first_img0Shares0000Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang celebrates his goal against Newcastle during their English Premier League match on August 11, 2019.Newcastle, United Kingdom, Aug 11 – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired Arsenal to a 1-0 win at Newcastle in their Premier League opener on Sunday, providing hope of an improved run this season for Unai Emery’s side.The Gunners finished last season in turmoil after blowing their bid for a top-four place with a disastrous spell in the final weeks. Adding to Emery’s woes, Arsenal were crushed by Chelsea in the Europa League final to shatter their dreams of Champions League qualification.But Arsenal have enjoyed a profitable close-season, with a host of new signings raising morale around the Emirates Stadium.And Aubameyang gave Arsenal fans renewed belief they can get back in the top four this term with a typically predatory second-half finish to give the north Londoners a winning start.Arsenal had a wretched away record last season, keeping just one clean sheet on their travels, so taking three points without conceding was the perfect way to turn over a new leaf.Their often-criticised defence held firm, with centre-backs Calum Chambers and Sokratis keeping Newcastle at bay.Aubameyang’s strike ruined Newcastle manager Steve Bruce’s first match in charge of the club he supported as a boy.Bruce left second-tier Sheffield Wednesday to join Newcastle in the close-season following the departure of fan favourite Rafael Benitez, who had grown tired of a lack of backing from controversial owner Mike Ashley.Bruce’s appointment was hardly greeted with widespread joy on Tyneside and the season started with Newcastle fans staging a protest against Ashley in the streets and then boycotting the match in large enough numbers to leave numerous empty seats around St James’ Park.Emery’s decision to leave new signings David Luiz, Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe on the bench was rewarded by a determined, if only sporadically cohesive, display from his team.There were starts for 19-year-old academy graduates Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock, but Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac were absent after two men were arrested following a fresh incident after the pair were the victims of an attempted car-jacking in July.– Cool finish –Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan battles for the ball with Newcastle United’s new signing Joelinton during their English Premier League match at St. James’ Park on August 11, 2019.Joelinton made his first Newcastle start after his club-record £40 million switch from Hoffenheim and the Brazilian striker needed to impress to lift the gloomy mood on a rainy day in the north-east.He had his first sights of goal when he flicked a header just wide from Matt Ritchie’s cross and then blasted straight at Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno.Jonjo Shelvey went even closer for Newcastle as the midfielder hit the outside of a post with a stinging strike.Henrikh Mkhitaryan squandered a golden chance to give Arsenal the lead, the unmarked midfielder firing wildly over the bar from 10 yards.After a quiet start, Arsenal star Aubameyang, the joint top-scorer in the Premier League last season, sprang to life when he tested Martin Dubravka with a powerful strike after superbly controlling Mkhitaryan’s long pass.It was a warning that Newcastle failed to heed as Aubameyang put Arsenal ahead in the 58th minute.Ainsley Maitland-Niles was the provider, making a timely interception of Paul Dummett’s under-hit pass to Jetro Willems and surging away from inside his own half.Unfurling a pin-point pass that curled over the back-tracking Newcastle defence, Maitland-Niles found Aubameyang in space and the Gabon striker took a touch before clipping his cool finish past Dubravka.Ivory Coast winger Pepe, Arsenal’s £72 million club-record signing, and Spanish midfielder Ceballos, on loan from Real Madrid, came off the bench for the last 20 minutes.The new boys didn’t make much of an impact as Arsenal’s much-maligned defence took the plaudits.0Shares0000(Visited 25 times, 2 visits today)last_img read more


first_img1 Juan Mata is looking forward to playing his part in West Ham’s farewell to Upton Park – a place the Manchester United man says ‘breathes English football’.Louis van Gaal takes his United side to face the Hammers on Tuesday night in what will be the last-ever official game at Upton Park before their summer relocation into the Olympic Stadium.While it will be an emotional night for all those involved with West Ham, United go there knowing victories in their final two league games will guarantee them a place in the Barclays Premier League top four and a Champions League spot.Last month, United won the last-ever FA Cup match to be played at Upton Park, with a 2-1 sixth-round replay win setting them up for a semi-final victory over Everton.But this time the emotions will run even higher, and Mata – who scored the only goal in Saturday’s gritty win at lowly Norwich – knows it will be no ordinary night in east London.“It’s going to be special,” he wrote in his weekly blog.“The last official game at the Boleyn Ground, where West Ham has been playing for 112 years. With that image of Bobby Moore, it’s a place that breathes English football… it will be an honour to be there and try to get the last win.“West Ham has been a tough opponent this season. We know them well because we’ve played against them in the FA Cup too. They are in the seventh position by a combination of effort and talent, not by chance.“It (the win at Norwich) was a very important win to keep us in the fight for the Champions League, even more after the draw between (Manchester) City and Arsenal.” Juan Mata netted in Manchester United’s weekend win at Norwich last_img read more