Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, right, celebrates scoring his side's only goal of the game with his teammates during their English Premier League match against Newcastle United at St James' Park, in Newcastle on Sunday. Photo: Owen Humphreys/AP

NEWCASTLE – Steve Bruce's reign as Newcastle United manager began in disappointing fashion as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's second-half goal sealed a 1-0 victory for Arsenal at a subdued St James' Park on Sunday.

After a largely forgettable first half in which Newcastle were slightly the better side, Unai Emery's Arsenal eased to a comfortable three points thanks to Aubameyang's 58th minute strike.

Newcastle handed 40 million pound ($48.14 million) record signing, Brazilian Joelinton a debut up front and he showed some flashes of intent in the first half but the hosts fizzled out after the break.

The Gunners had to wait until April to keep their first away clean sheet in the Premier League last season, but looked solid as they opened their campaign in encouraging fashion against the struggling Magpies, a result which did not please the long suffering Toon Army.

The closest Newcastle came to scoring was in the first half when Jonjo Shelvey's powerful shot glanced the upright.