Arsenal beat Newcastle 1-0 at St James’ Park as they recorded their second away win of the season and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is convinced the Gunners’ focus was a vital factor in their victory on Saturday.
Fabricio Coloccini’s own goal gave the north London side the win but the Magpies showed character, playing most of the game with 10 men - as Aleksandar Mitrovic was shown a red card for a reckless tackle on Francis Coqueline in the 16th minute.
However, the England international who struck the shot that deflected off Coloccini into the net said he is looking to get back to full match fitness really soon.
“It’s not an easy place to come to,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said. “Newcastle are a very good side, especially at home with the fans, so it’s a tough place to come to.
“Sometimes it’s almost harder to play against 10 men, because you have to keep the same focus as when it’s 11 against 11 and try to make sure you play the same way. Sometimes that can be hard and that’s what we found today.
“I felt a little bit off the pace. The last time I started a match was three weeks ago and you can lose a bit of match fitness in that time.
“That’s what I felt like today. In spells I showed what I can do but overall I think I was a little bit off the pace,” he added, as Arsenal.com quoted.
“But that comes with a run in the team and playing more matches so I’m sure I’ll be able to get back to my full match fitness in no time at all.”