Fulham have been handed an opening day lesson of Premier League reality as Scott Parker’s team were swept aside by Arsenal at Craven Cottage.

The hosts showed flashes of promise, but goals from Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Magalaes and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured all three points for the Gunners.

Both sides had their fans wincing in the opening stages with dodgy defending, but it was Arsenal that broke the deadlock on eight minutes.

Pinball inside the Fulham box caused panic for the home side, but Lacazette kept his cool to scramble home the scruffiest of opening goals.

That defensive horror show looked to rattle Fulham, and they were fortunate not to be two goals behind at the break, as Brazilian international Willian rattled the post from a free kick.

And with the shell shocked hosts unable to react, Gabriel helped himself to a debut goal just after the restart.

That ended any slim chance of a possible Fulham fight back, but their top-flight return would not be complete without an goal from Aubameyang.

Willian found himself in space on the hour mark, his through ball left the Fulham defence standing and Aubameyang raced on and on to fire past Marek Rodak.

Parker threw on Aleksandar Mitrovic in the closing stages, and despite the Serbian testing Bernd Leno late on, Parker knows his side will need to improve dramatically for the long road ahead.


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