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Defensive delight for Emery as Arsenal hold firm to beat Newcastle

PUBLISHED: 17:07 11 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:07 11 August 2019

Arsenal's manager Unai Emery during the Emirates Cup match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Arsenal's manager Unai Emery during the Emirates Cup match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal boss Unai Emery was delighted with his side's defensive display as they beat Newcastle 1-0 at St James' Park on Sunday afternoon to start their Premier League season with a win.

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with his team mates during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle.  Picture: OWEN HUMPHREYS/PAArsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with his team mates during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle. Picture: OWEN HUMPHREYS/PA

The Gunners were rarely troubled on Tyneside and look comfortable, despite a makeshift back four of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Calum Chambers and Nacho Monreal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal of the game, and Emery was delighted to start the season with three points, saying: "I want to win.

"I want to win, I want to score and I want to do a clean sheet. Today we won and we did that.

"The balance offensively and defensively is only taken with the victory.

"Today, I think, in our 90 minutes we could do that with taking the match very seriously, being very compact and controlling the game with the ball.

"Also, I think we created chances and we need also to create chances for our strikers and today with Auba we won."

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The Arsenal boss was also full of praise for his defence, but was quick to warn that no one is guaranteed a starting place.

"Really, last year for Calum Chambers was a very good year because he played all the matches with Fulham.

"They played him as centre-back in a three, in a two and they played him as a midfielder.

"From pre-season, he deserved to play today in the first XI and he was very focused and with Sokratis was also very serious.

"I want to have very competitive players in each position.

"With David Luiz, with Holding when he is coming back to help us, with training regularly and playing with the under-23s because he will play again tomorrow.

"And with Hector Bellerin, one month more. Today we also had Sead out and the injury to Kieran Tierney.

"I think we can and will want to become stronger defensively, but above all being one offensive team."

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