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Arsenal renaissance continues at Fulham

24 August 2013, 14:52

London - 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 14 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 in the 77th minute, tapping in a low cross from Dimitar Berbatov to mark his debut with a goal following his loan move from Villa.

Roberto Martinez will experience his first competitive home game as Everton manager later on Saturday when his new side welcome West Bromwich Albion to Goodison Park.

West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka will not feature after he was granted compassionate leave following the death of his close friend, the agent Eric Manasse.

Newcastle United will attempt to bounce back from their 4-0 thrashing at Manchester City when they take on West Ham United, while the late game sees Villa tackle Liverpool at Villa Park.

On Sunday, City visit Cardiff City and Tottenham Hotspur host Swansea City, before the first major head-to-head meeting of the campaign on Monday, when Jose Mourinho's Chelsea travel to champions Manchester United.



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