The phrase 'a game of two halves' have never been more apt as Newcastle snatched a draw with Arsenal in a pulsating game. Arsenal were seemingly in cruise control after scoring four goals in the opening 26 minutes. Newcastle sensed a point as Diaby got sent off and after piling on pressure for most of the second half they got their equaliser and could have secured all three points. An excellent advert for the Premier League but heartbreak for Arsenal who have made the title a very long shot.
The game has quietened down in the closing moments as both teams now strive to win the game. A case of both teams trying a little too hard to score now.
Close, very close. Ranger knocks down a long ball into the path of Nolan who strikes the ball for the bottom and it just swerves wide. Newcastle still looking for the winner.
Five minutes left in this game and there is more than enough time for either team to win this game.
Yellow Card José Enrique
Substitution Leon Best Danny Guthrie
Goal Cheikh Tiote
GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLL!!!! Absolutely incredible. Incedible strike and incredible second half performance from Newcastle. Arsenal have thrown away the game and possibly the title but don't take that away from Tiote's strike. A free kick from Barton was cleared out to Tiote who from 30 yards takes on the volley with his supposedly weaker left foot and the ball flies into the bottom corner. Newcastlke could win this game now.
Arsenal just can't keep hold of it whenever they get the ball as they have no striker to speak of now.
GOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLL!!!!! My word this is incredible. Joey Barton again puts the ball past Szczesny. This time the penalty is very debatable. Williamson challenges with Koscielny and as Williamson turns his back on the ball he bounces off Koscielny and goes down. Newcastle have five minutes to get a draw in this game.
Penalty to Newcastle
Assist Mike Williamson
Yellow Card Bacary Sagna
Penalty Goal Joey Barton
Yellow Card Emmanuel Eboue
Van Persie has dropped deep to defend for Arsenal and they can't get any respite as they have no striker to aim long for. Newcastle are coming forward in waves.
Ten minutes to go and Newcastle and their fans really believe here. Arsenal are trying to get as many men behind the ball as possible and they are holding on here.
Substitution Theo Walcott Emmanuel Eboue
It's Arsenal's turn to look shell-shocked and Newcastle are rampant. Nolan drives into the box before back heeling for Ranger. Ranger takes the ball on but Szczesny is out to meet the striker very quickly.
Assist José Enrique
Goal Leon Best
GOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!!!! Unbelievable scenes here at St James' Park as Best gets another goal back Newcastle. Enrique gets a cross towards the back post and Best wins the header in front of Clichy and the loose ball is pounced on by Best who slashes the ball home.
Substitution Peter Lovenkrands Nile Ranger
Newcastle really knocking on the door here as Arsenal are made to defend. A cross in from the left finds Williamson whose header is saved by Szczesny. Then Best thinks he's scored for Newcastle but it is wrongly ruled out for offside after good work from Barton Arsenal really under the cosh here.
Yellow Card Kevin Nolan
The Newcastle fans are really behind their team now and Arsenal must stand strong in the closing 20 minutes to deny their opponents.
Substitution Andrey Arshavin Tomas Rosicky
Assist Leon Best
Yellow Card Wojciech Szczesny
Penalty Goal Joey Barton
GOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Maybe, just maybe. Joey Barton slots the ball home and Newcastle have a glimmer of hope. The penalty was won after Koscielny clumsily challenged Best in the area.
Penalty to Newcastle
The enthusiasm that Newcastle showed in getting forward early in this second half appears to have waned as they also look comfortable to keep the score as it is. It is up to Newcastle to make the running in this game.
Arsenal not really committing too many men forward whenever they have the ball in Newcastle territory. They appear content with keeping it at 4-0.
The game has gone quiet in the last few minutes as Newcastle keep the ball and Arsenal work extremely hard to get the ball off their opponents.
The home fans have found their voice again as their team are continuing to have good possession. They can't do anything with the ball at the moment but they are playing much better and Arsenal must be wary.
Newcastle certainly have a renewed vigour in this second half and Arsenal still have a lot of work to do to secure the points in this game.
The challenge from Barton on Diaby was very poor and could have seen him red carded. As it is Arsenal will have to play most of this half with ten men. Surely Newcastle can't get back into it.
Absolutely needless for Abou Diaby but he has got himself sent off! The Frenchman was unhappy with a strong challenge from Barton and shoved Barton in the back of the head. Nolan then came in to support his team-mate and Diaby pushed Nolan in the back right in front of the referee. Very stupid from Diaby and Wenger will be very disappointed.
Red Card A. Diaby
Substitution Johan Djourou Sébastien Squillaci
Pardew hasn't changed personnel at half time but he has changed the system to just one up front and he clearly is trying to limit the damage to his team for the rest of the game.
Newcastle get the game underway and will be playing for nothing more than pride in this second half.
What an incredible first half that was. Arsenal set the tone early on, scoring after 40 seconds and from then it was wave after wave of Arsenal attack. Pardew will have some stern words for his charges during this half time period.
Good saving from Harper as Wilshere drives with the ball towards the Newcastle area and slides a ball towards Van Persie who lets the ball run across his body before shooting for the near post but Harper gets across well and makes a good save.
Two minutes of added time here at St James' Park.
