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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang marked his 50th Premier League appearance by scoring the winner as Arsenal beat Newcastle United 1-0 in their season opener at St James' Park.
Arsenal coach Unai Emery put his faith in last season's top scorer while leaving Alexandre Lacazette and new signing Nicolas Pepe on the bench, and he was repaid 13 minutes into the second half when Gabon international Aubameyang fired his side ahead.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce had seen his new charges compete admirably until that point but an error from loanee Jetro Willems presented the visitors with an opportunity that they did not pass up.
There were better debuts for Magpies signings Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin - the latter introduced from the bench - but when Emery sent on Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos midway through the second half, it only drew further attention to a gulf in quality that had already been made clear.
The performances of young Gunners Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles were encouraging for Emery, who will have been relieved to see his defence - widely considered his side's major weakness – enjoy a largely comfortable afternoon.
While Jonjo Shelvey and Fabian Schar injected steel into Bruce's side, Javier Manquillo and Matt Ritchie gave the hosts their out-ball and it was the latter whose cross found the head of Joelinton, but the Brazilian sent a glancing effort wide.
Shelvey hit the outside of the post with a rasping shot from the edge of the box before Emery's men began to probe, Henrikh Mkhitaryan blazing over the crossbar from 12 yards with the Gunners' first clear chance.
Joelinton went closer at the other end, jinking into the box and testing Bernd Leno with a firmly struck shot before Aubameyang latched onto Mkhitaryan's exquisite chipped pass and drew a good near-post save from Martin Dubravka with a rocket.
Granit Xhaka's vision and passing technique afforded Aubameyang a shooting chance early in the second half but Dubravka turned his shot around the post.
Bruce sent on Eintracht Frankfurt loanee Willems for Shelvey, but moments later the Dutchman called for the ball and then hesitated as Schar's pass rolled towards him, allowing Maitland-Niles to steal the ball, burst down the right flank and centre to Aubameyang, who poked a shot past the on-rushing Dubravka.
Saint-Maximin and Pepe both came off the bench to excite their respective supporters, and the former found the angle to fire a low shot at goal seven minutes from time, but Leno got down well to make the save and ensure all three points went south to the capital.
Oh hello! Arsenal's record signing Nicolas Pepe comes on for his debut!
Goal! Arsenal take the lead! Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pokes home after a glorious cross from Maitland-Niles.
Peep! 0-0 at half-time! Not much else to report, Steve Bruce will be happier of the two managers!
Peep! Arsenal get the party started!
Right! We are minutes away from game time! Standby for Match commentary and video highlights from the game!
Andy Gray is not convinced by the Arsenal starting line up, can the Young guns inspire today?
"A lot of those players I didn't expect to be anywhere near the first team on the opening day but they play."— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) August 11, 2019
"He's taken a gamble here."
Andy Gray has major concerns about Unai Emery's Arsenal starting XI versus Newcastle.
Do you agree Arsenal fans?#beINPL #NEWARS pic.twitter.com/67hjomprfC
Live blog vibes, not your thing? (why wouldn't it be?!) You can tune in to HD 11 for some stellar football chat with Richard Keys, Andy Gray and Gianfranco Zola, they'll have plenty to say on VAR... which is nice.
Back to business! The Arsenal team news! Interesting squad selection this. Summer signings Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Gabriel Martinelli and David Luiz all make the bench. Whilst English teenagers Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson start.
A classy gesture from Arsenal today! Eid Mubarak!
Team News Time! First up Newcastle! Club record signing Joelinton leads the line in his first competitive game for the side. Fellow signings Emil Krafth, Allan Saint-Maximin and Jetro Willems have to settle for a place on the bench. Isaac Hayden starts in midfield against his former club.
beIN SPORTS presenter Andy Kerr on Tyneside with some video of the fan protest and boycott on owner Mike Ashley. It will be interesting to see how many turn up at St James' Park today!
Arsenal has arrived! I wonder how many of their new signings will be involved today?
So here we go! It promises to be an interesting match up on Tyneside as Steve Bruce starts life as Newcastle boss. It's a difficult start for the former Sunderland manager, with a large swathe of fans boycotting the game, due to the ownership of Mike Ashley. Anyway, let's take a look back at a better time, some of those belting encounters between the Magpies and the Gunners!
Good afternoon! Welcome to the Live Updates of Newcastle Vs Arsenal. Steve Bruce will be taking charge of Newcastle for the first time, amid the backdrop of a fan boycott, whilst Arsenal will be looking to get the season underway, in a game which could see David Luiz and Nicolas Pepe start for the Gunners. As ever, join me for all the build-up, team news and goals as they go in!