Arsenal boss Unai Emery was pleased with the balance his side showed between attack and defence during their 1-0 win away to Newcastle earlier today.
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.
Arsenal have rarely had problems in the attacking third over the last decade, but have regularly been let down by a lack of defensive awareness and Emery was said he was delighted with the ‘balance’ of his side.
”But before that, I want to win,” Emery told his post-match presser.
”I want to win, I want to score and I want to do a clean sheet. Today we won and we did that.
”The balance offensively and defensively is only taken with the victory. Today, I think, in our 90 minutes we could do that with taking the match very seriously, being very compact and controlling the game with the ball.
”Also, I think we created chances and we need also to create chances for our strikers and today with Auba we won.”