Arsenal kept the ball rolling and
registered their fifth victory in a row in the Premier League with their comfortable
3-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday. The Gunners produced a
sensational first-half blitz to blow away their London rivals, with goals from
Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli, and Martin Odegaard powering Mikel Arteta’s side
to a straightforward win away from home.
Arsenal showed no signs of weariness
against Fulham despite travelling to Lisbon for their Europa League tie on
Thursday night, and the Gunners completely outmatched Marcos Silva’s side with
an electric first half performance.
The Gunners had an early goal ruled out for
off-side by the VAR but kept launching waves of attack to snatch the early
advantage. Granit Xhaka tested Bernd Leno with a low shot at the near post, and
the Gunners found the opening goal from the resulting corner, with central
defender Gabriel rising highest and thumping in a towering header from Leandro
The Belgian was heavily involved in
Arsenal’s attacks down the left wing and set up the second goal just five
minutes later, teeing up Gabriel Martinelli with another floated cross after a
well-worked team goal from the visitors.
Granit Xhaka spurned a golden chance to
make it three, failing to get his shot away following another free-flowing
attack, but Martin Odegaard killed the game off in first-half injury time.
Collecting the ball from another Trossard assist, the Norwegian danced around
the Fulham defence and laced his shot past Bernd Leno to make it 3-0.
The hosts improved after the break and even
went close to finding a consolation as Tosin Adarabioyo’s header thundered off
the woodwork. However, it was Arsenal that dictated most of the possession and
looked more likely to add a fourth.
The table toppers also received a major
boost in the final 15 minutes as Gabriel Jesus made his long-awaited return to
the side after a prolonged period on the sidelines. The Brazilian, who suffered
a knee injury at the World Cup, was brought on for Leandro Trossard in the
closing stages and even went close to marking his comeback with a goal but
could only find the feet of Leno with a tame effort.
Manchester City kept the pressure on
Arsenal with their win over Crystal Palace on Saturday night, but the Gunners
restored their five-point lead at the top of the table with their win at Craven
Cottage. Mikel Arteta’s side now turn their attention to the second leg of the
Europa League last 16 against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday before hosting
Crystal Palace at home in the final league game before the international break.