Arsenal managed to return to winning ways in the Premier League after they secured a 4-1 triumph over Fulham at the Emirates Stadium on New Year’s Day. The Gunners found themselves guilty of handing some glorious scoring chances for the opposition early on but the Cottagers’ failure to capitalise meant that the hosts eventually prevailed with a comfortable triumph.
Granit Xhaka opened the scoring with a close finish in the 25th minute and the Gunners went into the break with the slender 1-0 advantage. Shortly after the interval, Alexandre Lacazette doubled the scores for the Gunners but there were given a minor scare after Aboubakar Kamara found the breakthrough for Fulham in the 69th minute. However, Unai Emery’s side managed to respond with an Aaron Ramsey strike 10 minutes later before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completed the scoring with his 14th goal of the league campaign.
Two things we learned:
Arsenal end their winless league run: The Gunners have been impressive under Emery during the ongoing campaign but they had recently gone into their shell with just one point in the successive away trips to Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool. Due to this, there had been the evident pressure to return to winning ways against a Fulham side lying in the drop zone but they managed to do with a rather comfortable scoreline in the end. The victory sees them within a couple of points off fourth-placed Chelsea in the pursuit of Champions League football, although the gap could extend further, should the Blues win their game in hand versus Southampton.
Arsenal’s defensive woes continue: One of Arsenal’s main weaknesses this term has been the backline with the team managing to accumulate just three clean sheets. Against Fulham, the Gunners conceded just once with Kamara finding the scoresheet but they could have quite easily allowed a further two, barring the poor finishing from the Cottagers. Ryan Sessegnon without doubt had two of the best chances in the game to open the scoring for the west London side but he fluffed his lines on either occasion to save the Gunners’ blushes. On any other day, the hosts could have found themselves 2-0 down early in the first period and this presents warning signs for a team, who are competing for top four contention.
Image – Getty