Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang punished slack defending to give victory at a rain-drenched St James’ Park.

Starting with many of their £125m-worth of signings on the bench and without midfielders Mesut Ozil and , Gunners boss Unai Emery watched his side struggle to cut through their opponents in the first half.

That all changed just before the hour mark when Aubameyang was left unmarked on the edge of the area, collected Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross from the right and fired past Martin Dubravka.

Emery handed £72m club-record signing Nicolas Pepe and midfielder Dani Ceballos debuts, but they failed to make much of an impression.

As for Steve Bruce, his managerial debut was about what could have been.

The Magpies’ record signing Joelinton went close with a shot blocked by Bernd Leno, before Jonjo Shelvey saw his drive crash off the woodwork.

The home side were flat for much of the second half, although another new recruit, the exciting wing prospect Allan Saint-Maximin, tested German Leno with a near-post drive.

More to follow.

Line-ups

  • 1Dubravka
  • 5Schär
  • 6Lascelles
  • 3Dummett
  • 19Manquillo
  • 14Hayden
  • 8ShelveySubstituted forWillemsat 54′minutes
  • 36LongstaffSubstituted forSaint-Maximinat 67′minutes
  • 11Ritchie
  • 24AlmirónBooked at 18mins
  • 9Apolinário de Lira

Substitutes

  • 2Clark
  • 10Saint-Maximin
  • 13Muto
  • 15Willems
  • 17Krafth
  • 18Fernandez
  • 26Darlow

  • 1Leno
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 21Chambers
  • 5Papastathopoulos
  • 18Monreal
  • 29Guendouzi
  • 34XhakaBooked at 81mins
  • 7MkhitaryanBooked at 37minsSubstituted forMartinelli Silvaat 84′minutes
  • 28WillockSubstituted forCeballosat 64′minutes
  • 24NelsonBooked at 25minsSubstituted forPépéat 71′minutes
  • 14Aubameyang

Substitutes

  • 8Ceballos
  • 9Lacazette
  • 11Torreira
  • 19Pépé
  • 23David Luiz
  • 26Martínez
  • 35Martinelli Silva
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
47,635

Match Stats

Home TeamAway Team
Possession
Home38%
Away62%
Shots
Home9
Away8
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away7

Live Text

Offside, . Calum Chambers tries a through ball, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is caught offside.

Granit Xhaka () wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Javier Manquillo ( United).

Offside, United. Paul Dummett tries a through ball, but Miguel Almirón is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Joelinton ( United) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Miguel Almirón.

Nicolas Pépé () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jamaal Lascelles ( United).

Foul by Gabriel Martinelli ().

Matt Ritchie ( United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Fabian Schär ( United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.

Foul by Javier Manquillo ( United).

Attempt saved. Allan Saint-Maximin ( United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jetro Willems.

Booking

Granit Xhaka () is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Granit Xhaka ().

Miguel Almirón ( United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, . Nicolas Pépé replaces Reiss Nelson.

Granit Xhaka () wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Allan Saint-Maximin ( United).

Corner, United. Conceded by Calum Chambers.

Attempt blocked. Miguel Almirón ( United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matt Ritchie.

Corner, United. Conceded by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Substitution

Substitution, United. Allan Saint-Maximin replaces Sean Longstaff.

Substitution

Substitution, . Dani Ceballos replaces Joe Willock.

Foul by Ainsley Maitland-Niles ().

Jetro Willems ( United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Isaac Hayden ( United).

Attempt missed. Joe Willock () left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Granit Xhaka.

Joe Willock () wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Fabian Schär ( United).

Goal!

Goal! United 0, 1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang () right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ainsley Maitland-Niles following a fast break.

Attempt blocked. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang () right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Matteo Guendouzi.

Substitution

Substitution, United. Jetro Willems replaces Jonjo Shelvey.

Attempt missed. Granit Xhaka () header from a difficult angle on the left misses to the right. Assisted by Reiss Nelson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, . Conceded by Paul Dummett.

Attempt blocked. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang () left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Granit Xhaka.

goal

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