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Fulham 0-3 Arsenal: A perfect away day

Match reportParticipant scoresArteta response

After final weekend’s dramatic win over Bournemouth, I hoped for a much less aggravating Arsenal win after we visited Fulham yesterday – and that’s precisely what we bought.

With Leandro Trossard again up entrance, and Gabriel Jesus on a really sturdy wanting bench, the sport started with the house facet making an attempt to press excessive and Arsenal coping with it comfortably. That may be one of many tales of the afternoon.

It seemed as if we’d gone forward within the sixteenth minute when a superb cross from Granit Xhaka discovered Gabriel Martinelli, and though Bernd Leno saved his effort, it went in off a defender for an personal purpose. The reprieve for Fulham got here from VAR as Martinelli was adjudged to be offside as he obtained the ball.

Because the away followers sang songs about how they felt concerning the expertise, we turned it up a notch. Xhaka’s shot pressured Leno right into a save which gave us a nook. Trossard’s supply was poor however we bought one other one, this time the Belgian put it on the pinnacle of Gabriel who headed dwelling to make it 1-0.

William Saliba demonstrated the arrogance he possesses by making an attempt his luck from 30 yards, firing not too far over, and the centre-half was concerned in an excellent second purpose too. Fulham tried to press us, we simply performed it round them with supreme confidence and positional consciousness. When the chance got here, Saliba switched it with a fantastic left footed cross, Xhaka took it on, Trossard clipped up the cross, and Martinelli was there to move dwelling. The defending was poor, however take nothing away from the standard of that Arsenal build-up.

At 2-0 it was snug sufficient, however you at all times need one other to actually make it robust for the opposition. Even when they do get one, you will have that cushion. There have been probabilities: Xhaka can have nightmares about not taking a shot first time after some very good one-touch creativity put him by means of with simply Leno to beat; Trossard shot broad after wiggling his hips contained in the Fulham field; and Leno saved from Martinelli after Ben White delivered a pinpoint left-footed cross to the again submit.

It wasn’t that I used to be anxious, per se, however once you see that many probabilities missed you may’t assist however marvel if it’d come again to chunk you. Simply earlier than the break, we bought the purpose our efficiency deserved. Thomas Partey intercepted a poor throw-in, he fed Martinelli who gave it to Trossard who supplied his third help of the afternoon with a ball to Martin Odegaard. The captain’s composure within the field was glorious, delaying and stepping again inside earlier than firing past Leno.

3-0 on the break felt like simply reward for our efficiency, and a hat-trick of assists for Trossard was a major contribution from a participant we didn’t assume can be out there within the build-up to this match.

As you would possibly anticipate, Fulham have been higher/not as unhealthy [delete as appropriate] within the second half. They’d some moments, however we defended properly sufficient. A header hit the bar at one level and that was the most effective they may provide you with. Ramsdale was sturdy from their set-piece deliveries, and when you think about how troublesome Aleksandar Mitrovic could be to play towards, it’s credit score to our defenders – and Saliba particularly – that he barely had a sniff all day.

On the different finish there have been flashes of what we all know we will produce. One good transfer ended up with a Martinelli shot being blocked, however at 3-0 it was about controlling the sport and we did that. There’s a variety of vitality left to expend between now and the tip of the season, so we didn’t should go all out in that second half.

The massive second was the return of Gabriel Jesus, approaching for Trossard with about 20 minutes to go. The reception he bought when he hit the pitch, after which after his first contact, informed you the way huge it felt to the Arsenal followers within the away finish, and to all of us watching. The concern we felt when he bought that damage was intense, let’s not neglect that. His significance, his high quality, his affect – to overlook these issues on this season of all seasons. But right here we’re with the identical lead on the prime of the desk. It is a huge enhance.

He may have scored, Vieira performed him in however Leno made a save. No less than he’s simply picked straight again up from the place he left off earlier than the World Cup! In seriousness although, regardless of the actual fact he’s been lacking for 3 months or extra, there have been some touches and flashes of his centre-forward play that remind you we’ve bought a hell of a participant on our fingers right here, and when he will get absolutely match match, he might be the distinction maker.

Odegaard may have scored one other after nice play from sub Reiss Nelson; Gabriel celebrated a defensive block extra vigorously than he celebrated his purpose; and Vieira gained a hilarious free kick by tripping himself up. It was tutorial although, Arsenal have been by far the higher crew on the day. On paper – away from dwelling after a European away journey – this seemed like a difficult one towards a crew having an excellent season, however the management we exerted from begin to end was actually spectacular. An ideal away day. Three factors, a clear sheet – simply what the physician ordered. And by physician, I imply Mikel Arteta.

Afterwards, the supervisor mentioned:

Actually joyful, it’s a very robust place to come back towards a properly organised crew. I feel we dominated the sport, we created so many probabilities, we stored a clear sheet – which was actually necessary. And we gained the sport in a convincing means so I’m very joyful.

And on the return of Jesus:

It’s a huge enhance! His first steps at present and we didn’t know whether or not it was the correct recreation for him at present. A number of days in the past, he informed me he was lacking one thing after which yesterday he seemed me within the eyes and informed me he was prepared. Then at present we had the chance to throw him in as a result of it’s that first step to present him the enhance. He seemed free and generated two huge probabilities straightaway, and it’s nice to have him again.

As I discussed above although, the crew deserves huge credit score for what they’ve finished with out Jesus. Trossard is up there with the most effective January signings we’ve ever made, and that bench yesterday you felt assured that there was the sort of high quality and depth that hasn’t at all times been the case this season.

To not point out we responded to Man Metropolis’s win over Crystal Palace, the hole had been closed to 2 factors, it’s again to five. If we will beat Palace ourselves subsequent Sunday, it’ll be 8 earlier than Metropolis play within the league once more. They’ll have the sport in hand, nevertheless it’s nonetheless an opportunity to place it as much as them.

Which isn’t to get carried away with something. We now have a midweek recreation first, however that would be the goal for subsequent Sunday. For now, we will put this down as a job very properly finished, and take all the arrogance and positives we will from it.

Proper, that’s it for now. James and I might be recording an Arsecast Further for you in a while this morning. Maintain a watch out for the decision for questions on Twitter @gunnerblog and @arseblog on Twitter with the hashtag #arsecastextra – or in the event you’re on Arseblog Member on Patreon, depart your query within the #arsecast-extra-questions channel on our Discord server.

We should always have the podcast for you round lunchtime. Till then.


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