Unai Emery’s side made the perfect start to the new campaign at a soggy St James’ Park
Arsenal’s battling 1-0 win in their season opener at Newcastle means they have now kept as many away clean sheets as they did in the entirety of the last campaign.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who shared the Golden Boot last season with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, picked up where he left off with a well-taken second half goal to earn the Gunners a scrappy victory at St James’ Park, their 13th win in 14 meetings against the Magpies.
It means Arsenal equalled their 2018-19 clean sheet record after just one game of the new campaign. Unai Emery’s side had to wait until mid-April to record a shutout on the road last year, with Aubameyang also on target in a 1-0 victory against Watford at Vicarage Road.
It also means the Gunners have won and kept a clean sheet in their opening game of a Premier League season for the first time since a 1-0 victory over West Brom at the start of the 2008-09 campaign. And After ending last season with a 3-1 win at Burnley, they have now recorded consecutive away wins in the Premier League for the first time since October 2018; a run that also included a victory against Newcastle at St. James’ Park.
Only Manchester United and West Ham conceded more goals than Arsenal’s 51 in the Premier League’s top ten last season, so Emery must be encouraged by the performance of his defenders, who comfortably kept the Magpies attack at bay in the north east.
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The departure of captain Laurent Koscielny to Bordeaux put even greater focus on the Arsenal backline going into the new campaign, though deadline-day signings David Luiz and Kieran Tierney will significantly bolster Emery’s defensive options in the coming weeks.
Luiz was short of match fitness following his move from Chelsea so was only named among the substitutes against Newcastle. Tierney meanwhile has been hoping to return by the end of the month as he continues his recovery from a double hernia operation.
Next up for Arsenal has been a home game against Burnley next Saturday. Newcastle travel to Carrow Road to take on newly promoted Norwich the same day.