Unai Emery concedes Arsenal "struggled" in their 1-0 win over Newcastle United but felt a collective team effort led to an ultimately deserved three points.

Arsenal came away from St James' Park with a slender victory on Sunday thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's strike just before the hour mark.

Aubameyang made the most of some slack defending from Newcastle to score what proved to be the winning goal in a game of few clear-cut chances.

After equalling last season's away clean sheets tally in their first match of the 2019-20 campaign, Emery targeted more shutouts if Arsenal are to improve on their fifth-place finish from last time out.

"I want to win. I want to score and I want to keep a clean sheet," he said at his post-match news conference. "Today we won and we did that. 

"I think we created chances and we need also to create chances for our strikers and today with Auba we won. 

"We want to start defending with Aubameyang and we want to start attacking with Bernd Leno. I think every player worked very well today. Aubameyang scored, but I think it was because every player worked together.

"Our idea is to continue being one team, mostly offensive. But we need to also take the balance defensively. To win away we know is difficult in each match. Today we struggled but we deserved it."

Arsenal started without any of their new signings, with deadline-day arrival David Luiz remaining on the bench for the full 90 minutes.

Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli made their debuts as second-half subs, though, and Emery said he intends to integrate them all into the first team.

"David Luiz did pre-season with another team and he is okay to play physically but he only trained completely with us yesterday," he said. 

"Pepe came one week ago and physically he needs to get his best fitness to be ready to play 100 per cent for 90 minutes. I think that today 20 minutes is good for him. 

"And Ceballos is in the middle because he came before Pepe but he got an injury and he stopped training. But he needs to know the Premier League, so today was important for him and for us."

Arsenal's winning goal came after a mistake from loanee Jetro Willems, who hesitated on the ball and allowed Ainsley Maitland-Niles to charge forward and play in Aubameyang.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was disappointed that the lapse resulted proved decisive in his first competitive match in charge of his boyhood club.

"It's the manner of it," he told reporters. "We gave a sloppy goal away. If Arsenal open you up, you can applaud the opposition but to give away a bad goal is frustrating.

"We defended fantastically well through the game - I don't remember my goalkeeper making a mistake. We left ourselves open and got punished."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang marked his 50th Premier League appearance by scoring the winner as Arsenal beat Newcastle United 1-0 in their season opener at St James' Park.

Arsenal coach Unai Emery put his faith in last season's top scorer, while leaving Alexandre Lacazette and new signing Nicolas Pepe on the bench, and he was repaid 13 minutes into the second half when Gabon international Aubameyang fired his side ahead.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce had seen his new charges compete admirably until that point but an error from loanee Jetro Willems presented the visitors with an opportunity that they did not pass up.

There were better debuts for Magpies signings Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin - the latter introduced from the bench - but when Emery sent on Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos midway through the second half, it only drew further attention to a gulf in quality that had already been made clear.

The performances of young Gunners Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles were encouraging for Emery, who will have been relieved to see his defence - widely considered his side's major weakness – enjoy a largely comfortable afternoon.

While Jonjo Shelvey and Fabian Schar injected steel into Bruce's side, Javier Manquillo and Matt Ritchie gave the hosts their out-ball and it was the latter whose cross found the head of Joelinton, but the Brazilian sent a glancing effort wide.

Shelvey hit the outside of the post with a rasping shot from the edge of the box before Emery's men began to probe, Henrikh Mkhitaryan blazing over the crossbar from 12 yards with the Gunners' first clear chance.

Joelinton went closer at the other end, jinking into the box and testing Bernd Leno with a firmly struck shot before Aubameyang latched onto Mkhitaryan's exquisite chipped pass and drew a good near-post save from Martin Dubravka with a rocket.

Granit Xhaka's vision and passing technique afforded Aubameyang a shooting chance early in the second half but Dubravka turned his shot around the post.

Bruce sent on Eintracht Frankfurt loanee Willems for Shelvey, but moments later the Dutchman called for the ball and then hesitated as Schar's pass rolled towards him, allowing Maitland-Niles to steal the ball, burst down the right flank and centre to Aubameyang, who poked a shot past the on-rushing Dubravka.

Saint-Maximin and Pepe both came off the bench to excite their respective supporters, and the former found the angle to fire a low shot at goal seven minutes from time, but Leno got down well to make the save and ensure all three points went south to the capital.

