Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal beat Newcastle to move into the top 10 of the Premier League and increase the pressure on Magpies boss Steve Bruce. Aubameyang, who had earlier hit the post from a tight angle in the first half, opened the scoring in the 50th minute when he fired past Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow. Arsenal doubled their lead as Emile Smith Rowe’s pullback found Bukayo Saka and the England international side-footed the ball into the net. Aubameyang, 31, got his second and the Gunners’ third after Cedric Soares, in his first league start of the season, got to the byline and set up the striker.
The Gabon international scored 29 goals in all competitions last season, including 22 in the Premier League, but he had previously struggled for goals in 2020-21. This double took his league total to five for the campaign and boss Mikel Arteta was pleased to see Aubameyang return to form. “He needed that for his confidence and the team needs that to be successful,” said the Gunners manager. “We were missing his goals, we all know that, so to have them back is great for the team.” Miguel Almiron had Newcastle’s best chance but shot over from the edge of the penalty area when it was goalless.
The victory takes Arsenal above Aston Villa into 10th, with the Gunners seven points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool in the last Champions League qualifying spot. Newcastle are 15th, seven points clear of 18th-placed Fulham, although the London side have a game in hand. For Bruce, who faced calls for his resignation after last week’s 1-0 loss to bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United, his side have now not won in nine matches in all competitions. Despite 2020-21 having been a tough campaign for them so far, there have been recent signs of revival and this win extends their unbeaten run to six matches.