Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Report: Arsenal 2-0 Fulham

Arsenal:  Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Cazorla, Gnabry, Ozil, Giroud

Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ju-Young Park

Arsenal stayed top of the Premier League after two Santi Cazorla goals secured a 2-0 win over Fulham at the Emirates this afternoon.

Arsene Wenger started the same team that began against Villa on Monday night, meaning Serge Gnabry kept his place and Nacho Monreal recovered from his ankle problem to continue at left back.

The Gunners began brightly, playing the early minutes in the Fulham half, and could have scored in the 4th minute. A beautiful move saw Wilshere slip in Ozil, he put it past the keeper with his right foot but the shot trickled towards goal and was cleared before Giroud could tap it in.

After that, however, the game settled down and seemed to be played at a slower pace which suited the visitors. Gnabry again had sight of goal but skewed a first time left footed effort wide after being set up by Giroud.

The pair reversed that a few moments later when the young German played it into Giroud on the edge of the box. The HFB turned but couldn’t quite get the ball out enough and curled his shot over and wide.

There were warning signs from Fulham though and Arsenal were thankful to Wojciech Szczesny for keeping the scores level. Sagna headed away a Berbatov cross, it fell to Sidwell who hammered on the volley towards the top corner, but the big Pole stuck out a hand and got it away.

It prompted a good spell from the visitors who passed the ball around with real confidence and again Szczesny was called into action when Dejagah was put through down the inside right channel and into the Arsenal box.

Arsenal worked their way through it though and threatened when they won a free kick just outside the D. Cazorla’s free kick hit the wall, it rebounded to Sagna who smashed it at goal with his left foot. The keeper parried it away to Giroud whose shot was again saved but the flag was up for offside.

As Arsenal pressed for a first half goal, Fulham almost scored at the other end. Berbatov played in Kacaniklic on the break, and only for a poor first touch and smart goalkeeping again by Szczesny it could have been very costly.

Gnabry had another effort from distance, again though he failed to hit the target with the ball flying high and wide, and the half played out scoreless.

There were no changes on either side at half-time but the visitors were obviously encouraged by their first half and started brightly in the second. After winning a corner there was some dangerous head tennis which Arsenal only got clear at the 4th or 5th attempt.

Giroud saw a shot easily saved by Stekelenburg before Gnabry again tried to force the issue, cutting inside a number of defenders before unleashing a left footed shot which the Fulham keeper pushed away.

Arsenal were pushing for the opening goal and almost got it when a Cazorla free kick found Sagna at the back post. The right back slid in and saw his effort cleared off the line, and Gnabry’s follow up shot was blocked from close range.

But moments later it was 1-0. Cazorla combined with Giroud, the Frenchman played it to Wilshere who rolled it back into the path of the Spaniard who finished into the right hand side of the net from around the penalty spot.

Five minutes later the Spaniard doubled Arsenal’s lead. A Monreal cross was headed out by Hangeland, it fell to Cazorla who took a touch and unleashed a left footed dribbler which left the keeper unsighted and crept in to make it 2-0.

The game settled down after the two quickfire goals and Arsene Wenger responded by bringing on Lukas Podolski for the impressive Gnabry, and the elder German’s first touch of the ball was a shot which was blocked out for a corner.

Less than a minute later he forced a great save from Stekelenburg, a rasping effort touched on to the post to deny him once more. Arsenal sat deep, inviting Fulham on to them, and looked to hit on the break but neither side could find any end product.

We defended well, Koscielny and Monreal making good, timely interventions, and almost fashioned the chance that might add some gloss to the scoreline. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Ozil in the 87th minute and Fulham took advantage of some sloppy Szczesny play, shooting over the bar when Flamini was robbed in midfield.

Darren Bent then showed why Sp*rs paid £16m for him by putting the ball wide from 8 yards with Szczesny stranded. Not only did he miss, he injured himself in the process.

Oxlade-Chamberlain headed over a Cazorla injury time cross, but in the end Arsenal held the lead, took three points, and remain top of the table.

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Gooneron

Santi!!!!!!! Koscielny my MOTM. Three Massive points. We go marching on.

Temi

I agree! And before the Ozil bashers get on here, he actually (mostly) had a good game!

alx96

Really? I think he lost too many possesion.

Heroldgoon

Podolski carries a sledgehammer to the stadium, it stays with him on the bench then he emerges with it at the 70th minute.

Szczesny's left thumb

wrecking ball you think?

Jin

Fulham players go down, roll around, ball play out, fulham players go up fresh

AP

One moment was hilarious when the guy rolling around just jumped up and ran back as soon as there was a turnover

Heroldgoon

Totally spotted that aswell, don’t know if teams have realised it but time waste against Arsenal and we will still fucking do you. ask Cardiff

He's a blatant diver, but good at it

Weird that – ask a Fulham player to stand up to a challenge, and they hit the deck.

Show them an apple turnover, and they’re back up in a flash. Fat greedy bastards.

Inside Koscienly`s pocket

There are lots of strikers in here,but none of them worthy of an Arsenal shirt.

