Mauricio Pochettino insists his Tottenham team selections cannot be considered "experiments" as he prepares to take on Newcastle United.

Spurs stole a 2-2 draw at Premier League champions Manchester City last weekend and face rivals Arsenal a week on Sunday, with struggling Newcastle visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in between.

It was put to Pochettino that he might look to name a different XI against Newcastle in order to keep players fresh for the derby match, but he took issue with the word "experiment".

"Experiment? I'm not a scientist. I am not a chemist," he told a news conference. "You are talking about experimenting.

"That is in some room outside of this training room. We are coaches and we do our job, we don't experiment. We train people who have the ability to play football. Then that's it.

"Please don't compare us with doctors or people in university studying a lot. I have a lot of respect for the people who do what you say, experiment, to help life.

"But for us to find solutions, only I am a football coach, far away from the people who work in science or at university. I have full respect for them."

Discussing more openly the need to beat Newcastle, Pochettino still would not acknowledge there is pressure on Tottenham to win against a side in the bottom three.

"I think if we're going to talk about the extra pressure, it's a little bit early," he said. "We didn't feel the pressure of the Champions League final so, after our second game, we're not going to.

"Speculation is there, perception is there, I think we are going to try to play the game and try to win. Football is football and you have to respect your opponent. Newcastle are going to be a tough opponent.

"It's going to be a very difficult opponent. They need to start to win points, they'll be tough. They have a new manager, new signings. All that is going to make them more focused and try to be compact.

"For us, after a good result at City, our trust and confidence is high and at the same point believing Newcastle will be tough. We have to beat them."

Mauricio Pochettino says Son Heung-min will be ready to take on Newcastle United after serving a Premier League suspension, but warned fans not to expect too much too soon from Giovani Lo Celso.

Son missed Spurs' first two games of the new season due to a ban after he was sent off against Bournemouth at the end of last term, while Lo Celso made his debut in a short cameo at Manchester City last weekend.

The South Korea star hit 12 league goals in 2018-19, a campaign disrupted by the Asian Games, where he led his country to glory and avoided being called up for military service as a result, and their subsequent run to the Asian Cup quarter-finals.

Son's availability to face Newcastle on Sunday comes with Tanguy Ndombele ruled out by a thigh injury, while England midfielder Dele Alli has returned to training after a hamstring problem.

"Unlucky for him that [the ban] was over the holiday," Pochettino told a news conference. "I think he was training really, really hard to keep fit and improve in different areas. We are happy in the last few weeks he was unbelievable in the way he was available to train and compete in every single training session and I hope it's going to help the team from now.

"I think it was a good opportunity for him to build his fitness and have a proper pre-season which sometimes when you're involved in competition is difficult. For him, looking at last season which was really, really complicated for him and difficult and we used that situation and trying to be positive and helping him to get really fit to help him and the team.

"Because the pre-season is so important for every player, but sometimes the priority is holidays and this type of situation with him it was so clear that he was going to be suspended for two games and the plan was to provide him with good quality training to improve in different areas - and when the moment he is available to play to be in the perfect condition."

Lo Celso, who joined Spurs on loan from Real Betis with a view to a permanent deal, played five minutes from the bench in Saturday's 2-2 draw against champions City.

"I think Lo Celso is a situation that is not going to be easy," Pochettino said of the versatile Argentina midfielder. "He was in extended holidays after the Copa America, he didn't have a proper pre-season and didn't train too much.

"Then signed for us after a week without training. He's training well but is still so far away from what we expect from him. We need to give him time. He was involved [on Saturday] and will maybe have the possibility to help the team in some points, but we won't expect too much from him.

"We need to not put the responsibility on him, only to improve and adapt himself with us and see. It's a natural process to learn and improve. In the moment he will be fit and deserves to play then sure he will have the chance like other players."

Tanguy Ndombele will miss Tottenham's Premier League clash with Newcastle United due to a "minor injury" suffered in training, the club have revealed.

Midfielder Ndombele, who became Spurs' record signing when he arrived from Lyon in the close season, has impressed in his early displays in England, scoring on his debut against Aston Villa.

