ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has praised his side's tenacity after a 1-0 win over a battling Newcastle took the Gunners two points clear at the top of the English Premier League.
Newcastle was the better team for much of the contest at the Emirates Stadium, but Laurent Koscielny came to the rescue with a close-range winner in the 72nd minute.
Wenger said on another day the Magpies could have got the win.
"We were not at our best but we had to dig deep and we can do that when needed," Wenger said.
Leicester missed the chance to stay level with Arsenal after drawing 0-0 at home to Bournemouth.
Riyad Mahrez had his second-half penalty saved by Artur Boruc after Bournemouth captain Simon Francis was sent off for denying Jamie Vardy a goalscoring chance.
Vardy had earlier hit the post.
Manchester City moved third after coming from behind at Watford to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero.
At Old Trafford, Manchester United ended a run of eight games without a win with a 2-1 victory over Swansea City.
Wayne Rooney's brilliant flicked goal sealed the success after Gylfi Sigurdsson had equalised Anthony Martial's opener.
Swansea almost nicked a point when goalkeeper Lukas Fabianski's injury-time header whistled past the post.
The Swans are just outside the relegation zone, while Sunderland remains second from bottom despite a 3-1 win over last-placed Aston Villa.
Norwich eased its relegation worries with a 1-0 win over Southampton, while West Ham moved to sixth after defeating Liverpool 2-0 at Upton Park.
In the other game, West Brom defeated Stoke 2-1.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.