Silky Arsenal pass Fulham to keep title bid on track

LONDON – Arsenal moved past Fulham to regain their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table as they caused an uproar in a 3-0 win at Craven Cottage.

“We will win the league!” chanted the Arsenal fans at various stages of the game and on this show they looked like a title-winning side.

Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard all scored in the first half as Fulham couldn’t handle Arsenal’s deft movement and Mikel Arteta’s side should have won with much more.

Marco Silva’s side improved in the second half but Arsenal managed their fifth straight Premier League win as they now have 66 points and are five ahead of Manchester City. Fulham have now lost two games in a row and remain on 39 points.

Martinelli, Trossard timely deliver extra shift at the perfect time

It was a joy to see Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli tear Fulham apart in the first half. The duo seamlessly ghosted between the left flank and the central areas and Fulham just couldn’t follow them. Arsenal pushed Fulham up but they were also so clever in the way they allowed Fulham to play a pass from the back into midfield and then rush into challenges. Martin Odegaard kept pushing forward to play as a second striker and was always able to combine freely on setbacks. Without Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah (the former is fit again and arrived late in the game), Arsenal have had to be creative with their attacking options, which inadvertently gave them an extra tactical layer at a crucial point in the season. Jesus will of course start a large part of the final 11 games of the campaign but Arsenal now have a very different option whenever they want. That will be crucial in the final months of the season if they want to win the title.

Mikel Arteta praises the attacking unit as the Gunners stay ahead

stars of the show; Fulham vs Arsenal player ratings

Leandro Trossard: A hat-trick of assists in the first half and plenty of class when he got the ball. What a January signing.

Martin Odegaard: Received his goal and popped up in dangerous areas throughout the game.

Gabriel Martinelli: Could have had a hat trick in the first half and his clever runs were undetectable.

Graphic via

What’s next?

Fulham meet Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday 19 March. Arsenal host Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League round of 16 second leg on Thursday and Crystal Palace on Sunday 19 March.

How to watch Fulham vs Arsenal live! – By Joe Prince-Wright at Craven Cottage

Kick-off: Sunday 10 a.m. ET
TV channel/On-line: View on Peacock Premium

FULL-TIME: Fulham 0-3 Arsenal – Absolutely clinical from Arsenal. They were excellent. Fulham were blown away in the first half. Too easy for Arteta’s side.

CHANCE! Gabriel Jesus is brought in, but his low finish is saved by Leno. So close to scoring on his return and he should have scored.

Gabriel Jesus arrives and there is a huge roar from the Arsenal fans away. What an ovation for Jesus on his return. His first appearance since before the World Cup.

CROSSBAR! Fulham hit the bar. A header from a corner is good, but it bounces. Bad luck for the hosts.

SAVE ON COMPUTER! Aaron Ramsdale saves deep to deny Decordova-Reid Fulham were much better in the second half. But that wasn’t exactly difficult after their performance in the first half…

Fulham have more possession but Arsenal look so dangerous every time they break.

In the second half we’re underway and Ramsdale’s gotten to a couple of crosses. Fulham are putting serious pressure on Arsenal to concede a goal back.

HALFTIME – Fulham 0-3 Arsenal: About as dominant a first half as Arsenal have had all season. Completely under control, 3-0 lead and drive. It could have been five or six. Arsenal fans chant Mikel Arteta’s name from the away game. Fulham have really missed Joao Palhinha in midfield and just don’t look at it.

TORL! Fulham 0-3 Arsenal – Martin Odegaard shoots home at half-time after another fine Arsenal counterattack. Another brilliant game by Martinelli and Leandro Trossard. Arsenal have excelled at those transitions.

SAVE ON COMPUTER! Great stop by Leno to deny Martinelli. That seemed like a third for Arsenal for sure.

Nervous moment for Aaron Ramsdale as he inexplicably passes the ball straight to Andreas Pereira but the Fulham midfielder praises over the bar. Huge chance for Fulham. Arsenal fans chant Ramsdale’s name.

CHANCE! Great flowing football from Arsenal after Tosin gave it away but Xhaka decides to take an extra touch and he gets it all wrong as Leno gratefully collects. Brilliant chance for Arsenal to 3-0.

Some possession for Fulham now that Manor Solomon knocked one wide of the far post. Very similar to his recent efforts from this position which usually fly in. The home fans are getting a little scared. Arsenal are happy to sit deeper and defend their 2-0 lead. Good position for the Gunners.

‘You know you’ll believe us, we’re going to win the league!’ sing Arsenal fans away here at Craven Cottage.

TORL! 2-0 to Arsenal. Leandro Trossard hits the back post with a nice cross and Martinelli heads home. Trossard and Martinelli were sensational early on. Fulham can’t handle their movement.

William Saliba steps forward and shoots over the bar from 35 yards. That sums up the confidence in this Arsenal side at the moment.

TORL! Gabriel goes home as he climbs over Tosin and steers a corner home. Poor defense from Fulham. Arsenal deserve a lead. Fulham 0-1 Arsenal.

NO GOAL! Gabriel Martinelli has a shot from the left which Bernd Leno parries but it ricochets off Antonee Robinson and goes in. Arsenal believe they lead 1-0 but VAR is brought in and Martinelli was just ruled offside. The home fans celebrate the VAR decision on screen as if it were a goal for Fulham. Early drama here.

Just like at the Worlds, Bukayo Saka and Antonee Robinson should expect a really good fight here in the press box on the wing closest to me. Robinson had Saka’s number in Qatar…

Slow start here as Arsenal have been a little sloppy. Perhaps you can excuse her after her return from Lisbon on Thursday? The home fans are very happy with the start from Fulham.

BEGIN! We’re out here at the cottage and it’s the Arsenal fans who make all the noise early on.

Nice buzz around Craven Cottage while the atmosphere builds. The home fans are full of optimism and the away fans are also expecting a big win.

Watch this before the game. Can Arsenal handle the pressure from Man City breathing down their necks?

Team news is here! Ben White and Granit Xhaka come on for Arsenal. Fulham have made two changes, with Tosin replacing Diop and Bobby Decordova-Reid for Willian as the Brazilian winger is completely out.

Some fascinating team news right here. Gabriel Jesus is here at the Cottage and it’s a huge boost for Arsenal.

Welcome to West London! Beautiful early spring day here as Fulham host Premier League leaders Arsenal. Can the Gunners make it in the Premier League for the fifth straight season? Can Fulham cause a big shock?

Major storylines and star players

Fulham are still alive in the FA Cup and have that path to Europe too. Israeli striker Manor Solomon played a big role in the Cottagers’ recent goals as the Premier League adaptation has proved no problem for a man with plenty of European experience through Shakhtar Donetsk. Palhinha is out through suspension and Fulham will struggle at the heart of the pitch.

Arsenal put in performances all over the pitch but the consistent showman was Bukayo Saka as Mikel Arteta wasn’t afraid to start the young Englishman again and again.

Fulham team news, injuries, line-up

AUS: Palhinha (suspension), Tom Cairney (ankle), Neeskens Kebano (hamstring), Layvin Kurzawa (knee), Cedric Soares (loan – Parents’ Association), Willian (unknown)

Arsenal team news, injuries, line-up

OUT: Mohamed Elneny (knock), Eddie Nketiah (ankle)

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