But Tottenham will be without the France international against Newcastle on Sunday, his absence confirmed via Twitter on Friday.

A post ahead of Mauricio Pochettino's pre-match news conference stated Ndombele had sustained a thigh issue in training, although he was seemingly only ruled out of the Newcastle game.

Juan Foyth and Ryan Sessegnon are continuing rehabilitation from respective ankle and hamstring injuries, but there was positive news elsewhere.

Dele Alli, who has been out with a hamstring problem, is back in full training, while Son Heung-min will return this weekend from a suspension carried over from last season.

Steve Bruce suggested "there's always a storm" at Newcastle United as he responded angrily to suggestions his players do not know their roles.

Bruce was appointed as Newcastle's new head coach heading into the season, replacing the popular Rafael Benitez, and has endured a tough start.

The Magpies were beaten by Arsenal on the opening weekend following confusion over a second-half substitution, while they were completely outplayed in a humbling defeat at Norwich City.

Heading into a match against Tottenham, for which Newcastle will have £40million striker Joelinton fit, Bruce told a news conference: "After two games, there's a so-called mini-crisis and all the rest of it.

"That is over-sensationalised. Everything seems to be that way. But look, I understand that, it's the nature of the club - it always has been. There's always a storm in Newcastle and, at the minute, we're in one.

"The only way we can do it is to get a couple of results and the team to perform. After two games, it's very, very early to judge just yet."

Criticism of Bruce built this week as former Newcastle striker Michael Chopra claimed he had been told "some of the players don't know their jobs".

Meanwhile, defender Paul Dummett had to clarify on Twitter that issues with the warm-up at Norwich were "about us as players and as a team, not the coaching staff".

Bruce has been frustrated by the scrutiny, and said: "The Chopra thing was blown out of all proportion.

"It's laughable, really, for the people in the dressing room and my staff. Some of this stuff is just nonsense, but obviously it gets mentioned regularly."

Bruce said many of the claims made about Newcastle have been "fabricated and lies", adding: "When it's like that, you think, 'Why is that making national headlines?'.

"For the past four or five weeks, it's been relentless - let's make no mistake about it - but I've grown accustomed to it and if I can protect the players then I will.

"Ultimately, it's always my responsibility. I'm the one who sits here, I'm the one who talks to [the media], I'm the one who picks the team.

"No formation, no tactics, substitutions wrong? It's the whole thing at the minute. We can't even take a warm-up?

"Some of it is a bit laughable, but you just have to try to get through it and keep your dignity and make sure you're strong enough to see it through."

Arsenal and Liverpool can boast 100 per cent records after two games of the new Premier League season, while four sides have failed to pick up a point from their opening pair of matches.

Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Southampton and Watford all suffered defeats on matchday two, while Manchester City and Chelsea dropped points at home.

With every team desperate to get into a winning habit, Opta's data helps us take a closer look at the patterns unfolding after the weekend's big games.

 

REDS WIN AGAIN TO EQUAL RODGERS' RECORD

Liverpool racked up their 11th consecutive top-flight victory with a 2-1 win at Southampton, equalling the club record set under Brendan Rodgers in April 2014.

Sadio Mane's third goal in four days sent Jurgen Klopp's men on their way just before half-time at St. Mary's and the Senegal international has scored 20 goals for the club in 2019 - eight more than Liverpool's next sharpest shooter, Mo Salah (12).

Roberto Firmino doubled the European champions' lead 19 minutes from time to ensure Danny Ings' late goal - courtesy of Adrian clearing the ball into his shin - was nothing more than a consolation as the Reds made sure they started the season with two wins for the second consecutive campaign, a feat they last achieved in 1993-94 and 1994-95.

Mane also became the first player to score in his first Premier League start of four consecutive seasons since Mark Viduka did so between 2002-03 and 2005-06.

CITY DROP POINTS DESPITE DELUGE OF SHOTS

Manchester City failed to win a Premier League match for the first time in 16 games, despite attempting 30 shots in their 2-2 draw with Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium.

