Current leader of the English Premier League Arsenal is looking more likely to win the title at the end of this season, after they fended off yet another wave of pressure given by closest contender Manchester City in recent games. The Gunners met Fulham in a London derby last weekend at Craven Cottage and overcame the home side with ease via a 3-0 convincing score line. The win meant Mikel Arteta’s men is enjoying a five-game winning streak in league games, in addition to their 5-point healthy lead over Pep Guardiola’s side in the table, with only 11 games left to be played this season.
Trossard’s Broke Premier League Record with a Hat-Trick of Assists in the Opening 45 Minutes
Coming into this London derby, Arsenal was unbeaten in five consecutive games in all competitions, winning all four previous Premier League encounters since the defeat against City at home almost a month ago. 40-year-old Arteta went for a major shift to his side that had to settle for a draw against Primeira Liga’s Sporting CP in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16, while Fulham’s Marco Silva made two changes for his home team in this match.
The Gunners were almost 1-0 up in the 16th minute, but Gabriel Martinelli’s cross that was blasted into the back of the net by Fulham’s own Antonee Robinson was ruled offside. Arteta’s side was not discouraged by the video assistant referee (VAR) decision and scored the first goal of the match in the 21st minute, when Leandro Trossard’s corner delivery was headed in by Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Magalhães. Just hundreds of seconds later, the Belgian winger intelligently dribbled past right-back Kenny Tete to provide his second assist of the day, with Martinelli redeeming himself to double Arsenal’s lead this time.
Just when everyone thought the Gunners were contented to start the second half with a 2-0 margin, Trossard sent another delivery from the left flank, finding captain Martin Ødegaard in the penalty box. The Norway national team skipper kept his cool to control the ball, before firing a shot to the bottom right corner. Arsenal remained resilient throughout the next half, to the extent where the home side struggled to pull things back, after being down 3-0 in the opening 45 minutes. Arteta’s men maintained their 3-0 lead till the very end of the game and took home all three points.
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Arteta’s 100th Victory as Arsenal Gaffer
The 40-year-old former Gunner took charge of things since 2019, and accumulated a decade of wins with this victory over Fulham in the Premier League. The young but matured manager was not interested to talk about his 100th triumphant moment managing the Gunners, but instead spoke about the return of Gabriel Jesus, who came on in the 77th minute for the star of the match Trossard. “We didn’t know whether it was the right game for him today. A few days ago, he told me he was missing something, and then yesterday he looked me in the eyes and told me he was ready. Today we had the opportunity to throw him in because it’s that first step to give him the boost. He looked free and generated two big chances straight away, and it’s great to have him back”, Arteta said.
Trossard, who set a Premier League record with three assists in the first half against Fulham alone, received huge compliments by his manager. Arteta hailed the Belgian winger’s performance, stating that “When we talk about composure and finding the right pass, and looking to the right player in the box, it’s very blurry and some other players make rash decisions, and he created three goals. He could have scored two – I think he was really impressive. His contribution was superb”. Arteta told the press then he hoped for more successes while managing his former playing club Arsenal with a statement that went “Hopefully there will be many more”. Arsenal will be welcoming Sporting CP to the Emirates for the second leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 next.
Elsewhere in another Premier League fixture, Jürgen Klopp‘s Liverpool lost to Bournemouth 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium, with Mohamed Salah missing a potential game-tying penalty in the second period of the game.