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Arsenal cruised to victory against Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday, getting all three goals in a first half in which they played some of their best football of the season.
The visitors dominated the ball from the off but didn’t cause any problems for the Fulham backline in the opening stages of the match.
The changed at the 15-minute mark when Gabriel Martinelli went through on goal and had an effort saved by Bernd Leno only for the ball to then rebound off Antonee Robinson into the back of the net. However, VAR ruled the goal out, judging the Brazilian to be offside.
That decision didn’t prove to be hugely consequential though because Gabriel gave Arsenal the lead from a corner just five minutes later, heading past Leno for his third league goal of the season.
Things then went bad to worse for Fulham when Martinelli headed in a cross from Leandro Trossard, putting the hosts 2-0 down before they’d even played half an hour. It was a fair scoreline too with the Gunners outplaying them and producing some glorious football.
That remained the case for the rest of the first half and Martin Odegaard made it 3-0 at the very end of it, controlling a cross from Trossard and firing in.
Mercifully, Marco Silva’s side made a much better start to the second half, not creating much but not allowing the league leaders to either.
By the 70-minute mark, it was clear that Arsenal weren’t too interested in pushing for more goals, and that gave Fulham the chance to get the next one, but Aaron Ramsdale saved an effort from Bobby Decordova-Reid before Aleksandar Mitrovic hit the bar from a corner.
That was the closest either side would come to scoring in the second half, with Arsenal happy to save their energy and Fulham happy to just limit the damage to ther goal difference and pride.
With the away side playing some top football, not working too hard and welcoming back Gabriel Jesus off the bench, it was the perfect day for the Gunners.
GK: Bernd Leno – 5/10 – Was left woefully exposed by his backline and made some decent saves, but perhaps should have done better for the first two goals he conceded.
RB: Kenny Tete – 5/10 – Was run ragged by Martinelli and Trossard in the first half but was much better in the second.
CB: Tosin Adarabioyo – 4/10 – Looked uncomfortable with the pace and fluidity of the Arsenal attack throughout.
CB: Tim Ream – 4/10 – Also struggled to keep track of the opposition forwards in a first half to forget.
LB: Antonee Robinson – 5/10 – Failed to keep Saka quiet, but then again so has pretty much every left-back in the Premier League this season, and he did well in possession.
DM: Harrison Reed – 4/10 – Didn’t do too good a job at protecting his defence or supplying his attack.
DM: Sasa Lukic – 6/10 – One of Fulham’s better players, winning the ball a number of times in midfield.
RM: Bobby Decordova-Reid – 5/10 – Almost scored with a good effort but didn’t do much else with Arsenal dominating.
AM: Andreas Pereira – 4/10 – Gave the ball away a lot and didn’t help out a huge amount defensively.
LM: Manor Solomon – 6/10 – Worked hard at both ends, pressing and tracking Ben White well.
ST: Aleksandar Mitrovic – 3/10 – Was completely dominated by Saliba and Gabriel throughout.
Harry Wilson (76′ for Pereira) – 6/10
Daniel James (76′ for Solomon) – 5/10
Marco Silva – 5/10 – Couldn’t stop his side from being completely outclassed in the first half but did at least ensure they drew the second.
GK – Aaron Ramsdale – 6/10 – Made some good saves and commanded his box well.
RB – Ben White – 6/10 – Had an easy day defensively but would have hoped to have done more going forward.
CB – William Saliba – 7/10 – Was solid at the back and almost scored with a great effort.
CB – Gabriel Magalhaes – 8/10 – Dominated in the air at both ends, scoring from a corner and winning his battles with Mitrovic.
LB – Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7/10 – Was excellent on the ball as always in his inverted wing-back role.
CM – Martin Odegaard – 7/10 – Got a good goal on his return to action and made some dangerous passes too.
CM – Thomas Partey – 6/10 – Solid if spectacular at the base of the midfield.
CM – Granit Xhaka – 6/10 – Linked up well with his team-mates going forward but should have scored, missing a big chance.
RW – Bukayo Saka – 6/10 – As always, was a real livewire on the right, but his end product could have been better.
ST – Leandro Trossard – 9/10 – Treated us to a creative masterclass in the first half, getting three assists, and was unlucky not to score himself. Going by that display, Gabriel Jesus won’t just walk back into the Arsenal side.
LW – Gabriel Martinelli – 8/10 – Missed some chances but created some too and did score a goal. His link-up play with Trossard is a joy to watch.
Reiss Nelson (71′ for Saka) – 6/10
Kieran Tierney (72′ for Zinchenko) – 6/10
Fabio Vieira (77′ for Martinelli) – 6/10
Gabriel Jesus (77′ for Trossard) – 6/10
Takehiro Tomiyasu (80′ for White) – 6/10
Mikel Arteta – 8/10 – Got his game plan spot on, with his side producing some glorious football in the first half and preserving their energy in the second.