Temi

Santi- what a player!

thatleftfootedprince

ozil…….can’t afford that performance against better teams need to pipe up a bit

Nikhil Agarwal

Dude. Get lost.

BombayGunner

Idiot!
Support your players.

Bombay Gooner

couldnt get an original ID and didnt muster an original comment.

Der Springer

Well constructed opinion there. A persons is entitled to their opinion without abuse (unless it’s an obvious troll)
If you don’t have anything constructive to say then content yourself with a thumbs down.

Rufusstan

Can people lighten up on the guy.

Its almost as if unless he scores, makes 2 assists and cures cancer each game, it isn’t good enough.

Özil put in a really good shift today, attack defense, and the fact that as soon as he got the ball Fulham were double and triple-teaming him, so giving plenty of room for the rest of the midfield.

Heroldgoon

Personally today was very much like everyone else abit sloppy then eventually grew into the game, so if you’re gonna go after him might as well do the same for the rest.

But he needs to be shooting more at one point he’s inside the box goal gapping and opts for a pass outside the box!

thatleftfootedprince

2 – number of times when ozil was unable to control a pass along the the touchline,deflection from his foot and out for a throw(so much for a counterattack!),I can’t be the only one who thinks he could have done better there!

Chair

Would be cool if he was though

Burak

0 – the number of times fans like you will not have a complaint after a win

If you can’t see his positive impact on the game then that’s your fault, not his.

AP

I have a feeling many folks have Ozil in their fantasy teams and they hate it when he doesnt get much points 😀

morefiah

[email protected]#* off!! Watch the game next time!

alx96

Yeah, but it’s not like he wasn’t trying. He looked annoyed when yhings he did went wrong. Maybe it’s the pace of of the bpl, maybe it’s the new teamates. He just needs time, don’t be overly critical of him.

Hey, he himself knows he camN do better!

He's a blatant diver, but good at it

Nailed it. Take a bow.

Gooner

Seriously why is it considered a sin to even slightly criticise Ozil? What thatleftfootedprince said is spot on, he’ll need to up his game against the big teams.

Gooner4life

Then the comment should come on his performances against ‘the big teams’. Not much point condemning his performance against ManC/Chelsea while he is playing against Fulham.

lolcat

yay.

lolcat

In other news: Ju-Young Park lives!!!

Arsene nose

2-nil to the ArsenaL!! COYG

AFC

Another clean sheet. The kind of statistics that wins your trophies!

barry

Santi’s back!!

maaaah

Caaazoorrrrrrrlaaaaaa finally all the players that we had out injured at the start of the season are finding form. To think that we have been top of the league for so long with out actually reaching top gear . Best Defensive Record in the league. COYG!!!

Chair

Great win, but that was some poor finishing in the first half and why stop going forward after 2-0? Today was a perfect day to get some goals.

Rufusstan

Neither of Podolski’s chances (including hitting the post) count?

Or the OX heading over?

They were surely going for the third, just being careful not to concede like last week

Chair

We were all fucking over them if we wanted. Yes we still got a couple of chances, but there was no pressure at all from our side.

SoqedHozi

because it doesn’t matter? Rather be fresher for subsequent games and it’s not like we are going to catch the GD of City or L’pool anyway. Points mean prizes.

Chair

I do remember a certain 2011/12 season. And no, if we stop after 2-0 in what should’ve been an easy high-scoring game, we will never catch their GD.

Chair

And, we might not catch City, but Chelsea is still up there I believe.

Jack Jumblies

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Bombay Gooner

why bother about goal difference when we can take maximum points and be champions. So many times we have tried to score many goals and ended up conceding equally. What would you prefer 1 point or 3. Then again whether you win 1 – 0, 3 – 0, 8 – 2 you are going to get 3 points. So relax and enjoy this.

Last-arse

Top of the League

dutchgooner

bent hahaha spurs cunt

Yawe

So many ex-sp*rs in there.. Berba, Dempsey..

Yes ted, Ive been drinking like a mad eejit

parker

Laurence

I was quite dissappointed by how little booing there was of the ex Spurs players at first. Then I realised none of them ever had the ball long enough to actually begin booing them

p.s.

Scott Parker is a cunt.

He's a blatant diver, but good at it

Scott Parker’s not a cunt. If he was, then Santi, good bloke and top pro that he is, wouldn’t have praised Parker for having the bollocks to close down one of his rocket shots in the first half.

Don’t pretend you didn’t see Santi congratulating him for that.

My view is that it if it wasn’t for Parker and Sidwell the scoreline would have been a helluva lot bigger in our favour.

the_alchemist

And Sidwell is ex-Arsenal….

Heroldgoon

What was it with Fulham player making love to ground time after time? im looking at you Sidwell.

Sidwell

Well, ummmmm, sort of embarrassed here but that Emirates ground was just too comfortable and smooth. Got grass fetish

Burak

You know the saying: if there’s grass on the field, play ball.

No, seriously, get up and play ball dammit.

Silent Stans Content Mustache

Im still very interested to know whats going on between Poldi and Wenger. Either hes fit or he isnt. Though cazorla scored twice,passing is still off.