Arsenal have never been known for their long balls but they are having so much happines spraying the ball long this afternoon as the Newcastle centre backs have been unable to deal with anything that has been thrown at them so far.
Nearly a hat trick for Van Persie as a routine long ball from Koscielny isn't dealt with by the Newcastle centre-backs and Van Persie is through on goal. He tries to chip the on-rushing Harper. His shot beat Harper but drifted over the bar.
Leon Best is down now as he falls down after a tussle with Djourou and the Swiss international tries to hurdle the striker but can only hit Best in the back of the head with his knee.
Arsenal toying with Newcastle now as they just play keep ball much to the dismay of the home faithful.
It should be five. Walcott again beats the Newcastle offside trap and has Van Persie and Arshavin to pick out. The best option was to keep the ball and go for the shot himself but the England man tries to pick out Van Persie but his pass is blocked by Coloccini and Newcastle clear.
Arsenal in complete control here and they are picking off Newcastle at will. The Gunners midfield are swarming all over the place at the moment.
Newcastle could have pulled one back here. Gutierrez is free on the left as Sagna had gone forward. The Argentine cut inside and played a ball for Best but it is behind the Irishman who tries to flick the ball in Koscielny was there to clear the ball.
GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL!!! This is becoming a procession at St James' Park. Newcastle have defended terribly today and Arsenal have taken full advantage. This time Sagna gets the ball wide on the right and his cross his met by the unmarked Van Persie from five yards out. He couldn't miss. Some people are already leaving the stadium.
Assist Bacary Sagna
Goal Robin van Persie
Arsenal camping themselves in the Newcastle half again as they try and ease towards another goal. Fabregas goes close before a Walcott shot is blocked.
The game has slowed down a little from the frantic opening twenty minutes. Newcastle have just got themselves into the game and Arsenal are in cruise control for the moment.
Nice football from Newcastle. Tiote and Barton combine to send Lovenkrands down the right who looks up and plays a superb cross into the box which Best can only slice his header away from goal. Gutierrez picks up the loose ball and aims another cross for Best whose header drifts wide. Much better from Newcastle.
Arsenal are first to everything at the moment and the Newcastle players seem like they're playing for half-time already here. Big job on here for Alan Pardew.
Arsenal appear comfortable to let Newcastle have the ball but the shocked Geordies can't do anything with it and the Gunners are in complete control here.
Rather muted atmosphere now in St James' Park as Newcastle don't really know what to do with themselves. The only noise being made from the Arsenal fans way up in the top tier of the ground.
Assist Theo Walcott
Goal Robin van Persie
GOOOOAAALLLL!!!! This is getting embarassing for Newcastle! Clichy breaks down the left hand side and after some ping-pong football Diaby picks Walcott out on the right hand side. He is shown onto his right foot and gratefully picks out an unmarked Robin Van Persie to smash home from six yards out. Newcastle are in real trouble here.
Newcastle are holding a very high line at the moment and with Walcott playing through the middle it really is a dangerous ploy.
Newcastle fans trying to get behind their team at the moment but the players are in a state of shock and it will take a lot more than their songs to get their team out of their current state of slumber.
GOOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!! Absolute nightmare start for Newcastle here as Arsenal have extended their lead after just four minutes. Arsenal win a free kick on the left hand side and Arshavin whips in an excellent ball which drifts above Nolan's head. Djourou is on hand to head into the top corner from 10 yards out. Newcastle are absolutely shell-shocked.
Assist Andrey Arshavin
Goal Johan Djourou
Assist Andrey Arshavin
Goal Theo Walcott
GOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!!!! What a start for Arsenal here as Theo Walcott puts the Gunners ahead. Diaby puts a through ball forward towards Arshavin who plays in Walcott first time and England striker cooly slots home when one on one.
Arsenal get the game underway in front of a raucous Newcastle United crowd.
Arsenal's come-from-behind victory against Everton on Tuesday ensured that Manchester United were kept within touching distance in the title race. However the north London club are acutely aware that they cannot afford to slip up in recent weeks as they aim to overhaul the five points United have on them. Two changes from the Gunners as Song and Rosicky go out with Diaby and Arshavin their replacements.
As if losing your star striker in the transfer window wasn't enough, Newcastle went and lost Shola Ameobi to injury in their last Premier League game against Fulham and have now just two strikers in the first team. Newcastle's defeat to Fulham leaves them comfortably in mid-table for now but they will be aware that too many bad results will see them embroiled in a relegation battle before long. Two changes to the team as Tiote and Lovenkrands come in for Guthrie and Ameobi.
Arsenal line-up: Szczesny Sagna Koscielny Djourou Clichy Diaby Fabregas Wilshere Walcott Van Persie Arshavin Subs: Almunia, Squillaci, Eboue, Gibbs, Rosicky, Chamakh, Bendtner
Newcastle line-up: Harper Simpson Coloccini Williamson Enrique Barton Nolan Tiote Guitierrez Lovenkrands Best Subs: Krul, Campbell, Perch, Guthrie, Ferguson, Richardson, Ranger
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of Arsenal's visit to the north east to face Andy Carroll-less Newcastle. Arsenal need a victory here to keep within touching distance of league leaders Manchester United while Newcastle will be hoping to cement their place in the top half of the Premier League.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed