Arsenal's Arsene Wenger blames Newcastle defeat on fatigue from Moscow trip

Newcastle player Ayoze Perez is congratulated after scoring his first goal during the The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Newcastle United and Luton Town at St James Park

Newcastle United 2-1 Arsenal: Magpies comeback comdemns Gunners to yet another away league loss

REFEREE: Anthony Taylor (ENG).

That is the verdict of former Premier League star turned pundit Danny Murphy.

"The Premier League has been created with people who had a progressive mind...", Wenger told reporters after Arsenal's 2-1 league defeat by Newcastle United on Sunday.

Deep down, Wenger must surely know this himself, so why go through the ordeal of seeing out the final year of his contract when there is no sign of an end to his misery on the horizon?

Newcastle player Ayoze Perez is congratulated after scoring his first goal during the The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Newcastle United and Luton Town at St James Park

Indeed, Arsenal have led away to teams such as Watford, Bournemouth and Swansea previously, and have lost all of them.

The second half was a much tighter affair but it was the Magpies who got the victor in the 68th minute when Matt Ricthie calmly slotted home from close range to seal all three points for Rafael Benítez's men.

Benitez's side have now registered four consecutive victories against Southampton, Huddersfield Town, Leicester City and Arsenal.

The 20 top-flight teams voted against introducing the system for the league's 2018-19 season after trial runs in the cup competitions received mixed reviews. Rafa, he argued, doesn't play an exciting enough brand of football for the Arsenal fans to get behind, that setting teams up to avoid defeat was his main footballing principle.

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Wenger will leave Arsenal in a better position than when he took them on over two decades ago (even if that scale has dipped massively in the past decade), but his devotion to self-reservation means that they are in danger of losing their status at Europe's top table.

It's a damning verdict for a player who is by far the most expensive defender Arsenal have ever bought.

Calum Chambers somehow managed to stick the ball wide after Mustafi headed Granit Xhaka's pass across goal following a free-kick.

Kenedy, on loan from Chelsea, came close to putting the result beyond doubt with a looping effort that hit the crossbar with Cech beaten.

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That really was the last big chance of the game as the Magpies made a decision to sit back and defend the lead that Ricthie gave them and they did it quite easily as the Gunners lacked ideas up front in the final few minutes on how they could break the hosts down.

Crowds at the Emirates Stadium have dwindled for the past four league matches, a trend which is expected to continue until the end of the season, with the Gunners' hopes of reaching the top four all but over.

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