Nobody really knew what to expect from Arsenal against Fulham in their Premier League opener this past weekend, but in the end, the Gunners were able to keep their momentum rolling as they eased to a 3-0 win over their London rivals at Craven Cottage.
After a decent enough start from Fulham in which they weren’t afraid to go straight at Arsenal, things fell apart pretty quickly as a goalmouth scramble led to Alexandre Lacazette poking home the opening goal of the game. From that point on Arsenal seemed to be in cruise control, and while there were a few hairy moments for Bernd Leno to deal with, nothing really ever came close to causing him any sustained problems.
As the game entered the second half it was clear to see that Fulham had to really start putting forward some urgency, but Scott Parker just couldn’t inspire them to do that. Instead, after a flaky first few minutes in an Arsenal shirt, new defender Gabriel Magalhaes managed to mark his debut with a goal as he turned the ball home from a corner just a few minutes after the restart.
The third and final goal then came just eight minutes later thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who received the ball, cut inside and curled it into the top corner, but in reality, that wasn’t the biggest story of the day. The biggest story stems from the unbelievable performance than we saw from Willian after he produced three assists during his first appearance for his new club.
He was always known for being one of the most underrated players in the Premier League, and now, the Brazilian appears to be thriving with his new club. Whether or not he can sustain this is another matter but for the time being it’s hard not to be impressed.
The attention for Arsenal will immediately turn to their first home game of the new season against West Ham United this weekend. The first two games were always going to give them a great opportunity to stick six points on the board and if they can put the Hammers to the sword, they’ll have a whole load of confidence heading into their big clash with Liverpool.
We’re in the early days of the Mikel Arteta project – but things are really looking up.
What did this performance tell you about what we should expect from Arsenal this season?