Newcastle 1 Arsenal 1

Last updated : 09 February 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Newcastle's magnificent home run finally came to an end in a pulsating clash with champions Arsenal.

Sir Bobby Robson's men battled against all the odds to come back from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw that moves them into third place with a game in hand over the rest of the title contenders.

After falling behind to a first-half strike from the Premiership's leading marksman, Thierry Henry, Newcastle pulled out all of the stops after the break to grab a deserved 53rd minute equaliser from Laurent Robert.

It was a stunning strike from the French international in what turned out to be a sensational four minutes of high drama for him.

On cloud nine after his superb equaliser, Robert turned from hero to villain when he was cautioned twice in the following four minutes and ordered off by the referee.

Despite being outnumbered, the battling Magpies refused to throw in the towel and fought for every ball as they searched for a 12th home win in a row.

And against all the odds they almost snatched the most dramatic of winners in stoppage time when Craig Bellamy's right-wing cross looped off Henry and looked destined for the top corner until David Seaman proved that age is no barrier with an athletic finger-tip save.

In the end a share of the points was a fair result as Newcastle became the last English side to be held to a draw at home this season.

Newcastle almost grabbed an early lead when Alan Shearer escaped Sol Campbell to meet a Robert cross but Seaman got down low to grab the ball at the second attempt.

Patrick Vieira then saw a close-range header crash against Newcastle midfielder Nolberto Solano and against the underside of the bar before Robert Pires headed the rebound over.

Seaman did well to hold on to a Shearer volley while at the other end Shay Given was forced to head over his own bar to prevent a Titus Bramble own goal.

Henry broke the deadlock in the 35th minute when he seized on Sylvain Wiltord's throughball before rounding Given and slotting the ball into an empty net.

The early second-half recovery Newcastle needed came after 53 minutes when Robert was allowed to run at the Gunners defence and beat Seaman from 20 yards for his third goal of the season.