Arsenal began the new 2020/21 Premier League season with a comfortable 3-0 win at Craven Cottage. The Gunners have had a tendency to be inconsistent on the road, so three points and a clean sheet on the opening day of the campaign was about as perfect as it could get for manager Mikel Arteta. Here are our talking points.
2nd minute mix up between Gabriel and Bernd Leno after AMN’s back pass
A horrible mix up between debutant Gabriel Magalhaes and goalkeeper Bernd Leno following a bad back pass from Ainsley-Maitland Niles nearly resulted in a horror start for the Gunners. Fortunately Leno came out rushing and Kamara, who had attempted to round the German international, fluffed his lines.
Had Kamara been able to capitalise, it could have punctured Gabriel’s confidence early in the game and required the Gunners to come from behind. A vital moment in the 2nd minute of the game.
Magalhaes scores on debut
Speaking of Brazilian Gabriel, David Luiz’s injury forced Arteta into giving the summer signing his Premier League debut at Craven Cottage. He played in the middle of a back three, with Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding on either side of him, and all things considered, had a decent afternoon bar the early mix up mentioned above.
Gabriel also capped his debut with a nice headed goal in the second half. It was Brazilian to Brazilian- Willian (also on his league debut for Arsenal) from a corner to Gabriel.
Rob Holding turns prime Ronaldinho
There was a little bit of exquisite skill from Rob Holding just prior to the Gabriel goal. Well worth a watch, and the defender and striker Alexandre Lacazette had a little laugh about it too!
Poor defending costs Fulham
There were always going to be question marks abut Fulham’s defence, and those worries came true in the manner they conceded the first goal. Tim Ream, making his 200th appearance for the club, made a mess of a routine clearance, and Arsenal pounced. Mistakes of that kind can simply not be afforded at this level, and the Cottagers need to realise that fast else risk a straight return back to the second tier.
Fulham were decent in possession and like in the Championship last season, strung together plenty of passes. However they didn’t really trouble Mikel Arteta’s men.
Arteta ball in full flow for Aubameyang’s goal
The pick of Arsenal’s three goals on the afternoon was obviously Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s one. If you can, watch it from the beginning, lovely build up and team play, with Auba’s super finish the icing on the cake. A bit like his Charity Shield strike- great play out from the back.
Lacazette the Premier League’s opening goal scorer in two different campaigns
Laca was the Premier League’s first goal scorer in 2017/18 and repeated that feat for 2020/21 against Fulham yesterday. Nice way for the French star to write himself into the history books.