• Kyodo


Japanese midfielder Junichi Inamoto came off the substitute’s bench and set up the final goal in his league debut as Fulham crushed Bolton Wanderers 4-1 at home on the opening day of the English Premier League on Saturday.

Inamoto, who failed to make a single league appearance in a frustrating spell at Arsenal last season, was given a rousing reception from the home fans when he replaced Steed Malbranque in the 69th minute at Fulham’s temporary home at Loftus Road.

And the 22-year-old responded just 10 minutes later as he sent in a teasing cross from the left that Facundo Sava headed into the path of French midfielder Sylvain Legwinski, who rifled the ball into the bottom left-hand corner for his second goal of the afternoon.

“It’s a really big thing for me to play right from the start of the season and I’m pleased that I’ve been able play in front of English fans,” Inamoto said after becoming the first Japanese to play in England’s top flight.

Fulham manager Jean Tigana said he was encouraged with the progress Inamoto has been making since his arrival last month and indicated that he might start him in Fulham’s next match.

“I’m satisfied with the way he (Inamoto) has been coming along and there’s every chance that he will start in our next game,” said Tigana.

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