Arsenal get new EPL season underway by thrashing Fulham

Alexandre Lacazette (centre) shoots into a gaping goal to put Arsenal in front. (AP pic)


LONDON: Arsenal got their Premier League campaign underway with a 3-0 win at promoted Fulham thanks to goals from Alexandre Lacazette, new signing Gabriel and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the opening game of the season on Saturday.

Lacazette fired the Gunners ahead in the eighth minute after poor defending by the home side before new signing Gabriel made it 2-0 in the 49th and Aubameyang put the icing on the cake with a superb shot into the top corner.

Rightback 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.

Lacazette was left with the simple task of poking the ball in from close range after a comedy of errors by the home side, who enjoyed a slice of good fortune when Willian hit the post with a 22nd-minute freekick.

Brazilian defender Gabriel, who joined Arsenal from Ligue 1 side Lille, made it 2-0 with a thumping header after a corner swung in by Willian, who enjoyed a fine debut after his summer move from cross-town rivals Chelsea.

Aubameyang put the icing on the cake in the 57th minute with a rasping shot from inside the penalty area and Arsenal missed several chances in the closing stages to win by an even bigger margin at Craven Cottage.