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Newcastle boss Steve McClaren 'bewildered' by Arsenal defeat

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Newcastle manager Steve McClaren believes his side 'controlled the game'

Newcastle manager Steve McClaren was left ‘bewildered’ after his side ended up losing 1-0 at Arsenaldespite having the better of much of the contest.

The Gunners needed goalkeeper Petr Cech to deny Georginio Wijnaldum either side of the break as Newcastle wasted a host of chances against the Premier League leaders.

The visitors were eventually denied by Koscielny's 72nd minute strike but McClaren could not fault his side's performance.

Aleksandar Mitrovic of Newcastle United attempts a bicycle kick
Image: Aleksandar Mitrovic attempts a bicycle kick at the Emirates

"The players can't believe it [losing the match] in there and we can't either," he told Sky Sports.

"We controlled the game after the first 10 minutes and there are not many times when you come here and control a game like that.

"We just didn't have the finishing touch. One soft goal at the other end and we lose the game.

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"It seems in the last three games we've done the same. I can't fault the performances but we need to be more ruthless in both boxes. We come away bewildered that we've lost the game."

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Defeat means it's a third straight 1-0 loss for Newcastle but McClaren is hopeful his side can push up the league if they continue to perform in the same vein.

"There were a couple [of good chances]," McClaren added. "When Gini [Wijnaldum] went through, he's a quality finisher and that's why Cech is world class. He was quick off his line.

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"Then Aleksandar Mitrovic missed after a great pull back from Ayoze Perez but we caused them so many problems and controlled them at the back.

"The last three games we've lost 1-0. One in the last minute against Everton, West Brom in the last 10 minutes and this one but the performances have been there.

"The fight and spirit, the control of the game and the football, everything has been there just not the finishing touches. We said we'd come here and give it a go. We've nearly done it but we move on now. I can't fault them today.

"Again, I'm really disappointed we haven't got the rewards from what the performances have been."

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