Arsenal got their Premier League campaign off to a winning start by beating Newcastle 1-0 away today at St.James Park.
Unai Emery handed starts to promising academy graduates Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson due to fitness concerns over last seasons player of the year Alexandre Lacazette and record signing Nicholas Pepe. However, neither youngster was able to make much of an impact during a first period seriously lacking in quality in the final third.
However, as so often has been the case since he became a Gunner back in January 2017, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stepped up to put his side ahead after being played through by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
After that Arsenal held on for their first three points of the season against a Newcastle side woefully short of quality or ingenuity in attack.
Speaking after the game matchwinner Aubameyang admitted his side were delighted to get their season off to winning start after beginning last season with two successive defeats.
“I think so, we fought today a lot,” Aubameyang told Sky Sports.
”It was a great game against a good team. It was important to start with a win, last season we started bad, so we are happy.
“It is always positive for all the squad to win the first game, everyone is happy to get three points and we’re looking forward to winning more games.”
The Gabonese striker finished joint top scorer in the Premier League last season, and the 30-year-old striker admitted he is targeting the prestigious award again this campaign.
“Of course it is in the mind of a striker but first of all the team is the most important. I’m really pleased the goal helped us win the game.”