Lucas Podolski claimed a brace as Arsenal kicked their Premier League campaign into gear on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Fulham away at Craven Cottage.
Arsene Wenger’s side lost their first game at home to Aston Villa on the season’s opening day, but they beat Fenerbahce 3-0 in mid-week in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.
That momentum was certainly carried into Saturday’s game with a superlative performance from the Gunners.
Play was almost marred by heavy downpour in west London which made for a saturated playing surface, but it did not stop Arsenal taking the lead in the 14th minute when Olivier Giroud gathered a low shot from Aaron Ramsey and stabbed the ball past Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale.
Podolski made it 2-0 four minutes before half-time when he side-footed home after a save by Stockdale from a Theo Walcott effort.
The German forward sealed victory in the 68th minute when he neatly collected a pass from Santi Cazorla and then aimed a shot into the bottom-right corner of the goalpost.
Darren Bent pulled one back for the hosts in the 77th minute, tapping in a low cross from Dimitar Berbatov to mark his debut with a goal following his loan move from Aston Villa.
The win no doubt reduces the pressure on the young Arsenal team still fresh from the convincing win in Turkey.
It was an elated Wenger who praised the way his side responded to the disappointing result against Villa. He stated that it was important that his team bounced back and they have done that with two convincing wins.
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