The last time Spurs faced as many shots in a Premier League fixture was against Fulham (31) in November 2011, but they emerged with a point after Gabriel Jesus' late strike was ruled out by a VAR handball decision in the build-up.

Raheem Sterling put City ahead after 20 minutes with his fifth goal in four matches against Spurs at the Etihad, and, after Erik Lamela equalised for Tottenham, Sergio Aguero scored his 97th Premier League goal at the champions' home ground.

Only Thierry Henry (114 at Highbury), Wayne Rooney (101 at Old Trafford) and Alan Shearer (97 at St. James' Park) can boast equal or better scoring records at a single Premier League stadium than Aguero, who was teed up by Kevin De Bruyne's third assist in two league games - one more than he managed in the whole of last season.

But City's hopes of extending a Premier League winning streak that began on February 3 were undone when Lamela turned provider for Lucas Moura to equalise.

Lamela has scored and assisted for Tottenham in three different Premier League matches, all of them against Manchester clubs (twice against City, once against United).

PUKKI TREBLE EXTENDS MAGPIES' TRAVEL WOES

Newcastle United have won just two of their last 29 Premier League away matches in the month of August (D10 L17) after Teemu Pukki scored a hat-trick as Norwich City beat the Magpies 3-1 at Carrow Road.

The last time Newcastle won their first away league game of the season was in 2011-12 against Sunderland and they failed to cope with the threat of Finland international Pukki as Canaries boss Daniel Farke became the first Norwich manager to win his opening Premier League home game since Mike Walker in 1992.

Norwich fans had to think back 26 years to remember the last time they had a player score a Premier League hat-trick, Efan Ekoku doing so against Everton in September 1993.

Pukki, who also scored in Norwich's opening day defeat at Liverpool, has scored 33 league goals for the club since the start of last season, more than any other player across the top four tiers of English football.

LEICESTER LEAVE LAMPARD WINLESS IN THREE

Leicester City came from behind to draw 1-1 with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and make Frank Lampard the first Blues boss since Rafael Benitez (2012-13) to fail to win any of his first three games in charge.

After a Premier League opening day defeat at Manchester United and a UEFA Super Cup loss on penalties to Liverpool, Chelsea took the lead through Mason Mount's home debut goal only to be pegged back by Wilfred Ndidi's second-half equaliser.

Mount's opportunist strike made him the first English player to score on his first home Premier League appearance for Chelsea since Paul Hughes netted against Derby County in January 1997, while Ndidi's bullet header was his fifth goal in 90 Premier League appearances.

Ndidi scored from a corner by James Maddison, who has created 50 chances from set-pieces in the Premier League since the start of 2018-19 - at least six more than any other player in the division.

Liverpool maintained their strong start to the Premier League season with a 2-1 win at Southampton ahead of champions Manchester City hosting Tottenham in Saturday's late kick-off.

Sadio Mane scored the opening goal on his return to St. Mary's, smashing into the top-right corner shortly before half-time, with Roberto Firmino adding what proved to be a vital second before Adrian's error handed Danny Ings a late consolation.

Arsenal are the only other side to have maximum points after two games as they edged to a 2-1 win at home to Burnley, with Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos recording a brace of assists from midfield.

There were also victories for Everton and a Teemu Pukki-inspired Norwich City at home to Watford and Newcastle United respectively, while Bournemouth collected three points at Aston Villa.

SADIO THE MAIN MANE AGAIN

Having eased to a 4-1 win at home to Norwich to kick the Premier League season off, Liverpool followed their midweek UEFA Super Cup triumph over Chelsea by downing Southampton.

Mane hit both goals for Liverpool in Istanbul and the Senegal star followed that brace with his first league goal of the campaign, Firmino then seemingly wrapping up the Reds' win with an unerring finish.

But there was no first clean sheet in four competitive fixtures this season for Jurgen Klopp's men, who are at home to Arsenal next weekend, as Super Cup shoot-out hero Adrian's awful clearance bounced in off Ings with seven minutes left.

