Carroll heads Newcastle to 1-0 win at Arsenal

Andy Carroll headed Newcastle to its first victory over Arsenal

in five years on Sunday, withstanding fresh off-field turmoil to

clinch a 1-0 victory in the Premier League.

Carroll rose above Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to head

Joey Barton’s deep free kick into the net on the stroke of half

time.

”What he showed today is the ability he’s got – of course what

he does have is the prowess in the air,” Newcastle manager Chris

Hughton said. ”But he showed also the running ability he’s got.

He’s still learning the game, he’s getting better.

”He’s had his ups and downs and he gets bullied at times, all

of these things, but he’s certainly going in the right

direction.”

Carroll secured a third successive league win for the promoted

side hours after a tabloid newspaper published allegations about

his private life.

The 21-year-old striker was fined last month for attacking a man

in a nightclub and has been charged with assaulting a former

girlfriend.

Selecting Carroll, though, was never an issue for Hughton,

having seen the Englishman now score six goals in 11 matches to

help Newcastle move to fifth in the standings – three points behind

third-place Arsenal.

”I made a selection today based on the continuity that we’ve

had in the last couple of games,” Hughton said. ”We got

confidence from that.”

Despite having more shots on target, Arsenal went down for the

second time this season to a promoted side, having been beaten by

West Bromwich Albion in September.

A looping free kick from Cesc Fabregas hit the cross bar and the

captain, who was returning from a hamstring injury, set up Samir

Nasri for a shot before half time that Trim Krul pushed over with a

one-handed save.

At the start of the second half, Arsenal came close again. Theo

Walcott collected Jack Wilshere’s pass and fired in an angled

drive, which hit the underside of the crossbar with Krul

beaten.

”I think against West Brom we were complacent – I don’t think

we were today,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. ”We played

against a good Newcastle team, strong physically and mature. I

still believe we were unlucky to lose the game. They had one shot

on target.”

The goal Arsenal conceded, though, raised fresh doubts about

Fabianski’s proficiency, with the Polish goalkeeper racing off his

line and losing the aerial contest with Carroll.

”(Fabianski) had not a lot to do today,” Wenger said. ”He was

a bit, maybe, too confident to take this ball and didn’t expect to

be challenged. It was a problem of timing.”

The Gunners had Laurent Koscielny sent off in stoppage time

after the defender fouled Nile Ranger on the edge of the penalty

area.

”It was not a sending off because it was not a goal scoring

opportunity and he wasn’t a last man,” Wenger said.

But there was some positive news for the London side, with Robin

van Persie coming off the bench in the 57th – as Marouane Chamakh’s

replacement – to make his first appearance since injuring his left

ankle on Aug. 28.

”You could see he is not ready,” Wenger said. ”We pushed him

in too early because I had to do something. It was difficult for us

to score and you always expect from a set piece anywhere he can

make a difference.”