Newcastle United 0 Arsenal 1
Aubameyang 58

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck the only goal of the game to give Arsenal the win in a rain sodden affair at St. James’ Park. The Gunners achieved that recently rare feat of not only an away win, but a clean sheet, and that is something which will hearten Unai Emery who witnessed very little of that combination last season. Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ speed enabled him to cut off the supply line as Newcastle looked to break out. The Arsenal defender pushed off on the right wing to release Aubameyang, whose deft first time touch enabled him to control the ball before prodding it past the advancing Martin Dubravka after 58 minutes.

Arsenal had many of their summer signings on the bench, but given their on going high profile security concerns, Emery elected to leave Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac in London until they were able to focus solely on matters on the pitch/ The Gunners had much of the opening passage of play, with Newcastle content with soaking up their visitors’ possession football on a heavy pitch. The Magpies summer signing Joelinton however could have gotten his side off to the lead after some good work, but his shot was too close and central to Bernd Leno, the German making a comfortable low save.

Aubameyang had seen an effort go close before his goal, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will know he could have done better than firing wildly over when close. Arsenal’s rearranged defence of Maitland-Niles, Callum Chambers, Sokratis  and Nacho Monreal also had to be alert to the threat of the lively Allan Saint-Maxim.

Emery brought on £72m record signing Nicolas Pepe and on loan Dani Ceballos for their respective first taste of Premier League football. Both showed glimpses of what could follow for the Gunners this season, with the Spain midfielder slotting in seamlessly into the midfield role vacated by Aaron Ramsey.

Pepe’s Premier League debut for Arsenal, makes him the 200th player to feature for the Gunners in the competition, the Ivorian will have plenty of time to show us his wing play, in a probable (and promising) attack involving Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

On Tyneside however Arsenal produced a win and kept a clean sheet in their opening game of a Premier League season for the first time since 2008-09, and the win especially is what Emery wants to see more of.

“But before that, I want to win. I want to win, I want to score and I want to do a clean sheet. Today we won and we did that. The balance offensively and defensively is only taken with the victory. Today, I think, in our 90 minutes we could do that with taking the match very seriously, being very compact and controlling the game with the ball. Also, I think we created chances and we need also to create chances for our strikers and today with Auba we won.”

Emery stressed the need to have competition in every position, and with Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and the newly arrived David Luiz, he will hope to have that while the form of Chambers will also give his a welcomed selection headache in an area of the pitch where the Gunners were found wanting last season.

For Emery however his method is simple.

“We want to start defending with Aubameyang and we want to start attacking with Bernd Leno. We need to create good combinations, good situations, to create chances and after each player has his quality to score, to do the pass, the assist and to do the job defensively. Aubameyang is our scorer, with Lacazette, with Pepe, with Reiss Nelson, with Micki and other players. And really, today I think every player worked very well. He scored, Aubameyang, but I think it was because every player worked together.”

Arsenal next host Burnley in a lunch time kick-off at the Emirates on Saturday.