What does it mean? Clouds gather on Tyneside

On a rainy Sunday in Newcastle, thousands of Magpies fans boycotted their team's first league game of the season, but had they attended they would have seen little to lighten the mood around a club where expectations are at a low.

Aubameyang back in the groove

Aubameyang looked sharp and alert from the outset, and had Newcastle not gifted him an opening in the way they did, you felt he would have carved a goal out for himself.

Willems the foe

Dutch defender Willems had been on the pitch for just four minutes when his moment of hesitation gifted Maitland-Niles the ball with the chance to break for Aubameyang's opener.

What's next?

Arsenal's first home game of the new season sees Burnley travel to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, while Newcastle make the journey south to face newly promoted Norwich City.

Newcastle United have completed their third signing of the transfer window, bringing in Nice winger Allan Saint-Maximin in a deal believed to be worth £16million.

The acquisition of Saint-Maximin, 22, followed the loan arrival of Jetro Willems on Friday, with the former signing a six-year deal at St James' Park.

The ex-Monaco winger scored six Ligue 1 goals in 34 appearances for Nice last term, and will wear the number 10 shirt for Newcastle.

"I'm delighted to bring Allan to St. James' Park. He is a very talented young player with a big future ahead of him," head coach Steve Bruce told Newcastle's official website.

"He has all the attributes you would want in an attacking player, including lightning pace, so I'm sure he'll excite everybody. He is a great addition to Newcastle United and the Premier League."

Saint-Maximin could be in line to make his Newcastle debut against one of his previous clubs, with the Magpies taking on Saint-Etienne on Saturday.

As well as Saint-Maximin and Willems, Newcastle have also signed Joelinton from Hoffenheim this close season for a club-record fee.

Steve Bruce expects Joelinton to be "a big hit" with Newcastle United supporters but admitted the former Hoffenheim striker is "not a typical Brazilian".

Joelinton's Newcastle debut started brightly when he weaved his way into the Preston North End box and won his side a penalty within seconds of his introduction in the second half of the Magpies' friendly at Deepdale.

But Miguel Almiron missed the ensuing spot-kick and Joelinton later conceded a penalty that Preston's Paul Gallagher scored to clinch a 2-1 win for the Lilywhites, though Bruce was impressed with his new signing nonetheless.

"I think he'll be a big hit," Bruce told the Chronicle.

"He is full of life and full of energy and plays with his heart on his sleeve.

"He is not a typical Brazillian - all the silky skills that you associate - however, I think he will be an effective number nine."

Joelinton's record-breaking £40million (€44.6m) arrival from Hoffenheim on a six-year deal created a buzz around St. James' Park, where the most the club had previously spent on a player was the £20.5m paid for Almiron in January.

Almiron has made 10 Premier League appearances for the club without finding the net, but Bruce backed his leading lights to shine as he aims to steer Newcastle into the top half of the table in 2019-20.

"The two of them [Joeliton and Almiron] will be a handful," said Bruce.

"After one minute, they combined, which could have won us the game.

"It was nice to see Miggy [Almiron], it was the first time I have seen him live.

"He is a very good player."

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce is "very confident" Sean Longstaff will be staying at the club amid reported interest from Manchester United.

Longstaff, 21, broke into Newcastle's first-team last season, making nine Premier League appearances between December and March, before suffering a knee injury.

The talented midfielder is said to have emerged as a primary transfer target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men following several encouraging performances.

The Red Devils are said to have been put off by Newcastle's apparent £50million asking price for the inexperienced talent, though it is claimed United are preparing to test Newcastle's resolve.

Bruce is convinced Longstaff will be at St James' Park next term, however.

"We don't want to sell our best young players, that's for sure," Bruce told reporters on Wednesday during Joelinton's presentation.

"So, that won't happen. I'm very confident [Longstaff will not leave]."

Newcastle United have smashed their club transfer record to bring in striker Joelinton from Hoffenheim, boosting Steve Bruce's short-staffed front line.

The Brazilian forward has signed a six-year deal at St James' Park and is said to have cost in the region of £40million (€44.6m).

The transfer surpasses the £20.5m Newcastle spent to secure Miguel Almiron earlier this year, that fee having finally topped their long-standing record figure of £16.5m, paid for Michael Owen in 2005.

