Aubameyang pounces to give Arsenal opening win over Newcastle
Premier League, St James' Park: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 1 (Aubameyang 58')
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang capped his 50th Premier League appearance in style as he scored the winner in Arsenal's 1-0 win over Newcastle at St James' Park:
In wet and windy conditions on Tyneside, Newcastle created good early chances as new signing Joelinton headed just wide before Jonjo Shelvey's deflected shot struck the post inside the opening 20 minutes.
Shelvey was replaced by new signing Jetro Willems nine minutes into the second half, but the Dutchman was caught on his heels as Ainsley Maitland-Niles cut out an under-cooked pass out from defence, and the Arsenal full-back's cross was converted by Aubameyang's dinked finish.
During an open final 10 minutes, Newcastle's new signings Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton both had a sight of goal, but they were unable to trouble Bernd Leno as the Gunners held on for the three points, and Steve Bruce's tenure started in defeat.
Dani Ceballos of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.Getty Images
TALKING POINT - Emery puts faith in youth
Unai Emery selected a surprising line-up for Arsenal's Premier League opener, he did not start any of his summer signings and handed starts to teenagers Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock, with Calum Chambers partnering Sokratis at the back.
The bold decisions paid off with Arsenal securing all three points away from home, and kept a clean sheet on an afternoon when Newcastle did ask questions of them.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Aubameyang has opened his Premier League account and was the difference maker in a drab affair - he clinically finished past Martin Dubravka to cap his 50th Premier League game in style.
Javier Manquillo of Newcastle United battles for possession with Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal FC at St. James Park on August 11, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United KingdomGetty Images
16 - MISS! Ritchie curls a dangerous cross into the area from the left flank and it finds Joelinton at the near post, but he directs his header just past Leno's left post!
20' - MISS! Shelvey rifles a shot on goal from the edge of the box on the half-volley. It takes a slight deflection and clatters off the post! That was a fine attempt.
22' - CHANCE! Monreal does well to push forward down the left inside the box and squares for Mkhitaryan in space, but the Armenian blasts his shot high and wide.
57' - GOAL! Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal. Aubameyang breaks the deadlock! Maitland-Niles bursts down the right flank and plays a low ball into the box for Aubameyang, who is in plenty of space.He dinks the ball over Dubravka into the net!
- Arsenal won and kept a clean sheet in their opening game of a Premier League season for the first time since 2008-09 (1-0 against West Brom). This clean sheet also equals their tally away from home for the entire 2018-19 Premier League season (one).
- Newcastle haven’t won their opening game in any of their last six Premier League campaigns (W0 D1 L5), losing each of the last three (2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20).
- Arsenal have won 13 of their last 14 games against Newcastle in the Premier League (L1), with current manager Unai Emery winning each of his three meetings with them in the competition.
- Newcastle manager Steve Bruce suffered defeat in his first game at a new club for the first time since December 2001, when he began his Birmingham City reign with a 2-1 defeat to Wolves in the second tier.
- Arsenal have recorded consecutive away wins in the Premier League for the first time since October 2018; a run that also included a victory at St. James’ Park against Newcastle (2-1).
- Arsenal have only lost one of their 25 Premier League games under Unai Emery when opening the scoring (W20 D4), with that only defeat coming away at Liverpool in Dececmber 2018.
- Since making his Premier League debut for Arsenal in February 2018, only Mo Salah (36) has scored more goals in the competition than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (33).
- Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his 50th appearance in the Premier League, while netting his 33rd goal in the competition. The only players to have scored more than him through their first 50 appearances are Alan Shearer (41), Andrew Cole (41), Mohamed Salah (35) and Kevin Phillips (34).
- Arsenal named two English teenagers (Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson) in their starting XI for a Premier League game for the first time since February 1998 (Paolo Vernazza and Matthew Upson vs Crystal Palace), before either Willock or Nelson were born.
- Nicolas Pépé made his Premier League debut for Arsenal, becoming the 200th player to feature for the Gunners in the competition.