Arsenal got their Premier League campaign off to a winning start, beating Newcastle United 1-0 at a rain-drenched St. James Park.
Due to a lack of match fitness, Arsenal kept most of their summer signings on the bench and started with two teenagers, but struggled to find their rhythm in the first half, and the home side had the better chances with Jonjo Shelvey hitting the post. That was apart from one sharp turn and shot by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, which was well saved by Martin Dubravka in the Newcastle goal.
And it was the Gabonese striker who scored the decisive goal after 58 minutes, although much credit must go to full-back Ainsley Maitland-Nile who cut out a ball on the right, surged forward and delivered a cross which Aubameyang controlled with his first touch, and stabbed home with his second. The Gunners introduced Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pépé, and Gabriel Martinelli from the bench, and, although there were no more goals, restricted Newcastle to long-range efforts in the end.
It was Chelsea who had the first chance, Tammy Abraham striking the post with a fierce shot after the ball fell to him on the edge of the box. Soon afterwards though, they fell behind when Kurt Zouma’s clumsy challenge on Marcus Rashford in the Chelsea penalty box resulted in a penalty, which Rashford himself converted. Chelsea wasted several good opportunities, but were unfortunate when a shot from full-back Emerson came back off the underside of the bar.
Manchester United doubled their lead in the 65th minute, Anthony Martial running from his own half to set-up an attack. When the ball eventually reached Andreas Pereira, his cross found Martial who volleyed in from six yards.
Two minutes later it was 3 – 0, Rashford latching on to a 50-yard pass by Paul Pogba to side foot past Kepa in the Chelsea goal. And Pogba also set-up the fourth for substitute Daniel James, who marked his full Manchester United debut with a goal. Chelsea were well beaten in the end, even if the score line was somewhat flattering to United.