Germany striker Lukas Podolski scored a brace and Olivier Giroud grabbed his third goal in as many games as Arsenal recovered from its poor start to the Premier League season with a 3-1 win at London rivals Fulham on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger’s team bounced back from a home defeat against Aston Villa in a convincing manner, looking in total control most of the time at a rain-soaked Craven Cottage.
Giroud scored the opener in the 14th minute with a left-footed shot from close range and Podolski doubled the visitors’ lead four minutes before halftime with an excellent finish. Podolski completed the rout in the 68th after being set up by Santi Cazorla.
England forward Darren Bent pulled one back for Fulham in the 77th.
It was Fulham’s first loss this season after it opened the campaign with a win at Sunderland.
The win is likely to appease Arsenal fans, who voiced their discontent and concerns after the Villa loss, urging their club to bring in new players.
Wenger, who is still hoping he can make a marquee signing before the end of the transfer window, left England midfielder Jack Wilshere on the bench to give Podolski a start while Fulham manager Martin Jol handed a debut to England midfielder Scott Parker, recruited from Tottenham earlier this week.
The match was played in difficult conditions, with heavy rain falling on the pitch. Arsenal created its first chance after 12 minutes when Theo Walcott’s effort was parried away by Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale, who replaced the injured Maarten Stekelenburg.
Giroud opened the scoring two minutes later, tucking in the ball past Stockdale for his third goal in three games in all competitions this season after Aaron Ramsey’s attempt deflected into the French striker’s path.
Giroud had also scored in Arsenal’s opening 3-1 home loss to Aston Villa and during the 3-0 win at Fenerbahce in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off.