And Southampton should have snatched a late point when Yan Valery's low right-wing cross found Ings in the box, with the former Reds striker unable to punish his old club as he failed to get a clean contact on the ball.

ARSENAL STAY PERFECT THANKS TO STRIKE DUO

Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both scored as Arsenal took maximum points again after last week's victory at Newcastle United by winning 2-1 at home to Burnley.

Lacazette fired through Nick Pope's legs to open the scoring in the early kick-off at the Emirates Stadium but Ashley Barnes hit his third Premier League goal of the season to level before the break.

Aubameyang won it, though, firing past Pope after Ceballos robbed Johann Gudmundsson in midfield - the Gabon striker now has seven goals in four league games against the Clarets.

PROLIFIC PUKKI FIRES NORWICH TO VICTORY

Finland forward Pukki, who netted in Norwich City's loss at Liverpool, scored all three goals as the Canaries downed Newcastle 3-1 at home to get up and running on their return to the Premier League.

Leandro Trossard had a goal ruled out for offside by VAR, but he later opened his Brighton and Hove Albion account with the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at home to West Ham, who had led through Javier Hernandez.

Rafael Benitez has refuted suggestions he moved to Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang for financial reasons and says he left Newcastle United because he could no longer trust the owners.

Newcastle's managing director, Lee Charnley, said over the weekend that Benitez "moved to China for the money" after the Spaniard left St James' Park following the expiry of his contract at the end of June.

Magpies owner Mike Ashley accused Benitez of making unrealistic wage demands and went on to name ex-Sunderland manager Steve Bruce as his replacement.

Benitez has reacted strongly to Charnley's comments, saying that "three years of unfulfilled promises" meant he could no longer trust the club's hierarchy.

"I tried to do my best every day, even staying when we went down to the Championship and saying no to other offers – bigger offers than the one I recently accepted with Dalian Yifang," he told The Athletic.

"If I was only interested in moving 'for money', as Charnley stated, I could have done it much earlier. Newcastle's board had a year to sort out my contract but, when we met after the end of last season, they didn't make me an offer I could accept.

"They told me they didn't want to invest in the academy or the training ground – if they like, I can explain the reason why Mike Ashley refused to do that.

"Their idea of a project was a policy of signing players under 24 and, in my opinion, the budget available was not enough to compete for the top 10.

"After that meeting, I knew they would not come back with a serious offer and, when it arrived, 19 days later, it was for the same salary as three years earlier and with less control over signings.

"After three years of unfulfilled promises, I didn't trust them."

Benitez also revealed that while players and staff were given a bonus after a 10th-place finish in 2017-18, his coaching team received nothing.

"When we finished 10th in the Premier League in our first season back, all players and staff were paid a bonus – aside from my coaching team. That felt like a punishment for me not signing an extension," he added.

"So, by the end, I knew there would not be a proper offer and they knew I was not signing."

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery does not know whether Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will be available for next weekend's Premier League game at home to Burnley.

Ozil and Kolasinac missed their side's 1-0 win over Newcastle United on the opening weekend of the season due to security concerns.

Their absence came after the duo were the victims of what appeared to be an attempted carjacking last month.

Footage of the incident showed Kolasinac confronting and scaring off two masked attackers who approached a vehicle driven by Ozil.

During a news conference that followed Sunday's game at St James' Park, where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal, Emery was asked whether he had spoken to the pair.

"The club is managing that circumstance," he said. "We want to be with them as soon as possible, with normality in training and normality to be ready to play."

Asked whether either Ozil or Kolasinac might be in a position to face Burnley, Emery replied: "I don't know now."

A club statement released by Arsenal on Friday said the welfare of the club's players and their families "is always a top priority".

Arsenal said the decision to leave Ozil and Kolasinac out of the travelling squad followed discussions with both men and their representatives.

Manchester United kicked off their Premier League season in style with a 4-0 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The final game of the weekend saw United run out comfortable winners on Frank Lampard's bow as Chelsea head coach, with Marcus Rashford scoring twice.

Arsenal also made a positive start to the 2019-20 campaign as they edged out Newcastle United 1-0 at St James' Park, while the clash between Midlands rivals Leicester City and Wolves finished goalless.

