Arsenal kick off PL campaign with win

Arsenal kick off PL campaign with win
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in action during an EPL match between Arsenal and Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
London, Aug 11 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/11/2019 12:52:05 PM IST

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal of the game as Arsenal made a winning start to the Premier League campaign with a 1-0 victory at St. James’ Park, Newcastle on Sunday.

The 30-year-old, who shared the Golden Boot last season with Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, opened his account for 2019/20 in the 58th minute, bringing down Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross before lifting the ball over Martin Dubravka. 

It proved to be the crucial strike as the Gunners, who handed Premier League debuts to new signings Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli from the bench, ensured Steve Bruce’s reign as Newcastle head coach began with defeat.

The game was played out in front of a crowd of 47,635 - almost 5,000 below capacity - as some Newcastle fans staged a boycott over owner Mike Ashley’s running of the club, but those that were in the ground roared with approval as new boy Joelinton rose highest in the Arsenal penalty area before glancing the ball wide of Bernd Leno’s far post.

Jonjo Shelvey had the home fans off their seats again moments later as Leno touched his powerful drive onto the post, but it was Arsenal, who created the chance of the first half.

Nacho Monreal latched onto Granit Xhaka’s long pass before laying the ball off to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who lashed the ball high over Dubravka’s crossbar.

Dubravka was eventually called into action when Mkhitaryan’s pass released Aubameyang, who was denied by the Slovakian goalkeeper at his near post.

The visitors almost forced the breakthrough in the second-half when Xhaka picked out the run of Aubameyang, but Paul Dummett got across well to block the striker’s 52nd-minute effort. However, the Gabon international was not to be denied for long and he fired his side into the lead six minutes later when Maitland-Niles intercepted Dummett’s attempted pass to substitute Jetro Williams and then crossed for Aubamyenag, who controlled before lifting the ball over the advancing Dubravka.

Bruce sent on new signing Allan Saint-Maximin as Newcastle went in search of an equaliser and the Frenchman forced Leno into a late save, but ultimately the hosts could not find a way through the Gunners defence.

The Gunners’ next outing will be against Burnley on Saturday. Newcastle will face Norwich City on the same day.

Tottenham beat Aston Villa 3-1

Harry Kane scored two late goals as Tottenham came from behind to start its Premier League campaign with a 3-1 win over promoted Aston Villa.
Tanguy Ndombele also struck on his debut as Mauricio Pochettino’s side dug deep to overcome a stubborn Villa team.
Kane, who missed a good chance in first-half injury time, capitalized on a defensive lapse from Jack Grealish before coolly slotting the ball past goalkeeper Tom Heaton in the 86th minute.
The England forward then grabbed his second in the 90th after being set up by Moussa Sissoko. It was just reward for Spurs’ pressure after the home side chalked up 28 efforts on goal, compared to six from the visitors.
Earlier, John McGinn stunned the home crowd by scoring against the run of play in the ninth minute. He held off Danny Rose’s challenge and shot low past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris following a long ball forward from Tyrone Mings.
Ndombele tried his luck from distance before Pochettino brought on Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen in the 64th. Spurs kept attacking and club-record signing Ndombele finally leveled in the 73rd when he let fly through a host of bodies after Lucas Moura had laid the ball back.

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