Arsenal got their 2020/21 Premier League campaign off to a flyer with an impressive 3-0 win over newly promoted Fulham at Craven Cottage earlier today.
The Cottagers started brightly but were quickly dealt a reminder of how slack defending will be punished in the Premier League, with Alexandre Lacazette putting the Gunners ahead after seven minutes; the French striker tapping home from close range after Fulham defender Tim Ream failed to deal with a scuffed Granit Xhaka shot from the edge of the area.
Arsenal went within inches of doubling their lead on 25 minutes, summer signing Willian cracking a low, whipped free-kick off the base of the post.
While Fulham did look composed in possession during the first-half, Scott Parker’s side also looked devoid of any cutting edge in attack, with last seasons top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic surprisingly left on the bench.
Any hopes Fulham had of getting back into the game in the second period were dashed just a couple of minutes after the break, when new signing Gabriel Magalhaes rose highest from a Willian corner to head Mikel Arteta’s side into a 2-0 lead.
Arsenal would score their third to kill the game on 55 minutes and it was a moment of real quality. Gunners talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang capping off a fine team move by cutting in from the left and curling a trademark finish into the top corner.
Speaking afterwards Gunners boss Arteta was delighted with his sides overall display and reserved special praise for summer signing Magalhaes and Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny.
“I wanted to see my team determined with a lot of energy and do the things we did in training. We did it today,” Arteta told BT Sport.
“Gabriel didn’t play for six months before today.
”Mohamed Elneny was brilliant. He has been excellent in training since day one. I know him well – we played together. Today he was phenomenal.
”All the boys tried really hard.”
The Spanish coach also revealed that he expects his sides talismanic striker Aubameyang to finally sign a contract extension in the coming days, news that is sure to delight the Gunners faithful.
“I’m really positive we’ll get it done. Hopefully in the next few days you can get some news.”
Next up for Arsenal is another London derby, with the Gunners set to welcome West Ham to the Emirates next weekend.