Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on target as Arsenal hammer Fulham in Premier League season opener

Gunners run out 3-0 winners at Craven Cottage to give Scott Parker's newly promoted side a top-flight reality check

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Arsenal kicked-off the new Premier League season in fine style with a 3-0 victory at newly promoted Fulham.

Alexandre Lacazette scored the opening goal after only eight minutes with defender Gabriel making it two just after half time.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang curled home the third before the hour mark. Former Chelsea winger Willian, making his Gunners debut, had a hand in all three goals.

Just 48 days after last season's delayed conclusion, the English top flight is back and Arsenal hit the ground running.

Right-back Denis Odoi forced a save from Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno early on but that was as good as it got for Fulham, whose opening-day performance suggests that staying in the top flight could be a tall order.

Arsenal's passion was in evidence before the kick-off when Eddie Nketiah and Dani Ceballos clashed in the warm-up, a late challenge led to the two squaring up and needing to be separated.

When the match started, the pair took their seats at opposite ends of the substitutes' bench.

Arsenal scored their first goal of the season following a scramble in the Fulham box, Lacazette reacted quickest to tap the ball past Marek Rodak and open his account for the season.

A ball over the top was not dealt with by the Fulham defence, Aubameyang crossed the ball in before Granit Zhaka scuffed a shot, Rodak made a save but the ball fell into the path of Lacazette.

In the 26th minute, Willian came close to adding a goal on his Arsenal debut, his straight free-kick went over the wall, but hit the woodwork.

Fulham started the second half sluggishly and were punished for it in the 48th minute when Gabriel rose above Michael Hector to meet a Willian corner to head home on his Arsenal debut.

Aboubakar Kamara, 25, had an opportunity after Tom Cairney's free-kick was cleared to him, but his strike from the edge of the box skimmed wide of the goal.

The home side were then caught almost immediately on the break and captain Aubameyang picked up a Willian crossfield ball before weaving through the defence and curling past Rodak.

Last season's topscorer has yet to sign a new contract at the club, but manager Mikel Arteta said after the game: "I'm really positive we'll get it done. Hopefully in the next few days you can get some news."

Despite the late introduction of Aleksandar Mitrovic, last season's Championship Golden Boot winner, from the bench, Fulham were unable to claim any consolation.

"Come Monday morning the important thing is we come in and look at our mistakes," said Fulham manager Scott Parker. "There is disappointment but also realism because we are going to lose matches this year.

"There is a realism here. Teams that struggle in this league are teams that let things get to them. We may lose two or three on the bounce, the important thing is to not let defeats get to you."


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