That game was not without its controversy, though, with VAR playing a big part in the outcome.

 

RASHFORD, MARTIAL SPOIL LAMPARD'S BIG DAY

Despite starting the match slowly and never really hitting top gear, United put four unanswered goals past Chelsea in a result that can be considered a statement of intent.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started two of his new signings - Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the world's most expensive defender Harry Maguire - before bringing Daniel James on as a second-half substitute.

Rashford opened the scoring for the hosts from the penalty spot against the run of play, after being brought down by Kurt Zouma.

Chelsea struck the frame of the goal through Tammy Abraham and Emerson Palmieri either side of Rashford's opener. However, the game soon slipped away from them following the interval as Anthony Martial rounded off a swift counter-attack and Rashford slotted home a third in the space of 95 seconds.

Debutant James completed the scoring to leave Lampard's men in the relegation zone for the first time since September 30, 2000. It was Chelsea's biggest top-flight defeat to United in 54 years.

AUBAMEYANG THE DIFFERENCE FOR ARSENAL

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang picked up from where he left off last season by scoring the only goal of the game as Arsenal claimed a 1-0 win in Steve Bruce's first competitive match in charge of Newcastle.

A game of few clear-cut chances was settled by last term's joint-Golden Boot winner, who made the most of some slack defending - loanee Jetro Willems being most at fault - to punish United with just under an hour played.

Arsenal, who named new signings David Luiz, Nicolas Pepe, Emiliano Martinez and Dani Ceballos on the bench, saw out the final half an hour to match their away clean sheets tally from the whole of last term in a pleasing result for Unai Emery.

 

DENDONCKER DENIED BY VAR

Two sides tipped to possibly gatecrash the established top six this season faced off at the King Power Stadium, with Leicester and Wolves sharing the spoils.

Dendoncker thought he had scored the only goal of the match after bundling in from a corner early in the second half, but it was ruled out as VAR official Jon Moss spotted a handball from Willy Boly in the build-up.

Raul Jimenez also came close to scoring for Wolves, who were in action three days on from a 4,000-mile round trip to Armenia for a Europa League qualifier, but his deflected shot was dealt with by Kasper Schmeichel.

Unai Emery concedes Arsenal "struggled" in their 1-0 win over Newcastle United but felt a collective team effort led to an ultimately deserved three points.

Arsenal came away from St James' Park with a slender victory on Sunday thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's strike just before the hour mark.

Aubameyang made the most of some slack defending from Newcastle to score what proved to be the winning goal in a game of few clear-cut chances.

After equalling last season's away clean sheets tally in their first match of the 2019-20 campaign, Emery targeted more shutouts if Arsenal are to improve on their fifth-place finish from last time out.

"I want to win. I want to score and I want to keep a clean sheet," he said at his post-match news conference. "Today we won and we did that. 

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

"We want to start defending with Aubameyang and we want to start attacking with Bernd Leno. I think every player worked very well today. Aubameyang scored, but I think it was because every player worked together.

"Our idea is to continue being one team, mostly offensive. But we need to also take the balance defensively. To win away we know is difficult in each match. Today we struggled but we deserved it."

Arsenal started without any of their new signings, with deadline-day arrival David Luiz remaining on the bench for the full 90 minutes.

Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli made their debuts as second-half subs, though, and Emery said he intends to integrate them all into the first team.

"David Luiz did pre-season with another team and he is okay to play physically but he only trained completely with us yesterday," he said. 

"Pepe came one week ago and physically he needs to get his best fitness to be ready to play 100 per cent for 90 minutes. I think that today 20 minutes is good for him. 

"And Ceballos is in the middle because he came before Pepe but he got an injury and he stopped training. But he needs to know the Premier League, so today was important for him and for us."

Arsenal's winning goal came after a mistake from loanee Jetro Willems, who hesitated on the ball and allowed Ainsley Maitland-Niles to charge forward and play in Aubameyang.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was disappointed that the lapse resulted proved decisive in his first competitive match in charge of his boyhood club.

