Arsenal’s perfect home record was broken by a painful 0-0 draw with high-flying Newcastle, denying them the chance to move 10 points ahead atop the Premier League.
On a disappointing evening at a packed Emirates Stadium, the Gunners lost their way after a promising start and barely threatened to breach the division’s toughest defense.
Both teams had their penalty appeals rejected, but neither could honestly say that their acrimonious match, which featured nine yellow cards but few opportunities, merited anything more than a point.
Eddie Nketiah was denied a late winner by a fine save from Magpies goalkeeper Nick Pope as the hosts failed to score in the league for the first time this season.
Mikel Arteta’s men stretched their lead at the summit to eight points courtesy of the stalemate, albeit that advantage can be cut to five when Manchester City travel to Chelsea on Thursday.
Newcastle remain third after becoming the first visiting team to take points off the Gunners since Brighton secured a 2-1 victory in north London back in April.
The Magpies, who have realistic ambitions of European qualification this term, are now 13 league games unbeaten following their second successive goalless draw.