Arsenal clinched a 1-0 victory at Newcastle thanks to a 58th-minute goal from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubamyang scored in his 50th Premier League appearance and his goal proved the winner in a game with very chances at St. James’ Park.
The Gunners boss Unai Emery entrusted the Gabon international to lead the front line with Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson in supporting roles, while Alexandre Lacazette and club record signing Nicolas Pepe started on the bench.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce had seen his side compete admirably until a mistake from Jetro Williams was capitalised by the visitors.
New signings Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin, who came off the bench, made impressive debuts, and so was Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos.
Fabian Schar and Jonjo Shelvey injected steel into the Magpies and the latter struck the outside of the woodwork from the edge of the box early on before the Gunners started to probe.
Henrinkh Mkhitaryan blazed over the bar from 12 yards with Arsenal’s first clear opportunity and Joelinton went close for the Magpies as he tested Bernd Leno with a well hit shot.
The Armenian then chipped a pass to find Aubameyang, who brought the ball down before drawing a decent save from Martin Dubravka at his near post.
Arsenal kept asking the questions after the interval as Aubameyang saw another shot turned around the post by Dubravka.
Moments later, Willems, who came on for Shelvey, hesitated to pick a long pass from Schar and Maitland-Niles made a quick run to steal the ball, bursting down the right flank before finding Aubameyang in the area. The forward finished coolly past the on-rushing Magpies ‘keeper.
That marked a win for Emery’s side on a rainy afternoon at Newcastle. It was also the first clean sheet for Arsenal in as many away games in the entire 2018-19 season.
What the managers said
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce:
“We were okay first half and unfortunately against a good team we’ve gifted them a goal, which is never easy to recover from. We left ourselves a bit exposed then but overall, I was pleased because there wasn’t anything in it. I can’t remember playing against Arsenal and the goalkeeper has had so little to do but unfortunately, we’ve made a mistake which has cost us.
“We had little half chances where you need it to fall in the box for you and we stuck at it. The players couldn’t give us anything else, they were terrific until the very end. I’m just disappointed we’ve conceded a bad goal and they are rightly disappointed in the dressing room.”
Arsenal boss Unai Emery:
“It’s a very good three points. We played a very solid game and controlled the game, but we can improve more because, in the first half, for example, we lost a few balls in the middle and gifted them some chances.
“The second half was quite similar but we scored and that was very important victory for our confidence because we played with some young players to give them a chance to improve. I want a big competitive squad for every match, and I think we are going to need that.”
Arsenal welcome Burnley to the Emirates on Saturday, while Newcastle travel to Norwich on the same day.