Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal: Aubameyang gives Gunners opening day win on rain-soaked Tyneside
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Arsenal started the new Premier League season with a win as they beat a poor Newcastle side 1-0 in the pouring rain on Tyneside, thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s deft finish.
Aubameyang got the only goal of what was game that lacked in quality, when he lifted the ball over Martin Dubravka after being left in acres of space on 58 minutes.
With a host of injuries and players lacking match fitness, Unai Emery gave youngsters Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson the chance to impress as they supported Aubameyang in attack.
The Arsenal boss also named four new signings on the bench, with David Luiz, Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli named as substitutes.
Both sides had chances to take the lead inside the opening 25 minutes, with Jonjo Shelvey hitting the post for Newcastle, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan blazed over when well-placed inside the area.
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Club-record signing Joelinton was looking lively on his debut for the Magpies, and he tested Leno with a shot inside the area after a lucky bounce, but it was straight at the German.
Both sides were finding it difficult to create on the slick, rain-soaked surface on Tyneside, and they went into the break level.
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The deadlock was broken on 58 minutes though and it was the away side that got it.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles broke down the right for Arsenal, and he found Aubameyang who had been given the freedom of Tyneside in the area as Newcastle switched off.
Last season's top scorer took one touch to set himself, before lifting it over Martin Dubravka with his second to give Unai Emery's men a 1-0 lead.
Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli were all introduced for their Arsenal debuts in what as a dull second-half at St James' where the Gunners took the only chance of real note to win the game.
Arsenal will be hoping to pick up another three points next weekend when they host Burnley at the Emirates in their first home game of the new season.