By Josh James at St James' Park
Goals in each half helped us get back to winning ways in a dominant performance at St James' Park.
Mohamed Elneny's first-ever Premier League goal gave us an early lead and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, making his first start for a month, made sure of the points from Gabriel Martinelli's cross.
The first goal - on five minutes - was our fastest in the Premier League so far this season. Martinelli had already sent in one cross for Aubameyang in a positive opening, and with our next attack we found the net.
A wonderful pass from David Luiz found Hector Bellerin on the right. His cross wouldn't fall for Aubameyang, but the half-clearance fell straight to Elneny on the edge of the area, and his shot was too hot for Martin Dubravka to handle.
We've seen the Egyptian score some great goals in European football, but this was his first in the league - on his 66th appearance in the competition. And it was just reward for a bright start to the game from the Gunners.
Mat Ryan had virtually nothing to do until the 17th minute until he touched over a looping Allan Saint-Maximin shot, then commanded his box well to punch away the corner.
It was his opposite number Dubravka's turn to be alert on the half hour, acrobatically palming away Granit Xhaka's shot that was destined for the top corner.
From the resulting set piece Elneny saw his header cleared off the line by Miguel Almiron as we started to ramp up the pressure.
David Luiz glanced a header wide shortly afterwards - one of 13 attempts on goal for us in the opening half.
We continued to look comfortable after the break, albeit without creating as many opportunities.
But once we did get a sight of goal, Aubameyang made it count. He was involved in the build up before Martin Odegaard threaded the ball out wide to Martinelli. His whipped in cross was met by the skipper in front of goal for his 15th of the season.
There were more gaps appearing now, that we were looking to exploit on the counter. Bellerin raced away on one such attack, only to see his shot blocked.
But we had to be content with just the two goals, despite playing the last few minutes with an extra man after Newcastle had Fabian Schar sent off for a reckless foul on Martinelli.
We had done enough though to earn all three points and end a three-game winless run.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sandwiched between the two legs of the Europa League semi-final, it was perhaps not surprising that Mikel Arteta rang the changes for the game. In fact only three players kept their place from the 2-1 defeat in Spain on Thursday.
Granit Xhaka started again at left back, but the rest of the backline – Gabriel, David Luiz and Hector Bellerin – all came in to play in front of Mat Ryan in goal.
Dani Ceballos (suspended for the second leg on Thursday) retained his place in midfield, alongside Mohamed Elneny.
Martin Odegaard was the other player to start a second game in a row, operating with up front Willian, Gabriel Martinelli and - making his first start since April 3 - captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
WHAT IT MEANS
We host Villarreal on Thursday in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final, trying to overturn the 2-1 defeat from Spain.
Then it's back to Premier League action next Sunday when West Bromwich Albion come to the Emirates.
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