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Fulham falls in Premier League return as Areola stays at the bench

Arsenal gave Fulham a rude welcome back to the Premier League. Reuters
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Alphonse Areola's bid to become the second player of Filipino heritage to get a Premier League start will have to wait for at least another week as Fulham stumbled to Arsenal in its return to England's top flight on Saturday at the Craven Cottage Stadium in London.

While getting the number one jersey, the Filipino-French keeper, who joined Fulham via loan from reigning Ligue 1 champion Paris Saint-Germain, rode the bench all match long against the reigning FA Cup champion as Marek Rodak got the start.

However, an eighth minute goal from Alexandre Lacazette set the tone for Arsenal's domination of its cross-city rival.

Arsenal, however, only pulled away early in the second half thanks to a 49th minute goal from Gabriel and a 57th minute strike from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Fulham will play back-to-back road games next week, playing Ipswich in a Carabao Cup match early Thursday (Philippine Time) before facing Leeds in another Premier League clash next Saturday.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_