REUTERS - Steve Bruce’s reign as Newcastle United Manager began in disappointing fashion as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s second half goal sealed a 1-0 victory for Arsenal at a subdued St. James’ Park yesterday.
After a largely forgettable first half in which Newcastle were slightly the better side, Arsenal eased to a comfortable three points thanks to Aubameyang’s 58th minute strike.
Newcastle handed 40 million pounds (US$48.14 million) record signing Joelinton a debut up front and he showed some flashes of intent in the first half but the hosts fizzled out after the break.
The Gunners had to wait until April to keep their first away clean sheet in the Premier League last season, but looked solid as they opened their campaign in far better fashion than a year ago when consecutive defeats marked the start of Unai Emery’s tenure following the end of the Arsene Wenger era.
The closest Newcastle came to scoring was in the first half when Jonjo Shelvey’s powerful shot glanced the upright.
With such an influx of exciting talent now available for Emery, Arsenal will move forward full of optimism but for Newcastle, and local boy Bruce, it already appears as though it could be a long, hard season.