Olivier Giroud’s quick double keeps Arsenal on City trail
Harry Kane celebrates England call with hat-trick in Spurs win
Arsenal’s French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring his team’s first goal in the Premier League match against Newcastle at St James Park. Oli Scarff/AFP
Premier League round-up: Olivier Giroud’s first-half double handed Arsenal a sixth successive Premier League victory as they survived a spirited fightback to win 2-1 at Newcastle.
The Frenchman struck twice inside four minutes to leave the Magpies with a mountain to climb and the home fans among a crowd of 50,543 fearing the worst.
But John Carver’s depleted side more than made a fist of it after the break, with Moussa Sissoko’s 48th-minute goal dragging them back into it and changing the shape of the game.
However, despite their best efforts to reel in Arsene Wenger’s men who are plotting a late charge to force their way into the title race, Newcastle were unable to find the equaliser their belated show of courage warranted.
Harry Kane celebrated his first international call-up by hitting a hat-trick for Tottenham as they maintained their bid for a top-four spot with a win over Leicester.
Kane’s late penalty, his 29th goal of a remarkable season, sent Spurs on their way to a nervy 4-3 win over Leicester, who had fought back from two goals down.
The prospective England striker tapped in after just six minutes before his mishit looped over Kasper Schmeichel seven minutes later to open up a two-goal lead which looked to have sent Leicester to yet another defeat.
But Jamie Vardy scored his first goal since September before the break and the visitors were rewarded for sustained pressure with an equaliser when Wes Morgan headed in powerfully to pull the scores level.
Shortly after Morgan’s equaliser, Danny Rose was brought down inside the area by David Nugent with half an hour to go to give Kane the chance to celebrate his first ever Premier League hat-trick from the spot.
Jeff Schlupp’s own goal restored the two goal lead before Nugent’s stoppage-time flick made for a frantic finish but Mauricio Pochettino’s side held on to move to within three points of the top four.
Spurs’ chief rivals, Southampton, also claimed an important three points with a nervy 2-0 win over Burnley.
Despite losing Fraser Forster to injury, Ronald Koeman’s men followed up an impressive draw at Chelsea with a win over the Clarets but were made to work hard after Shane Long gave theme the lead in the first half.
The Tim Sherwood-inspired revival at Aston Villa was halted against Swansea as they were beaten by a late Bafetimbi Gomis goal.