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Fulham (0-3) Arsenal: Match review
A short look back at Arsenal's comprehensive win in their first game and a demolishing home loss for Fulham and Scott Parker.
The Premier League's season opener saw Arsenal travel to newly-promoted Fulham in Saturday's early kick-off (fixture details: Fulham vs Arsenal (12/09/2020) ). M. Arteta Amatriain's side finished last season in great form by winning the Fa Trophy. A few days ago, they also won the community shield against Liverpool. Optimism was high coming into a new season and the first full season under Mikel Arteta.
Fulham meanwhile won the Championship playoffs and made a top-flight return at the first time of asking. S. Parker received great appreciation for the job he did. However, the challenge in the Premier League is a different ball game.
Fulham's match summary
Fulham initially started with their preferred 4-2-3-1. M. Rodák started in goal instead of loan signing A. Areola. The back four saw D. Odoi and J. Bryan at left-back and right-back, respectively. M. Hector and T. Ream started as the center-backs. H. Reed and skipper T. Cairney started in holding midfield with J. Onomah in the hole. I. Neves Abreu Cavaleiro and N. Kebano provided the width with A. Kamara leading the line on his own.
Fulham's defensive performances was terrible. Not only the back four but robustness in the midfield didn't exist. The ball movement was good by Cairney and Reed, but out of possession, they looked all over the place. They recorded only five shots throughout the game, with only two of them on target. Scott Parker has a lot of work to do in their bid to avoid the drop.
Arsenal's match summary
Arsenal started with a back three of debutant G. dos Santos Magalhães, K. Tierney, and R. Holding. Their midfield four had G. Xhaka and M. Elsayed Elneny in the middle with H. Bellerín Moruno and A. Maitland-Niles deployed in the wing-back positions. The front three saw an exciting trio of talisman P. Aubameyang from the left channel, A. Lacazette down the middle, and debutant W. Borges da Silva initially from the right.
The ball movement went through Xhaka, who played well. In total, Arsenal took 13 shots, out of which 6 were on target. The Gunners created an impressive three big chances in their first game of the season. Lacazette scored the opener, later, in the second half, a debut goal for Gabriel. Skipper Aubameyang scored the third with an impressive top corner finish.
New signing Willian's role was eyecatching. The Brazilian initially started on the right but had the freedom to move centrally in between the lines. He effectively played behind Lacazette and Aubameyang and found some incisive passes from deep. His cohesion with wing back Bellerin looked positive. Overall, excellent performance as the Brazilian ended up recording assists for all three goals.
Another debutant who caught the eye was youngster Gabriel. He played at the heart of the back three and showed great composure in pressure situations. In possession, Gabriel looked calm and controlled and played impressive vertical passes. He also scored from a corner in the 50' minute. Overall, an excellent performance by Arsenal to start the 2020/21 season.