of the time being played at St. James’ Park.
Arsenal dominated throughout the encounter but another resilient defensive display – this time with too many nerves – resulted to a decent final score.
Coach Steve McClaren gave a first Premier League start to French winger Florian Thauvin.
Arsene Wenger named Theo Walcott in his starting lineup, in place of Olivier Giroud, while Laurient Koscielny replaced Callum Chamber’s and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on for Mesut Ozil, who suffered a minor knee injury in training.
The north Londoners were off to a bright start, looking to catch their opponent on the break but goalkeeper Tim Krul rushed off his line to deny Walcott as they tried to get behind the home defense.
A penalty plea went unheralded soon after; with Newcastle debutante Thauvin appearing to stand on the ankle of Hector Bellerin, but another moment of edgy football by the host did not pass unnoticed by referee Andre Marriner, who sent off striker Mitrovic for showing his stud in a challenge with Francis Coquelin.
The £13m signing from Anderlecht, who was making his fourth league appearance for Newcastle, also picked up two yellow cards in his first two games.
Mitrovic’s unexpected sending off did not dampen the Magpies’ strength on the backline, with the quartet of Daryl Janmaat, Massadio Haidara, Coloccini and Chancel Mbemba keeping the contest alive.
Walcott twice fluffed his shot when presented with chances to break the deadlock in the closing 15 minutes of the first half, first spilling Krul’s rebound of Alexis Sanchez’s long-range shot from close range, and then flashing his shot wide after the Chilean picked out his run.
After a laboured first-half showing, the traveling supporters were afforded a morale booster within seven minutes of restart, as Coloccini deflected Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot into his own net, after Krul had saved an initial Aaron Ramsey’s effort.
The Gunners could have surged two goals clear just after the hour mark, but Dutch goalkeeper Krul continued his impressive form from last week’s goalless draw at Manchester United with a flying save off Sanchez’s shot from the edge of the box.
With the numerical disadvantage proving a significant undoing in McClaren setup, Arsenal continued to knock for a second goal as second-half substitute Giroud could only fire his shot straight at Krul after Sanchez had hit a team-mate from his own effort earlier from the back-post.
French striker Giroud missed a glorious chance with the last kick of the game as it ended an unconvincing lone-goal victory for Wenger’s men.