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Newcastle: Dan Burn was a rock again for Howe vs Arsenal

Newcastle United continued their impressive top-four surge after holding league leaders Arsenal to a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening, with the Magpies still having lost just once in 18 Premier League games this term.

The foundation for that rampant run of form has been built on the club’s defensive strength, with that having again been evident last night as the Tynesiders racked up yet another clean sheet, ensuring they have now conceded just 11 times in 18 top-flight games this season.

That brutal and battling display to keep the Gunners at bay saw summer signing Sven Botman particularly standout in his centre-back berth, with the towering Dutchman having been an “absolute brick wall“, according to journalist Aaron Stokes.

The 6 foot 4 colossus notably recorded six clearances as he dealt with anything that came his way inside the penalty area, having once again served to showcase just what a “class act” he is at the heart of the backline, according to journalist Mark Carruthers.

Another vital part of what is currently the league’s best defence has been former Brighton and Hove Albion man, Dan Burn, with the Englishman having offered a real consistent presence at left-back so far this season.

The 30-year-old – who has started 17 of his side’s 18 games this term – was again something of a rock against the Gunners, having overcome the challenge of dealing with the in-form figure of compatriot, Bukayo Saka.

The fleet-footed forward had gone into the match with six goals and six assists to his name in the league this season, although was eventually blunted by the imposing presence of Burn who doggedly stuck to his task.

The 6 foot 7 machine had endured a “difficult” opening against his opposite number, as per Newcastle World’s Jordan Cronin, although recovered well to help thwart the north Londoners, notably winning 100% of his aerial duels.

Although the boyhood Newcastle fan did lose possession on 16 occasions, the £35k-per-week giant still appeared a ‘cool customer’ – according to the Chronicle’s Lee Ryder – as his ‘dream season’ continued.

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Like the aforementioned Botman, Burn also proved himself adept at sniffing out the danger and preventing any openings for Mikel Arteta’s men as he recorded six clearances, with it once again appearing a tough ask to penetrate Howe’s destructive, defensive unit.

Although a second successive stalemate may have been something of a frustration for the Magpies boss, the resilient and courageous display of the likes of Burn will have illustrated that his side are firmly up for the top-four fight.