Joelinton, 22, scored 11 goals in all competitions for Hoffenheim last term, starring after spending the previous two years out on loan at Rapid Vienna.

"I’m really happy to be here," he told Newcastle's official website. "I know it's a large investment that the club has made in me and that comes with a huge responsibility.

"I'm highly motivated and hope to give back on the pitch."

Bruce, confirmed as Newcastle's new head coach last week, had earlier told the club's official website they were "working on" bringing in attacking players.

"The kid’s got an exciting time ahead of him. He’s a smashing young player and we're obviously delighted to get him," Bruce said.

"It's been going on for a little bit now, so to get him is great for everybody.

"He's got everything that a modern-day player wants. He's big, strong and athletic, and of course he’s got age on his side too which is vitally important."

Since the end of last season, the Magpies have seen Salomon Rondon go to Dalian Yifang after a productive spell on loan from West Brom, top scorer Ayoze Perez join Leicester City and fringe striker Joselu return to Spain with Deportivo Alaves.

With Dwight Gayle out injured, Yoshinori Muto and teenager Elias Sorensen shared striking duties during last week's opening pre-season defeat to Wolves in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

Muto then scored the only goal of the game against West Ham in Bruce's first win on Saturday.

Newcastle United have smashed their club transfer record to bring in striker Joelinton from Hoffenheim, boosting Steve Bruce's short-staffed front line.

The Brazilian forward has signed a six-year deal at St James' Park and is said to have cost in the region of £40million (€44.6m) and £47.6m (€53m).

The transfer surpasses the £20.5m Newcastle spent to secure Miguel Almiron earlier this year, that fee having finally topped their long-standing record figure of £16.5m, paid for Michael Owen in 2005.

 

Sheffield Wednesday have reported Newcastle United to the Premier League for their conduct concerning the appointment of Steve Bruce as head coach.

Bruce was announced as successor to Rafael Benitez at St. James' Park last Wednesday, with Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence confirmed as his assistants.

Wednesday were angry that the news was made public as they said there were still "outstanding legal issues to be resolved between the club and the staff and Newcastle United".

The Championship side have now approached the Premier League to begin an investigation.

In a statement released on Monday, they said: "Following Newcastle United's announcement on July 17, 2019 of its appointment of former Sheffield Wednesday staff Steve Bruce, Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, the club confirms that it has today reported Newcastle United's conduct to the Premier League.

"As the Premier League will now initiate and carry out investigations into the club's allegations, the club will not be commenting further on this matter whilst such investigations are ongoing."

Bruce has been in China to watch Newcastle against Wolves and West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

The Magpies meet Preston North End in their next pre-season friendly match at Deepdale on Saturday.

Manchester City failed to collect their first trophy of the 2019-20 season after losing the Premier League Asia Trophy final to Wolves on penalties.

Following a goalless draw in Shanghai on Saturday, Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio saved three penalties to seal a 3-2 shoot-out victory for Nuno Espirito Santo's side.

Pep Guardiola's men completed a domestic clean sweep of silverware last term but must wait until next month's Community Shield for a chance to add to their growing collection of medals.

City were gifted the chance to take a first-half lead when Adama Traore fouled Leroy Sane in the box and referee Martin Atkinson pointed to the penalty spot.

But Raheem Sterling, who started in a central attacking role after he scored twice against West Ham to send City into the final, blazed his effort from 12 yards well over the angle of post and bar.

David Silva's 77th-minute free-kick tested Patricio, who earlier needed lengthy treatment on a facial injury, as City continued to fruitlessly probe for the breakthrough.

Conor Coady and Ilkay Gundogan were each denied in the first round of penalties, with Patricio also keeping out Silva's strike before Maximilian Kilman fired his kick wide for Wolves.

Danilo made it 1-1 after three kicks each with a low shot that squeezed under Patricio, who then saved the decisive effort from Lukas Nmecha to secure the trophy.

Earlier in the day, with new head coach Steve Bruce watching from the stands, Newcastle United beat West Ham 1-0 in the third-place play-off thanks to Japan striker Yoshinori Muto's goal.

Steve Bruce has revealed David Beckham backed him in taking the Newcastle United job despite Alan Shearer's doubts.

Boyhood Magpies fan Bruce was appointed as the club's head coach this week, replacing Rafael Benitez, whose popular reign ended as he failed to agree with controversial owner Mike Ashley on a route forward.

