Mikel Arteta is a manager who is looking up as he led Arsenal to a comfortable 3-0 win away at Craven Cottage over newly-promoted Fulham. Goals in the eighth, 46th, and 59th minutes gave the FA Cup winners burnished an assured performance from the Gunners as they seek to get back into the top four.
Fulham started the better of the two teams and Aboubakar Kamara could have scored the first when he pounced on a wayward back pass from Ainsley Maitland Niles, but Bernd Leno made a good save to save Gabriel Magalhaes’ blushes after the new defender had allowed the ball into his box.
The first goal came early, eight minutes into the encounter when Alexandre Lacazette pounced on a rebound from a Willian shot to score a tap in. after that goal, Arsenal settled and controlled the game and they could have gone into the break with a two-goal lead, but Willian’s free-kick went out of the right post.
It took just a minute into the second half for Arsenal debutant, Magalhaes’ to stamp a dominant performance with a headed goal. The third was not long in coming. In the 60th minute, Willian, pouncing on a loose ball in midfield, switched the play to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who curled a lovely shot past Marek Rodak to complete the scoring.
In the post-match interview, Lacazette said, “We [Arsenal] wanted to win today, and we wanted to keep a clean sheet. He [Arteta] wants us to be perfect, and we work a lot during the week.”
Arsenal has started very well and Arteta will be pleased but he will know that the team will face stiffer tests than that presented by Fulham on Saturday.