Football Features

Newcastle 0-1 Arsenal: Full player ratings as Aubameyang and the “utility man” deliver for Emery

By Chris Smith

Published: 16:09, 11 August 2019

Arsenal beat Newcastle United 1-0 at St James’ Park on Sunday to make a perfect start to their Premier League campaign.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang picked up from where he left off last season, chipping a lovely finish over Martin Dubravka to hand Arsenal all three points after some great work from Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Newcastle were solid defensively but couldn’t quite muster up enough meaningful chances on what was a promising first game under the guidance of Steve Bruce.

Here are the full player ratings from Sunday’s clash.

Newcastle United

Martin Dubravka – 7 – Did well to deny Aubameyang in the first half but could do little about his goal after the break. Distribution left a lot to be desired at times, though.

Matt Ritchie – 5 – Delivery wasn’t up to his usual standards and had little effect when moved into midfield in the second half.

Paul Dummett – 7 – Made a match-high six tackles and mopped up brilliantly on the left side of Newcastle’s back three. Slightly under-hit his pass to Willems for the Arsenal goal, but his teammate cannot be excused for standing there like a statue.

Jamaal Lascelles – 7 – A real leader at the heart of a quite impressive Newcastle defence. Won it in the air and on the floor and continues to be a really underrated centre-back.

Fabian Schar – 8 – One of last season’s ultimate bargains, Schar picked up where he left off, making a match-high seven interceptions while coping brilliantly with Arsenal’s pacey forward line. If this sort of form continues, a big move may be on for him in the next 12 months.

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (left) and Newcastle United’s Fabian Schar battle for the ball

Javier Manquillo – 5 – Some rather questionable delivery when he had time and space to pick out a cross but did a good job defensively.

Sean Longstaff – 5 – Was linked with Man Utd all summer, so Sunday will have been a big day for him. Completed just 69% of his passes but worked hard defensively, making three tackles and two successful aerial duels. Better days to come.

Jonjo Shelvey – 6 – Forced a good save onto the post from Leno and did the dirty work defensively but his 74% pass success rate showed how uncharacteristically wasteful he was on the ball. Subbed after 53 minutes.

Isaac Hayden – 7 – Continues to be an underrated ball-carrier and completed more dribbles (3) than any other Newcastle player. Also made the second-highest number of tackles (5) of any player on the pitch and put in a good defensive shift.

Miguel Almiron – 7 – Was booked for diving and, sure, that’s not the kind of stuff we want to see. But if anyone was going to create for Newcastle, it was Almiron. Constantly looked to drive at the Arsenal defence and was a nightmare to dispossess.

Joelinton – 7 – Won a match-high 8 aerial duels but often looked an isolated figure up front for Newcastle. Did well to fashion himself a chance in the first half but hit it straight at Leno. All in all, though, not a bad debut.

Subs:

Jetro Willems (for Shelvey, 53 mins) – 3 – A nightmare start for Willems who, just five minutes into his debut, was caught waiting for the ball only for it to be intercepted by Maitland-Niles, leading to Aubameyang’s opening goal.

Allan Saint-Maximin (for Longstaff, 66 mins) – 6 – Looked to add some more pace and trickery down the flanks for Newcastle but didn’t quite have the end product this time.

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Arsenal

Bernd Leno – 8 – Did brilliantly to save Shelvey’s effort in the first half, while standing tall to Joelinton’s shot, too. Tidy with the ball at his feet as usual.

Nacho Monreal – 7 – Neat and tidy with the ball and as reliable as ever in defence.

Sokratis – 7 – Joelinton won the aerial battle but Sokratis still kept a good lid on the Brazilian and marshalled his defence well. Ended the game with a 92% pass completion rate and has clearly worked on his distribution over the summer.

Calum Chambers -6 – Will be glad to have put in a solid defensive performance alongside Sokratis after a number of loan spells, especially with David Luiz waiting in the wings.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 9 – Continued in his utility right-back role from last season and, honestly, put in an excellent performance. Completed a match-high four dribbles, never quaked in the face of some pretty rough treatment from the Newcastle players and showed brilliant awareness to beat Willems to the ball before setting up Aubameyang’s goal.

Matteo Guendouzi – 6 – As graceful as ever in possession, keeping the ball moving for Arsenal while helping shield a rather unfamiliar centre-back pairing.

Granit Xhaka – 6 – Broke up Newcastle’s play well in the midfield and made the second-highest number of tackles (3) of any Arsenal player.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 4 – His intelligence got him into some good positions but the Armenian was incredibly wasteful. Lost possession more times (15) than any other player on the pitch during the first half and things didn’t improve much after the break. Booked for a desperate lung on Hayden.

Joe Willock – 6 – Looked full of endeavour and seemed really keen to prove a point. In one sense, it helped him close down Newcastle players when out of possession but, on the other hand, it led to a number of misplaced passes and a wasteful 74% pass completion rate. Still, the talent definitely appears to be there and Willock was always willing to run with the ball.

Reiss Nelson – 6 – Only Maitland-Niles (4) had completed more dribbles than Nelson (3) before he was substituted. Although he looked a little short on confidence and, at times, held onto the ball when a killer pass was on, his trickery and movement between the lines was a sign of intelligence and made him a nightmare to pick up. Promising.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 8 – Was unlucky not to open the scoring in the first half but his pace and movement always looked like causing a threat. A lovely little chip to beat Dubravka and deliver the three points for the Gunners. Could another Golden Boot be on the cards this season?

Subs:

Dani Ceballos (for Willock, 64 mins) – 6 – Got some valuable minutes and looked neat and tidy on his debut. Ceballos is almost certain to be a hit at Arsenal once he hits his stride.

Nicolas Pepe (for Nelson, 71 mins) – 6 – Made his debut replacing Nelson but was unable to really have an influence. Expect that to change soon.

Gabriel Martinelli (for Mkhitaryan, 84 mins) – N/A – Arsenal’s third debutant from the bench, but didn’t have time to get into the game.