Arsenal beat City 2-1 to grab second place

Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0 match report Laurent Koscielny keeps Arsenal top of the Premier League

However, nearly 12 months on as they prepare for a Boxing Day assignment on the south coast, Arsenal have collected 78 points during the calendar year - 10 more than any other Premier League team - and are primed for a tilt at the title after Monday's stirring 2-1 win over Manchester City closed them to within two points of leaders Leicester City.

Ozil was the Gunners' ringmaster, setting up first-half goals for Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud and presenting Aaron Ramsey with a superb chance after the interval.

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are in better shape than recent years to challenge for the Premier League, but has warned against getting carried away before the season has reached its midway point.

"I believe you can not cheat the crowd".

Arsenal are now four points clear of third-placed Manchester City, but remain two points adrift of leaders Leicester City.

Arsenal welcomed an old face back to The Emirates on Monday night as Bacary Sagna lined up in a Manchester City shirt. Manuel Pellegrini's side did eventually get one back, via an outstanding side-footed effort from Yaya Touré, who had seen most of the game pass him by. "It is quite interesting on my side there is real life in the team, real togetherness and real solidarity, so let's take care of that". "In this important game we can't make so many mistakes". I said before the game that it was a game of six points but it was not a decisive game. That's an attacking efficiency (minutes played / goals + assists) of one every 80 minutes. You can see his desire to win.

Ozil is on track to break former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry's Premier League record of 20 assists in a single season. "This is a big step", he told the club's official website.

"The Christmas period is going to be very competitive".

"We can't avoid injuries - sometimes you have more, sometimes you have less - but we showed that even with the unlucky injuries at the moment that we manage to win games". When we were playing very deep we were not too much in trouble.

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