Arsenal got their season off to the perfect start with a convincing 3-0 win away to newly promoted Fulham today.
The Cottagers started brightly but were quickly dealt a reminder of how quickly 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.
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 12, 2020
Speaking afterwards Gunners striker Lacazette admitted it was a great result and performance to start the season with and suggested the north London clubs excellent form is a result of hard work on the training pitch, which is being driven by impressive young coach Arteta.
“It was the best way to start the season. We wanted to win and have a clean sheet and respect what the coach wanted. Everyone is happy,” Lacazette told BT Sport.
“He [Arteta] wants us to be perfect. We worked in the week for this kind of game. We have a lot of big ambitions. I want to help the team to be on top I know it is my job.”
Lacazette is one of the players that has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer as Arsenal look to raise transfer funds, although the 29-year-old insisted he is perfectly happy at the club and is aiming to win more silverware after last seasons FA Cup success.
“I am really happy [at Arsenal]. It is only the press and other people that say I am not. I want to play and win titles. We want to be aggressive with and without the ball and improve every aspect of our game.”
Next up for Arsenal is another London derby, with the Gunners set to welcome West Ham to the Emirates next weekend.