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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 21:41 GMT
Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle
By Phil McNulty

Emmanuel Adebayor
Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates his goal for Arsenal against Newcastle
Arsenal returned to the Premier League summit - for 24 hours at least - with an easy win over dismal Newcastle.

Kevin Keegan remains without a goal in three games since his return as boss, and Newcastle were never in contention.

Emmanuel Adebayor headed in Mathieu Flamini's cross to put Arsenal ahead five minutes before half-time.

Flamini added a brilliant 25-yard drive after 72 minutes and substitute Nicklas Bendtner played in Cesc Fabregas for a simple third eight minutes later.


Newcastle's new executive director Dennis Wise watched from the stands after his surprise move from Leeds - and he would have been unimpressed with the fare on offer.

Arsenal moved the ball around with embarrassing ease and should have had more than a one-goal advantage at the interval.

Newcastle keeper Shay Given needed to improvise a back-heel when he was played into trouble by Steven Taylor as Adebayor closed in.

Flamini then crossed for the Togo striker, who volleyed wildly over, but the pair combined to devastating effect as Arsenal took the lead five minutes before half-time.

Adebayor was on the end of Flamini's perfect cross and powered a downward header beyond Given.

Newcastle threw on Joey Barton - back in action for the first time since before Christmas - after 55 minutes as Keegan's side mounted more resistance.

But they were stunned by a magnificent strike from Flamini that sealed the points.

There was barely an opening as Flamini collected the ball, but he sent a magnificent rising, angled drive high beyond Given into the top corner.

And with Newcastle in disarray, it was no surprise when Fabregas added a third with 10 minutes left.

Newcastle appealed for offside as Gael Clichy's long ball found substitute Bendtner, who played in Fabregas for an unstoppable finish.

Keegan's side almost had the scant consolation of the first goal of the new Keegan era, but Nicky Butt's 20-yard free-kick bounced off the bar to safety.

  • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:
    "Emmanuel Adebayor has many assets for a striker - he is mobile, he is tall and has quick feet.

    "He can score with his feet, in the air, on crosses with headers. He is a generous type of player, he works for the team.

    "He is striker who you dream to have."

  • Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan:
    "If we got points for being genuine, we would have got something - we gave it everything but just didn't have enough quality at times.

    "Arsenal have the confidence that we lack at the moment, but there were things to take from the game.

    "We will create more in time with the players we have but it's not happening at the moment.

    "Some of these players aren't used to getting beaten. We have guys who are used to winning things and they need picking up. We have to get a win from somewhere and hopefully it will be against Middlesbrough on Sunday."

    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy, Diaby (Silva 77), Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb, Adebayor (Walcott 82), Eduardo (Bendtner 71).
    Subs Not Used: Lehmann, Justin Hoyte.

    Booked: Hleb.

    Goals: Adebayor 40, Flamini 72, Fabregas 80.

    Newcastle: Given, Carr, Taylor, Cacapa, N'Zogbia, Milner (Ameobi 73), Butt, Rozehnal (Barton 57), Duff, Smith, Owen.
    Subs Not Used: Harper, Edgar, LuaLua.

    Booked: N'Zogbia, Owen, Cacapa.

    Att: 60,127

    Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor 8.15 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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