Lukas Podolski fires twice for Arsenal
German striker scores brace as Wenger's Arsenal beat Fulham 3-1 in their own backyard
Lukas Podolski claimed a brace as Arsenal kicked their Premier League campaign into gear on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Fulham at a sodden Craven Cottage.
Arsene Wenger’s side were beaten at home by 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 and carried that momentum into Saturday’s game.
Heavy downpours in west London 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 Stockdale saved from Theo Walcott, and the Germany forward sealed victory in the 68th minute by gathering a pass from Santi Cazorla and arrowing a shot into the bottom-right corner. Darren Bent pulled one back for the hosts (77th min), tapping in a low cross from Dimitar Berbatov.
“It’s never easy to play away or win away and we did it in a convincing way. We had a disappointing result against Villa and it was important to respond,” Arsenal manager Wenger told BT Sport.
Everton 0-0 West Brom
Hull City 1-0 Norwich City
Newcastle 0-0 West Ham
S’hampton 1-1 Sunderland
Stoke 2-1 Crystal Palace
Aston Villa 0-1 Liverpool