Arsene Wenger accepts Arsenal must learn how to make the most of home advantage if they are to force themselves back into the Barclays Premier League title race after suffering a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Newcastle at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners failed to capitalise on Chelsea's loss at Liverpool when they were beaten by Andy Carroll's header just before the break, when goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski failed to collect a looping free-kick into the penalty area.

"Our home form is a concern because against Birmingham and West Ham they were struggling wins," said Wenger, who also admitted Robin van Persie was not really ready for a return to action after coming from the bench following his long injury lay-off.

It was the newly-promoted Magpies' first win at Emirates Stadium, and a second home defeat already for Arsenal, who lost to West Brom before the international break.

The outcome, though, could have been different but for Tim Krul's fine save from Samir Nasri's drive when the game was goalless, while captain Cesc Fabregas, still showing the signs of a hamstring problem, saw his free-kick deflected onto the bar and Theo Walcott also struck the woodwork at the start of the second half.

A miserable afternoon was compounded by the dismissal of centre-back Laurent Koscielny in stoppage time for a professional foul as the Gunners suffered a second successive defeat, following their midweek Champions League loss away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

The performance left both Gunners fans and their manager with another sense of frustration.

He added: "Everybody comes here and plays very tight. When you score the first goal it is all right because teams have to come out, but as long as they can sit deep we have a problem to play through when we are not on full power."

Wenger accepted his men were below par, but paid tribute to the visitors' resolve.

"We were never in full flow, but we played against a good Newcastle team who are a team of men, strong physically, mature," lamented the Arsenal manager. "We did not look sharp and we never found any sharpness. We never found the second gear. Overall, though, I still believe we were very unlucky to lose the game, they had one shot on target. We hit the woodwork two or three times and their keeper made a very good save."

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Topics:
#Arsenal
#Robin Van Persie
#West Bromwich Albion
#European News
#Lukasz Fabianski
#Tim Krul
#Chelsea
#Premier League
#Newcastle United
#UEFA Champions League
#Birmingham
#Laurent Koscielny
#Liverpool
#Theo Walcott
#Samir Nasri
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