Philippine Azkal’s Neil Etheridge and Filipino-French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola stayed on the bench all match long for Birmingham and Fulham respectively as both English clubs started their league season campaigns on Saturday in contrasting outcomes.
Despite Coach Aitor Karanka starting England under-19 team member Zach Jeacock over Etheridge, Birmingham began its Sky Bet Championship campaign with a 1-0 win over Brentford at the St. Andrew’s Stadium in Birmingham.
Jeremie Bela scored the lone goal for Birmingham in the 37th minute as the club began its bid for promotion back to the Premier League on a high note.
On the other hand, Marek Rodak got the start for Fulham over Areola, but the Slovak keeper failed to keep Arsenal at bay as Fulham suffered a 0-3 defeat in its Premier League comeback at the Craven Cottage Stadium in London.
Alexandre Lacazette set the tone for Arsenal’s domination of its cross-city rival with an eighth minute goal.
Arsenal sealed the win after goals from Gabriel in the 49th minute and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 57th minute.*PNA