Arsenal ease to victory over struggling Fulham

Arsenal ease to victory over struggling Fulham

Arsenal recovered from their thrashing at Liverpool by seeing off lowly Fulham at the Emirates Stadium – with Aaron Ramsey coming off the bench to wrap up the three points.

The Gunners were humbled by a 5-1 mauling at Anfield and still looked timid at times as Fulham missed a number of decent chances before Unai Emery’s side ran out comfortable 4-1 winners.

Goals from Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette, substitute Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added gloss to the scoreline, with Fulham’s lone strike coming from Aboubakar Kamara.

Emery replaced Lacazette with Ramsey, who has reportedly opened talks with a string of top European clubs about a summer move when his contract at Arsenal expires, and the Wales international scored a crucial third to give the hosts breathing space.

Arsenal should have been ahead inside three minutes as a nice move saw Xhaka feed Alex Iwobi, whose low cross was flashed over the crossbar from close range by Aubameyang.

But the sort of lacklustre first-half display that has become strangely synonymous with Emery’s first half-season in charge soon followed.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, right), adds gloss to the scoreline (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, right), adds gloss to the scoreline (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Fulham, with just two points and six goals on their travels, wasted two glorious chances to take an unexpected lead.

Ryan Sessegnon was the man who spurned both opportunities, firstly curling a shot wide after breaking in behind Arsenal’s defence before fluffing his lines when picked out at the back post by Andre Schurrle.

Just moments later and Fulham were made to pay for their profligacy as Xhaka turned home Iwobi’s cross from six yards out after drifting into the box unmarked.

Claudio Ranieri’s side were still afforded chances by an Arsenal defence which showed how it had been so easily breached at Liverpool, goalkeeper Bernd Leno on hand to keep out Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header.

If Leno’s first telling stop of the day was solid, his counterpart Sergio Rico made a spectacular save at the other end soon after to prevent Xhaka grabbing a second.

Iwobi was impressing down the left and almost created another goal for the Gunners, only for Aubameyang to head inches wide as he connected with a cross to the near post.

Unai Emery watches on as his side ran out comfortable winners (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Unai Emery watches on as his side ran out comfortable winners (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Rico was then alert to prevent Lacazette adding the second before the interval as he turned his strike behind.

Emery’s side needed less than 10 second-half minutes to double their lead, Lacazette on the spot to finish Sead Kolasinac’s cut-back.

The France striker passed up a fine chance to grab a third as he struck a shot too close to Rico before having a penalty shout turned down after a challenge from Fulham substitute Jean Michael Seri.

Mitrovic headed straight at Leno as Fulham looked for a way back into the game, which came as Kamara arrived at the back post to sweep home Sessegnon’s cross just nine minutes after his introduction off the bench – a moment the forward would have enjoyed after he missed a penalty he was not supposed to have taken in the recent win over Huddersfield.

Arsenal felt Lucas Torreira had been fouled by Seri in the build-up but referee Graham Scott was unmoved and the visitors were back in the contest.

Emery’s decision to replace Lacazette with Ramsey was met with widespread jeers from the home support, with Arsenal seemingly holding on.

Fulham’s Aboubakar Kamara pulled a goal back (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Fulham’s Aboubakar Kamara pulled a goal back (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

But the Spaniard’s decision was vindicated when Ramsey hit the third, reacting to Aubameyang hitting the post by sweeping in the rebound.

The result was assured when Aubameyang rifled home a deflected shot for his 14th Premier League goal of the campaign.

- Press Association


More in this Section

Liverpool, Man City and Celtic fined by UEFALiverpool, Man City and Celtic fined by UEFA

Brendan Rodgers defends James Maddison over casino controversyBrendan Rodgers defends James Maddison over casino controversy

'It was a mad month': League winner Michael Duffy named player of the month for September'It was a mad month': League winner Michael Duffy named player of the month for September

O’Sullivan’s latest Crawley complaints dismissed by tournament organisersO’Sullivan’s latest Crawley complaints dismissed by tournament organisers


Lifestyle

Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

Ladysbridge and District Flower and Garden Club will meet on Monday at 8pm in Garryvoe Hotel.Gardening Notes: Your one-stop guide to the week's events

Don’t forget to lavish roses with the attention they deserve this winter, urges Hannah StephensonDon’t forget to lavish roses with the attention they deserve this winter

More From The Irish Examiner