Newcastle supporters are set to boycott their first match of the Premier League season amid anger at Ashley, while the arrival of Bruce - a former Sunderland boss - has not gone down well with many.

Club great Shearer, Bruce's friend, was vocal in advising the new man against moving to St James' Park, but ex-Manchester United team-mate Beckham was more positive.

"Tons of them [were positive]," Bruce said of his friends. "'You've got to do it,' people said.

"I don't want to mention names, but David Beckham was one of them. I'll have to show my daughter that text message.

"[Shearer] said 'no, no, no'. I said 'yes, yes, yes'. He's a big friend and he's a big Newcastle fan, but I had no hesitation as soon as I got the phone call.

"When it became real, there was no hesitation. I had to have a crack."

One of Bruce's first tasks at Newcastle will be to settle the future of Sean Longstaff, who is linked with a switch to Old Trafford.

Bruce is adamant Longstaff will not leave amid reports of a £50million valuation.

"[Longstaff] is a player we want to keep, he's had a remarkable rise," the coach said. "He is everything you would want in a player, big and athletic and he handles the ball well.

"We've got to be mindful of the fact he's had a nasty injury, we've got to nurture him through pre-season so he is ready for Arsenal [on the opening day].

"He is the type of player you want to build your team around. I’ve only seen him for a day, but he has had an unbelievable rise. He very much reminds me of a Michael Carrick.

"I'm not aware that he is going to Manchester United, I'm not aware of that at all."

Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce understands he will be viewed as inferior to Rafael Benitez by many fans but has vowed to "give it everything" after taking charge of his boyhood club.

Bruce resigned as manager of Sheffield Wednesday - who are now considering their legal options - and took charge at Newcastle this week, penning a three-year deal.

The departure of the hugely popular Benitez, a Champions League winner with Liverpool, to Chinese club Dalian Yifang, has prompted swathes of Newcastle fans to call for a boycott of the first game of the season against Arsenal at St James' Park in protest at Mike Ashley's continued ownership.

A reported 12,000 season tickets have been left unsold and the appointment of Bruce as Benitez's successor was met with derision by many.

Despite the controversy, former Sunderland and Aston Villa boss Bruce was thrilled to be offered the chance to manage the club he grew up supporting, having rejected the job earlier in his career, and promised to do his best to fill the void left by Benitez.

He told NUFC TV: "To be given the opportunity now, I'm like every other Geordie now, I've lived the dream, if you can't play for them then of course if you're a Geordie what better thing than to take the number one seat?

"I'm delighted to be given the opportunity, I'll do my best, I know in some people's eyes I'm not Rafa and I understand there's big shoes to fill but believe me I'll give it everything I possibly can and hopefully prove the doubters wrong.

"The easy thing for me would have been to say no, but at my stage in my career now - back a few years ago I regretted it - that regret lingered around me for years when Sir Bobby [Robson] left so to be given the opportunity again is something simply I had to take it.

"I had to grasp it, I knew it was going to be difficult. I just hope that people show the respect which obviously you only gain by getting a few results and doing the job but hopefully that'll go hand in hand."

Bruce confirmed Newcastle are working on bringing a striker in having seen last year's loan star Salomon Rondon reportedly agree to join Benitez in China and Ayoze Perez make a £30million move to Leicester City. 

"Of course we're aware we've lost Rondon and Ayoze so we're short in that little area so we're working on that but the squad is littered with some very, very good players and that's why it's been able to stay in the Premier League," Bruce added. 

"It's my job now to move us forward if we possibly can, I'll try my utmost to try and achieve that."

Newcastle are reportedly in talks to sign Brazilian forward Joelinton from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.

Sheffield Wednesday have hit out at Newcastle United for announcing Steve Bruce as their new head coach. 

The former Sunderland boss was confirmed as Rafael Benitez's successor on Wednesday on a three-year deal. 

Bruce and assistants Steve Agnew and Steve Clemence resigned from their roles at the Championship club on Monday in order to facilitate their move to St. James' Park. 

However, Wednesday claim there are "outstanding legal issues" to be settled with their former staff and Newcastle, so are therefore angry that a public announcement has been made about their appointments. 

"The club is disappointed to learn via public statement issued by Newcastle United that it has appointed former Sheffield Wednesday staff Steve Bruce, Steve Agnew and Steve Clemence," they said in a statement. 

