Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Fulham vs Arsenal. Premier League.

Craven Cottage.

Fulham 0

    Arsenal 3

    • A Lacazette (8th minute)
    • G dos Santos Magalhães (49th minute)
    • P Aubameyang (57th minute)

    Fulham 0-3 Arsenal: Willian and Gabriel star on debut as Arsenal earn winning start to season

    Free highlights as Alexandre Lacazette, man-of-the-match Gabriel and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang score in dominant win; Willian assists two

    preview image 2:58
    FREE TO WATCH: Match highlights as Gabriel stars in Arsenal's win at Fulham

    Arsenal's old and new faces starred as they beat newly-promoted Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage in the Premier League season opener.

    Arsenal got Mikel Arteta's first full campaign up and running through Alexandre Lacazette's tap-in (9) as debutant Willian's shot was parried by Marek Rodak, before Willian hit the post with a free-kick.

    Willian's corner was then nodded home by fellow debutant and man-of-the-match Gabriel Magalhaes after the break (49) before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang curled home a beauty from just inside the box from another Willian assist (57) to hand Arsenal a dominant opening-day win.

    Arsenal's momentum and belief was clear to see, with Arteta claiming his 18th win in the last 30 games.

    Player ratings

    Fulham: Rodak (6), Ream (5), Hector (4), Odoi (6), Bryan (5), Onomah (5), Cairney (5), Reed (5), Kebano (5), Cavaleiro (5), Kamara (4)

    Subs: Anguissa (5), Mitrovic (5), Reid (5)

    Arsenal: Leno (7), Bellerin (7), Gabriel (8), Holding (7), Tierney (8), Maitland-Niles (7), Elneny (7), Xhaka (7), Willian (8), Aubameyang (7), Lacazette (7)

    Subs: Pepe (6), Ceballos (NA), Nketiah (NA)

    Man of the match: Gabriel Magalhaes

    How debutants starred for Gunners

    The Premier League kicked off again just 48 days after the end of the 2019/20 season, but for Fulham it was a 489-day wait to put things right following their relegation in 2019.

    Bernd Leno had to deny Aboubakar Kamara at his feet after a mix-up between himself and Gabriel early on, but Arsenal soon found their rhythm and were ahead with a soft opener from Fulham's point of view.

    Alexandre Lacazette gives Arsenal the lead from close range
    Image: Alexandre Lacazette gives Arsenal the lead from close range

    Granit Xhaka's miscued attempt from the edge of the box fell fortuitously to Willian at close range after Tim Ream failed to clear, and after the Brazilian's close-range shot on the stretch was parried by Marek Rodak, Lacazette pounced to tap home into the empty net.

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    Arsenal looked relatively comfortable in the first half, with Fulham lacking bite, and the visitors were nearly 2-0 up as Willian's whipped free-kick from 20 yards came off the foot of the post.

    Gabriel celebrates after scoring for Arsenal on his Premier League debut
    Image: Gabriel celebrates after scoring for Arsenal on his Premier League debut

    Arsenal did get their second four minutes after the break as Gabriel rose easily above Michael Hector to meet Willian's wicked corner, the ball going in off the defender's shoulder. Under new handball rules, the goal stood, but would have likely been disallowed last season.

    It was soon 3-0 through a superb team goal; Lacazette did superbly to hold up the ball on halfway, before Willian found Aubayemang galloping into the box with a diagonal. The Gabon forward did the rest, curling into the top corner from 15 yards.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates with team-mates after scoring Arsena's third goal
    Image: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring Arsenal's third goal

    It means Willian is the first player to assist two goals on his Premier League debut for Arsenal since Ray Parlour in August 1992 against Liverpool.

    Team news

    Aleksandar Mitrovic was on the bench for Fulham, with Aboubakar Kamara preferred, and the only change from the Play-Off final win over Brentford was Cavaleiro coming in for Cordova-Reid. New goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was also on the bench having only joined on Wednesday.

    Gabriel Magalhaes made his debut in the Arsenal defence, while Willian also made his bow down the road from his old home at Stamford Bridge. Tierney was at left centre-back in a five-man defence again, with Maitland-Niles wide left, preferred over Saka. There was no Emiliano Martinez on the bench, as his move to Aston Villa nears.

    Aubameyang saw a shot from an acute angle cleared off the line by Hector after rounding the goalkeeper, but Arsenal did manage to keep Fulham out to earn their first clean sheet in four games, helped by the superb Gabriel on his first appearance since the £27m move from Lille.

