Arsenal came up convincing winners in their 3-0 victory over Fulham in the opening day of the 2020-21 Premier League season. Goals from Lacazette, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Aubameyang seal their faith away at Craven Cottage. New signing Gabriel and Willian put up a top-notch performance to make the day easy for the Gunners. The Brazilian was awarded as the ‘Man of the Match’ with his two assists that define the game. It was Frenchman Lacazette who got on the score sheet early after a scramble in the box with an initial effort from Willian saved by Fulham keeper Marek Rodak.
In the second half, Willian hoisted a corner kick straight to another new arrival, Gabriel Magalhaes’s head. The centre-back from Lille headed in beautifully for Arsenal’s second of the day. The Brazilian was involved again as he switched a pass onto Aubameyang for the Gabon International to round off his trademark finish from the left. Overall, it was a satisfying performance from Mikel Arteta’s men.
Here we look at the five talking points of the match:
Willian- the king of the game
It seems Mikel Arteta has done a fine piece of business to bring in Willian after his contract expired with Chelsea this summer. The Brazilian was brought to bring in firepower for the team and he certainly approved that in his debut for the side. Not only with his assists did he shined but for fine positioning and instigating play on the forward line. Fulham had a hard time with him. He manipulated the right side very well by drawing his marker out and helping wing-back Hector Bellerin to bomb forward. Willian finds himself in the middle at certain times to activate the combination play and a lot. The Shakter Donetsk prospect almost marked his day with a goal but his close-range free-kick was unlucky to come back of the post.
Gabriel had a solid outing
Another new boy that galore for the entire 90 minutes is Gabriel Magalhaes. He ticked all the boxes of the demands needed for him and propelled Arteta’s plan to stage him to be a leader from the back in the new game. Although he lacked a little bit of communication at the start with leaving out a misplaced pass from Maitland Niles and almost allowing the opener from Fulham, the Brazilian stood rock solid throughout the game. Bought from Lille, Gabriel also showed his set-piece threat by meeting Willian’s delivery from the corner to double the lead for his side. A time when it was needed. Gabriel is surely a star in making and we must be patient to see the best of him in the upcoming games. He will surely recharge the backline
Rob Holding the underrated performer
Injuries to Luiz, Mustafi, and Pablo Maria with other defender’s unavailability led Rob Holding to start the opening fixture. What a game he had! Reports were claiming he may be loaned out from the club but now Holding is giving Arteta a competition for the place. The Englishman kept a cool mind in making a crucial interception and playing delightful passes in behind to let in Aubameyang and Lacazette. Holding established a super combination with Gabriel to resist Fulham’s encouraging but controlled attack. Their more disciplined approach in the second half allowed him to florist even further.
Lacazette finding his feet again for Arsenal
Arteta is doing something massive at the club. He is making some out of form players a cult hero with his tactics. The case goes for Lacazette too. The Frenchman scored Arsenal’s first goal of the campaign and also constructed pieces in the final third. Not only he prevailed in his hold up play but also never missed a chance to get in behind Fulham’s defence whenever opportunity aroused. It is believed the ex-Lyon star will stay at the club because he is happy with the North Londoners and play a pivotal role in the future.
Arsenal play better as an attacking team
The most important talking point was Arsenal’s change of play in the latter half. That helped them kill off the game. They were sitting back in the opening half even against Fulham to administer Arteta’s tactics. It was almost playing into the opposition’s hands.
Arsenal became more stable and offensive-minded in the next half. This allowed them to spread the wings. Willian found himself in more attacking spaces, while Mohammed Elneny also took his chances by getting forward. It is certain that Arteta and Arsenal are slowing the move to fasten the combinational passing play. This is what they used to do under Arsene Wenger in the past.