"It's the manner of it," he told reporters. "We gave a sloppy goal away. If Arsenal open you up, you can applaud the opposition but to give away a bad goal is frustrating.

"We defended fantastically well through the game - I don't remember my goalkeeper making a mistake. We left ourselves open and got punished."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said the Premier League's Golden Boot is already on his mind after scoring Arsenal's goal in their 1-0 opening-day victory over Newcastle United.

The 30-year-old striker shared last season's top-scorer award with Liverpool's Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, the latter opening his account for the new campaign in the Reds' 4-1 win over Norwich City on Friday.

At St James' Park on Sunday, Aubameyang was the beneficiary of a mix-up in the Newcastle defence.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles pounced on Fabian Schar's pass before Jetro Willems could react, then crossed to the Gabon international who flicked the ball past Martin Dubravka and into the net.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Aubameyang's clinical finishing made the difference and he admitted he went into the game with high hopes for the season.

Asked whether the Golden Boot is a target this season, Aubameyang said: "Of course it is in the mind of a striker but first of all the team is the most important.

"I'm really pleased the goal helped us win the game."

Arsenal boss Unai Emery started the game with Alexandre Lacazette on the bench along with new signing Nicolas Pepe, who came on as a second-half substitute once the Gunners were ahead.

Newcastle improved with the introduction of Allan Saint-Maximin off the bench but, like Arsenal, mustered just two shots on target all afternoon.

Aubameyang said he felt Arsenal deserved all three points after they banished the memory of a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on the opening day of 2018-19.

He said: "We fought today a lot. It was a great game against a good team.

"It was important to start with a win, last season we started bad, so we are happy.

"It is always positive for all the squad to win the first game, everyone is happy to get three points and we're looking forward to winning more games."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang marked his 50th Premier League appearance by scoring the winner as Arsenal beat Newcastle United 1-0 in their season opener at St James' Park.

Arsenal coach Unai Emery put his faith in last season's top scorer, while leaving Alexandre Lacazette and new signing Nicolas Pepe on the bench, and he was repaid 13 minutes into the second half when Gabon international Aubameyang fired his side ahead.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce had seen his new charges compete admirably until that point but an error from loanee Jetro Willems presented the visitors with an opportunity that they did not pass up.

There were better debuts for Magpies signings Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin - the latter introduced from the bench - but when Emery sent on Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos midway through the second half, it only drew further attention to a gulf in quality that had already been made clear.

The performances of young Gunners Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Ainsley Maitland-Niles were encouraging for Emery, who will have been relieved to see his defence - widely considered his side's major weakness – enjoy a largely comfortable afternoon.

While Jonjo Shelvey and Fabian Schar injected steel into Bruce's side, Javier Manquillo and Matt Ritchie gave the hosts their out-ball and it was the latter whose cross found the head of Joelinton, but the Brazilian sent a glancing effort wide.

Shelvey hit the outside of the post with a rasping shot from the edge of the box before Emery's men began to probe, Henrikh Mkhitaryan blazing over the crossbar from 12 yards with the Gunners' first clear chance.

Joelinton went closer at the other end, jinking into the box and testing Bernd Leno with a firmly struck shot before Aubameyang latched onto Mkhitaryan's exquisite chipped pass and drew a good near-post save from Martin Dubravka with a rocket.

Granit Xhaka's vision and passing technique afforded Aubameyang a shooting chance early in the second half but Dubravka turned his shot around the post.

Bruce sent on Eintracht Frankfurt loanee Willems for Shelvey, but moments later the Dutchman called for the ball and then hesitated as Schar's pass rolled towards him, allowing Maitland-Niles to steal the ball, burst down the right flank and centre to Aubameyang, who poked a shot past the on-rushing Dubravka.

Saint-Maximin and Pepe both came off the bench to excite their respective supporters, and the former found the angle to fire a low shot at goal seven minutes from time, but Leno got down well to make the save and ensure all three points went south to the capital.

What does it mean? Clouds gather on Tyneside

On a rainy Sunday in Newcastle, thousands of Magpies fans boycotted their team's first league game of the season, but had they attended they would have seen little to lighten the mood around a club where expectations are at a low.