    Arsenal looked well-drilled off the ball and assured on it throughout as Arteta looks to turn a work in progress into tangible success, while Fulham know they will have easier opponents as they look to succeed where they failed in 2019.

    Analysis: How Gabriel shone on debut

    Sky Sports' Adam Bate:

    So impressive was Gabriel, the club's £27m signing from Lille, that Arsenal supporters will be hoping he could be the catalyst for their team taking a huge step forward this season.

    A longstanding issue appears to have been addressed.

    Mikel Arteta knew it. That is why, despite having plenty of central defenders already on the club's books, he pursued this acquisition with vigour in the summer. It was not just Edu, Gabriel's compatriot, leading the chase. Personal calls went in from the manager too.

    Arteta was aware that he had nobody like Gabriel.

    Analysis of Gabriel's Arsenal debut against Fulham
    Image: Analysis of Gabriel's Arsenal debut against Fulham

    Now Fulham are aware of that too after a game in which he repelled attack after attack. No Arsenal player made more tackles. No Arsenal player made more clearances.

    Playing in the middle of a back three, Gabriel's physical presence snuffed out the threat posed by Aboubakar Kamara as he swept across to cover openings left and right.

    But there was more to this display than the physical. David Luiz might have been selected for that central role had he been available for this game but the experienced Brazil international could not have produced a more assured passing performance than the newcomer.

    Gabriel completed 107 passes - the most of any player on the pitch. His use of the ball was tidy throughout and his composure provided assurance to his team-mates.

    Read the full analysis of Gabriel's debut

    Transfer update: Lacazette, Aubameyang, Holding, Martinez

    Arsenal's new faces stole the headlines in the 3-0 win over Fulham, but we were also given firm clues about the future of several current players at the Emirates.

    Emiliano Martinez was not named on the Arsenal bench, with his potential move to Aston Villa gaining momentum, but Alexandre Lacazette said after the win that he is happy to stay.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring Arsenal's third goal with  Willian
    Image: Mikel Arteta said after the game he was hoping for positive news on Aubameyang's contract in the coming days

    "I'm really happy. It's only the press who say l am unhappy and l want to leave. But me, from the beginning, I have said I am happy with Arsenal and "I want to play and win titles, we won a title last month, so I am happy with Arsenal."

    As for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and that elusive contract, Mikel Arteta insisted: "I'm really positive we'll get it done. Hopefully in the next few days you can get some news."

    The Arsenal boss also said defender Rob Holding was going nowhere having been heavily linked with a loan to Newcastle; he started in the win following David Luiz's injury.

    What the managers said...

    Fulham boss Scott Parker on BT Sport: "It's a big challenge, I've said that before. We all realise the challenge ahead. Saying that, for 45 minutes in that first half I liked a lot about us. The fine margins at this level, the fine detail, is that you probably need to be a bit more ruthless when chances fall.

    "Second half at times we accepted things; but this is part and parcel, this is our journey, we understand where we are and what we need to do. This is a long season for us, and we know where we need to improve. How we move forward will be the bigger test for us."

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta: "It was really good," Arteta said when asked about the debutants' performances. "Obviously for Willian. He knows the league, the country and is very settled here so I knew his performance would settle straight away.

    "For Gabriel it was a big challenge for him today to come in. He hadn't played any football in the last six months and he had a terrific performance."

    Opta stats

    Willian in action during Fulham vs Arsenal
    Image: Willian created two goals on debut for Arsenal
    • Fulham have lost their last 11 top-flight London derbies - including 10 defeats in the 2018/19 season - the longest ever run by a club in top-flight history.
    • 11 Brazilians have now appeared for Arsenal in the Premier League, following club debuts for Gabriel and Willian, with only Chelsea and Manchester City boasting more (12 each).
    • Arsenal have scored the first goal of a Premier League season four times, with only Liverpool doing so more often (5).
    • Alexandre Lacazette is the first player to score the opening goal of a Premier League season on more than one occasion (also 2017/18 v Leicester).
    • Gabriel is the 10th player to score on his Premier League debut for Arsenal, and the first to do so in an away match since Thomas Vermaelen in August 2009 against Everton.

    What's next?

    Live Premier League

    Arsenal host West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday night at 8pm, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

    Fulham now go to Ipswich in the Carabao Cup second round on Wednesday evening at 7pm, before going to Leeds in the Premier League on Saturday at 3pm.

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