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Arsenal maintain unbeaten run

Published: Sunday 11 April 2004, 19.34CET
Arsenal FC's grip on the Premiership tightened with a 0-0 draw at Newcastle United FC.

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Published: Sunday 11 April 2004, 19.34CET

Arsenal maintain unbeaten run

Arsenal FC's grip on the Premiership tightened with a 0-0 draw at Newcastle United FC.
Arsenal FC's grip on the Premiership tightened on Sunday when they increased their lead to seven points with a battling 0-0 draw at Newcastle United FC.

Henry and Reyes chances
Playing their fourth match in just nine days Arsenal had the better chances, and strikers Thierry Henry and José Antonio Reyes could both have scored as the London side extended their unbeaten league record this season to 32 games.

Strong start
Newcastle started strongly and Craig Bellamy forced a fine save from German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann with a flick at the near post in the sixth minute. Arsenal fought back and Sylvain Wiltord, playing his first match for the club since October, was given a clear shot on goal courtesy of a poor back-pass by Jermaine Jenas. However, the France forward scuffed wide with his left foot.

Evenly matched
The second half was evenly matched although Henry, the league's top scorer, should have netted in the 63rd minute. The Frenchman, ruled onside, rounded Newcastle keeper Shay Given but his shot hit the outside of the post. Reyes also came close in the 76th minute when his free header six metres out hit Given.

Unbeaten aim
With six games remaining, Arsenal have 78 points, seven more than second-placed Chelsea FC who knocked them out of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. The Gunners could well become the first English side to go through a top-flight season without defeat since Preston North End FC in 1888/89.

'Not completely confident'
"It was a great, solid performance on a difficult pitch - we needed to be very strong physically and very determined," said Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, who stopped short of claiming the title. "We are in a good position. Our lead is not big enough to say we feel completely confident."

Champions League race
Newcastle are level on 49 points with fourth-placed Liverpool FC, who occupy the final spot for UEFA Champions League qualification. The Merseyside club have a superior goal difference.

Saturday matches
Chelsea drew 0-0 at home to Middlesbrough FC on Saturday and champions Manchester United FC, in third on 65 points, beat Birmingham City FC 2-1.

Last updated: 12/04/04 12.15CET

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