Football

Willian shines as Arsenal make winning start

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Arsenal made a flying start to the new season with a 3-0 win at Fulham.

Just 48 days after last season’s delayed conclusion, the Premier League is back and Arsenal hit the ground running with the kind of confident display that has become their hallmark since Mikel Arteta took charge.

Arsenal’s free-flowing attack was too incisive for promoted Fulham and Alexandre Lacazette gave the visitors an early lead at Craven Cottage.

Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes scored Arsenal’s second after the break in his first appearance since his close-season move from Lille.

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Aubameyang added the final flourish with a typically eye-catching strike that emphasised why Arsenal are so desperate for the Gabon forward to sign an extension to the contract which expires at the end of the season.

Gunners boss Arteta had good news for fans concerned Aubameyang might leave as he revealed their team’s talisman is set to sign the contract offer.

“I’m really positive we are going to get it done very soon and hopefully in the next few days you will get some news,” Arteta told BT Sport.

With former Chelsea winger Willian providing a pair of assists on his debut, it was the ideal way for Arsenal to start a season that appears full of promise after last season’s FA Cup triumph.

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Although their eighth-placed finish in the Premier League ranked as Arsenal’s lowest final position since 1995, Arteta has been a much-needed breath of fresh air and pushing for a place in the top four should not be beyond his revitalised team this term.

“I wanted to see my team determined to come to this difficult ground against a really good team that has been promoted. We had a lot of energy and did the things we trained on in this period,” Arteta said.

“Gabriel didn’t play for six months before today. Mohamed Elneny was brilliant. He has been excellent in training. All the boys tried really hard.”

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