Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang punished slack Newcastle defending to give Arsenal victory at a rain-drenched St James’ Park.
Starting with many of their £125m-worth of signings on the bench and without midfielders Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac, Gunners boss Unai Emery watched his side struggle to cut through their opponents in the first half.
That all changed just before the hour mark when Aubameyang was left unmarked on the edge of the area, collected Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross from the right and fired past Martin Dubravka.
As for Steve Bruce, his Newcastle managerial debut was about what could have been.
The Magpies’ record signing Joelinton went close with a shot blocked by Bernd Leno, before Jonjo Shelvey saw his drive crash off the woodwork.
The home side were flat for much of the second half, although another new recruit, the exciting wing prospect Allan Saint-Maximin, tested German Leno with a near-post drive.
Aubameyang makes the difference
Unai Emery went through a range of emotions in his dugout area during the first period, ranging from anguish to anger.
His somewhat makeshift Arsenal starting XI, without the experienced Ozil and Kolasinac, struggled with both the conditions and the five-man Newcastle midfield.
They only opened up the Magpies’ defence twice in that opening period, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan firing wildly over before Aubameyang struck a firm drive at Dubravka.