Aubameyang back in the groove

Aubameyang looked sharp and alert from the outset, and had Newcastle not gifted him an opening in the way they did, you felt he would have carved a goal out for himself.

Willems the foe

Dutch defender Willems had been on the pitch for just four minutes when his moment of hesitation gifted Maitland-Niles the ball with the chance to break for Aubameyang's opener.

What's next?

Arsenal's first home game of the new season sees Burnley travel to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, while Newcastle make the journey south to face newly promoted Norwich City.

Rafael Benitez moved to China "for money" despite Newcastle United going above and beyond to retain his services, according to the club's managing director.

Lee Charnley, who has held his position since April 2014, described Benitez's motivations as "clear" after the Spaniard left St James' Park following the expiry of his contract at the end of June.

The popular former Liverpool boss took charge at Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang the day after claiming "those at the top" did not share his vision for Newcastle.

Magpies owner Mike Ashley accused Benitez of making unrealistic wage demands and went on to name ex-Sunderland manager Steve Bruce as his replacement, an appointment met with a degree of dissatisfaction on Tyneside.

"We understand and expected the disappointment that Rafa's departure caused," Charnley wrote in Newcastle's matchday programme ahead of Sunday's game against Arsenal.

"We strongly believe we went beyond what could reasonably be asked in order to keep him. But let's be clear, he moved to China for money.

"The offer he received was too tempting. We understand that and there is nothing wrong with that. It was not something we could compete against. We wish him well for the future and thank him for all he achieved."

Making another apparent dig at Benitez, Charnley added: "What we have now in Steve Bruce is someone who genuinely cares."

Benitez, who made clear his frustration with what he perceived to be a lack of ambition at the club, used his official website to offer a message of support to Newcastle on Sunday, writing: "At the start of the Premier League season, I would like to wish Steve Bruce, all the players and the fans good luck."

Arsenal's visit in the Premier League marks Bruce's first competitive match in charge of Newcastle. The 58-year-old left his post at Sheffield Wednesday to take up the position.

Unai Emery left Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe out of Arsenal's starting line-up for the Gunners' Premier League season opener against Newcastle United, while deadline-day signing David Luiz also had to settle for a place on the substitutes' bench.

Lacazette suffered an ankle injury during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Lyon in a pre-season friendly on July 28 and head coach Emery has opted not to rush him back into action at St. James' Park.

Pepe, who joined from Lille in a deal that could reportedly be worth £72million, did not feature in any of Arsenal's pre-season friendlies and Emery said before the game that the Ivory Coast international needs "more minutes" before he can play.

Emery said defender David Luiz, who signed just before the transfer window closed to complete the club's close-season acquisitions, "did a pre-season but not with us", as he explained the decision to start with the Brazilian on the bench.

Winger Reiss Nelson was named in Emery's XI along with fellow academy product Joe Willock, giving the Gunners two English teenagers in their starting line-up for a Premier League match for the first time since February 1998, when Paolo Vernazza and Matthew Upson faced Crystal Palace.

Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will be absent from Arsenal's Premier League opener against Newcastle United on Sunday due to security fears.

The Arsenal team-mates were the victims of what appeared to be an attempted carjacking in July.

Footage of the incident showed Kolasinac confronting and scaring off two masked attackers who approached a vehicle driven by Ozil, just days before the clash with Lyon at Emirates Stadium.

After missing that match and a friendly against Angers, with Unai Emery saying they were not mentally ready to play, the duo returned for the 2-1 Joan Gamper Trophy loss to Barcelona last Sunday.

However, they will not be available this weekend after "further security incidents".

An Arsenal statement read: "Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will not be part of the squad for our opening match against Newcastle United following further security incidents which are being investigated by the police.

"The welfare of our players and their families is always a top priority and we have taken this decision following discussion with the players and their representatives.

"We are liaising with the police and are providing the players and their families with ongoing support.

"We look forward to welcoming the players back to the squad as soon as possible."

Page 1 of 18
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.