"Regardless of the fact that the staff resigned from their positions with the club on Monday, there remains outstanding legal issues to be resolved between the club and the staff and Newcastle United. 

"The club is currently considering its position and taking the appropriate legal advice." 

Bruce, Agnew and Clemence are due to travel to China to meet up with the Newcastle squad for the Premier League Asia Trophy tournament. 

Newcastle United have confirmed the appointment of boyhood fan and ex-Sunderland boss Steve Bruce as their new head coach, replacing departed manager Rafael Benitez.

The Magpies had been searching for a new coach since Benitez's departure at the end of his contract last month and they have found their man in Bruce, who leaves Sheffield Wednesday after a short but impressive stint.

The former Manchester United captain was reported to have resigned from his role at Wednesday earlier this week, having confirmed talks with Newcastle.

Bruce's links to rivals Sunderland, where he was manager between 2009 and 2011, may not go down well with supporters who were already organising protests against owner Mike Ashley, but he has signed a three-year deal at St James' Park.

"I'm delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of Newcastle United," Bruce said. "This is my boyhood club and it was my dad's club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.

"There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it's one that my staff and I are ready for. We'll roll our sleeves up and we'll be giving it everything from the off to ensure supporters have a successful team that they can be proud of."

Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, who were also at Wednesday, have been appointed as assistants to Bruce, and the trio will now travel to China to join the club's pre-season tour.

Newcastle had been linked with a variety of names in recent weeks, including Jose Mourinho, Steven Gerrard and Garry Monk, while Sam Allardyce says he rejected the opportunity to return to Tyneside.

A takeover has also been mooted, with the Bin Zayed Group from Dubai claiming to have agreed a deal with Ashley, but that has not yet come to pass.

The popular Benitez moved to China with Dalian Yifang after over three years at Newcastle, since continuing to complain about Ashley, with whom he was said to have a fractious relationship.

Newcastle's player of the year Salomon Rondon has returned to parent club West Brom since the end of last season, while top-scorer Ayoze Perez has also departed for Leicester City.

Midfielder Sean Longstaff has been widely linked with a move to Manchester United.

Newcastle United have confirmed the appointment of boyhood fan and ex-Sunderland boss Steve Bruce as their new head coach, replacing departed manager Rafael Benitez.

The Magpies had been searching for a new coach since Benitez's departure at the end of his contract last month and they have found their man in Bruce, who leaves Sheffield Wednesday after a short but impressive stint.

The former Manchester United captain was reported to have resigned from his role at Wednesday earlier this week, having confirmed talks with Newcastle.

Bruce's links to rivals Sunderland, where he was manager between 2009 and 2011, may not go down well with supporters who were already organising protests against owner Mike Ashley, but he has signed a three-year deal at St James' Park.

Steve Bruce has held talks with Newcastle United over their vacant managerial position, the Sheffield Wednesday boss confirmed.

Bruce is reportedly Newcastle's top target following the departure of Rafael Benitez at the end of his Magpies contract.

However, the former Sunderland manager says decisions are out of his control until negotiations are completed between the two clubs.

"Speculation is speculation. It's in the hands of the club," Bruce said after the Owls' pre-season victory over Lincoln City. "For me, at this particular moment, there is nothing really to talk about until the two clubs reach some sort of compromise.

"I've had a conversation [with Newcastle]. It's happening so quickly that I've got to take stock of the whole situation. It's in the hands of both clubs and we'll see what develops over the next 24 to 48 hours.

"The clubs have got to agree before any discussions and all the rest of it. Let's see what happens, I cannot really comment any more than that.

"Out of respect I thought it was only right to go and talk [to Newcastle], it was over with before it started, thankfully the chairman [Dejphon Chansiri] gave me permission to go and have a conversation.

"I don't really want to talk about dream jobs and all the rest of it, it's a bit pie in the sky at the moment, I'm the Sheffield Wednesday manager and I have to respect that.

"I've been very, very happy here, of course I have."

 

One Owls fan confronted Bruce in the dugout during Saturday's game but the manager, who saw a cabbage thrown his way by a disgruntled supporter while in charge of Aston Villa, shrugged off the incident.

"It was nothing really," Bruce added. "I think he expressed his opinion, shall we put it that way, very vocally. I think he'd had one or two beers too many."

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