Arsenal finally opened their Premier League campaign up last night, as they went toe to toe with Newcastle United. The Gunners were expected to get a win over the Magpies given how both teams performed during the summer transfer window, but there was also the fear from many fans that they would drop points in a game that they really should’ve been cruising to victory in. As it turned out, Arsenal did get the win, but it wasn’t all that easy – from the perspective of the scoreline, that is.
A solid win
If you actually looked at the balance of play, we’d argue it’s fair to suggest that Unai Emery’s men dominated Newcastle from pillar to post. However, due to the lack of goalscoring threat on the pitch (first teamers were featured but couldn’t quite get going) in the first half, there was a lot of concern, and understandably so.
Eventually, though, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was able to open his club’s account for the season with a really nice finish during a one on one exchange with the keeper. From that point on they upped their game and started to play with a bit more fluidity, which was nice to see considering that many of their new signings either weren’t in the starting XI or just weren’t fit enough to be featured yet.
Arsenal did the job, saw out the win, and ensured they got off to a winning start which is something they failed to do in the 2018/19 campaign. There are still many, many questions that need to be answered and that’s going to come in time, but we can’t pretend like this is a bad way to start the campaign. Newcastle aren’t great and will probably be featured in the relegation battle between now and May, but you can only beat what is put in front of you.
The attention will now turn towards the late kick-off on Saturday, as Arsenal prepare to take on Burnley. Sean Dyche’s men got off to an absolute flyer of a start with a 3-0 triumph over Southampton this weekend, and while a lot of fans will be viewing this as another fairly easy three points, this is exactly the kind of team that you cannot afford to take lightly. If you do, then they’ll punish you for it all over the pitch.
What does this win tell you about Arsenal’s potential this season?