Arsenal picked up all three points at Craven Cottage with a comfortable 3-0 win against newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday in the first game of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
The hosts actually made the brighter start, but it was the Gunners who took the lead within ten minutes through Alexandre Lacazette. The striker simply tapped home after Fulham failed to clear their lines. New arrival Willian almost doubled the north London side's lead midway through the first half, but his free-kick crashed against the post.
The Gunners doubled their lead less than five minutes into the second half, as new signing Gabriel powered the ball home from a corner. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it 3-0 before the hour mark as he rounded off an outstanding team move, curling the ball into the far corner. Arsenal saw out the game to pick up a clean sheet and all three points.
Let's get into some player ratings for both sides, shall we? Oh, go on then.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Marek Rodak (GK) - 5/10 - Kept his place in the Fulham side despite the arrival of Alphonse Areola and although he conceded three times, he couldn't have done much about any of the goals.
Denis Odoi (RB) - 5/10 - Acted as an outlet on the right, getting forward to support attacks and link play. However, he struggled to deal with the overlapping runs made by the likes of Maitland-Niles.
Michael Hector (CB) - 7/10 - One of Fulham's star performers in the second half of the 2019/20 Championship season, Hector put in another solid defensive display. Marshalled the backline well in general, despite moments of lapses in concentration.
Tim Ream (CB) - 3/10 - Should he be starting for Fulham this season in the Premier League? The answer is probably not. In fact, definitely not. The centre-back was at fault for the opener, and looked shaky throughout.
Joe Bryan (LB) - 4/10 - Looked to get forward and support attacks, but was unable to as he left gaping holes in defence for the Gunners to expose when doing so.
Harrison Reed (CM) - 6/10 - Fresh from making his loan move permanent, Reed picked up where he left off in the Championship. It may have ended in defeat, but Reed put in another assured display.
Tom Cairney (CM) - 4/10 - Struggled to really influence the game, Fulham need more from Cairney.
Josh Onomah (CAM) - 4/10 - Onomah showed a few nice touches, but was unable to really get hold of the ball in dangerous positions.
Neeskens Kebano (RW) - 5/10 - On the few occasions Fulham got forward, Kebano lacked the quality to pick out the final pass. Worked hard, but Kebano must take his chances in future games.
Ivan Cavaleiro (LW) - 5/10 - See Kebano.
Aboubakar Kamara (ST) - 5/10 - He isn't Aleksandar Mitrovic. Fulham need a backup striker to support Mitrovic.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (ST) - 5/10
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (CM) - 6/10
Bobby Decordova-Reid (LW) - 4/10
5. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Bernd Leno (GK) - 6/10 - Coming back into the starting lineup replacing Emiliano Martinez, Leno didn't have too much to do. But he did make an early mistake which could have been punished.
Hector Bellerin (RWB) - 6/10 - Provided an outlet on the right, but didn't really influence the match and made a few clumsy tackles.
Rob Holding (RCB) - 6/10 - Was controlled in his work at the back, while he also carried the ball forward well when in possession.
Gabriel (CB) - 8/10 - Started slowly, but grew into the contest and looked very assured later in the game. He came to the club with a reputation as being strong in the air, and he showed this with his goal. It wasn't the perfect header, but it was his presence that put defenders off.
Kieran Tierney (LCB) - 7/10 - Another strong performance from Tierney at left centre-back. Like Holding, he was comfortable both with and without the ball.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (LWB) - 7/10 - Playing in the left wing-back role, Maitland-Niles repaid the faith shown in him by his manager. Made a number of intelligent runs to create space and pose a threat.
Mohamed Elneny (CM) - 6/10 - Hardly a scintillating display, but Elneny controlled play well in the middle of the park.
Granit Xhaka (CM) - 7/10 - Dictated play, spraying passes around and bringing the forwards into the game, Xhaka was an imposing figure in midfield and picked up clever pockets of space.
Willian (RW) - 8/10 - Outstanding. The Brazilian was a constant threat, drifting around the pitch and linking play expertly with those around him. Two assists on his league debut will definitely please Gunners fans.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (LW) - 7/10 - What else can you say about this man? Aubameyang was quite for large parts of the contest, but still popped up to score a stunning goal.
Alexandre Lacazette (ST) - 7/10 Worked hard throughout and got himself his goal early on. Didn't do his chances of staying in the starting lineup any harm.
Nicolas Pepe (RW) - 6/10
Dani Ceballos (CM) - 6/10
Eddie Nketiah (ST) - N/A
Source : 90min