Eddie Howe has lamented the ‘fine margin’s after Newcastle’s hopes of Champions League football suffered a blow with defeat to Arsenal.
Newcastle were beaten at home for just the second time this season as the Gunners maintained their push for the Premier League title with a 2-0 win at St James’ Park.
Martin Odegaard opened the scoring with a low effort from distance, before Fabian Schar inadvertently diverted Gabriel Martinelli’s cross into his own goal to condemn Newcastle to defeat.
Newcastle had been unfortunate not to lead after a strong start that saw a penalty for the Magpies overturned by VAR and Jacob Murphy hit the post. Schar also forced an excellent save from Aaron Ramsdale with the score at 1-0 and Howe admits his side came out on the ‘wrong side’ of the game’s fine margins.
“Fine margins for us today and we just came out on the wrong side of them,” Howe told Sky Sports. ”We missed some big chances in the game and it just wasn’t quite there for us. I am sure I will look back at some moments and rue some moments we didn’t get quite right.
“If Jacob’s [Murphy] chance goes in early on it is a totally different game. There are loads of things we will look back on and think it could have gone our way and didn’t. We have to take ownership of that. We are disappointed as I don’t think we defended as well as we have done for the majority of the season. But we gave everything. It was a high-level game and two teams going right at each other. That produced a good spectacle.
“There were loads of chances there and we didn’t put the ball in the net. We have done in our previous run of games. We didn’t keep the ball well enough and were a bit loose in possession. When you give Arsenal transitions they are a very dangerous team and so it proved.
“The result would tell you they did [imposed their style on the game], but in truth I think neither were dominant. It was to that bit of quality to win it. It hinged on big moments.
“We have four games remaining and need three results. Liverpool and other teams are coming. They are top level. We can only do what we can do and I believe in the character of the team to get it over the line.”
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