Parisian Weetabix

There’s nothing going on between them; Podolski simply doesn’t fit into Wenger’s style of play right now. Honestly I don’t think Wenger picks his team based on who he likes or not. I’m not suggesting Podolski’s overrated, but he’s not the answer to all our problems that some people are suggesting he is, and it is perfectly reasonable for Wenger to leave him out of the team, particularly as we are stringing results together right now. Stop with the consipiracy theories and you might realise there’s actually a perfectly logical explanation.

Indonesian Gooner

Performance of typical champions. Choosing their moments well of when to step up a gear, and the goals came. Well done the Gunners!

PacNW

I admit I was part of the group calling for Cazorla to be dropped in
favor of Podolski, but what a game he had. Just shows what the fuck
I know and we as fans for that matter. Wenger the genius!

Love hearing the ‘we are top of the league’ chant.

Great start to saturday for all us gooners!

Rufusstan

Its funny listening to all of the pundits saying we’ll fall away and its impressive that we are keeping up with City.

Santi back from injury and getting back into form

Podolski fit and ready (it must be depressing for Fulham on 70 mins to be 2 down and watch us take off the 18 year old and bring him on). Its great we have both.

Rosicky and Ramsey not even on the pitch.

If anything we’ll get even stronger

WengersNoseHair

$ity are keeping up with us.

Heroldgoon

we don’t need 90mins to win the game just a spell of 5mins

VT

10th clean sheet of the season!

Bucks

I admit, I was getting frustrated by our casual approach in the first half and thought it was looking like one of those days. But this team isn’t the same as the teams from yesteryear and can find a way to win. It is time I stopped getting frustrated in middle of the match at our own players and just see what has happened after the match is finished.

Cazorla and Wilshere back on form

Rufusstan

I came to terms with this a while back. Most games these days follow a similar pattern.

We are patient, wear them down, never seriously look like conceding (against most opponents).

The big thing this season is the confidence that we’ll score sooner or later, it is just a matter of when.

JB

Ohhh, Santi Cazorla! Ohh, Santi Cazorla! Top of the league, COYG!

gooner odst

Koscielny bossed it out again. Good job lads, Pundits/other teams ask us to jump and we fly.

ozinal

Podolski looked like a boy so happy and enthusiastic given the chance to play as he was removing his tracksuits to replace gnarbry.

Franzsigel

Poldi looked quite good when he came on. Hopefully he’ll get a chance from start soon…

sciGunner

I love Podolski. Before the match I was hoping we would get some good game time and score a goal. He did well when he came on and tested their defence/goalkeeper couple of times. But I still feel he is capable of doing much more than what he actually does. There was a moment late in second half. a very promising counter attacking move through the middle and right wing, but podolski was lazily walking towards the goal from the half-way line. Eventually the move collapsed due to lack of support from the left wing. The whole left wing was… Read more »

UltraMario

Came here after the whistle to test how quick blogs really was on the draw. I must say I’m impressed.

Anyways, great game and great win. Up the Arsenal.

WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE
SAY WE ARE TOP OF THE LEAGUE

Filip

Gnabry can play. And looks like certain Cassius Clay.

Rufusstan

Saw the good and the bad today.

The move when he put the ball through the defender’s legs, ran round him, then botched the cross says it all. — Amazing talent; simple mistakes/inexperience.

A bit of time, experience and you wonder just how special he could be…

Xxxrob

Ooooohhhh santi ca-Zor-laaaa

I was singing that in my lounge room at 330am, nice to have a comfortable win for once

Swedegunner

Rather 2-0 than 4-2 like shitty! Good 2nd half today

Maniac

Scrappy first half, excellent second half. Scored in the 57 and 62 minutes but kept the pressure on right till the end, which is a huge improvement from the Aston Villa game. Defence was solid as always and Santi had a great second half. Kind of disappointed that Poldi didn’t manage to get a goal because he was absolutely outstanding. Honourable mention to Gnabry with his very Theo-esque run and shot – considerable impact on the game especially for an 18 year old with very little Premier League experience. Overall solid performance and good result. Back to the top of… Read more »

Away fan

Decent game.
Feel Poldi should come in with Atleast half an hour

Raghib

The number of strikers Kos and BFG keep in their pocket is tooooo damn high!

ThePascalCyganInsideGunnersaurus

Nacho was superb today.

Basquiat

What is a striker’s greatest nightmare??? Mertcielny’s pockets..Monreal is a G..Still top of the league. COYG!!!

Nikhil Agarwal

Podolski is raring to go. Wenger, hand him a premier league start. Pls. 🙂

Goonergoner

A sign of a top team is not every player needs to be excellent every game (ozil) for the team to perform well. Santi stepped up today as wilshere did last match, Ozil will find his game with in this team I’m sure.

ach

Ozil really need to step up his game.
When you came with heavy price tag, chosen as best player in country that has numerous talented player, and Fifa Team of the year, performance like that is cringe worthy.

morefiah

Tired of these idiots who dont watch the game. Ozil is like spun silk on the pitch. The problem some of us have is that we are too accustomed to the kind of high energy all kinetic herky jerky movement that the average football player demonstrates (Note: AVERAGE football player) MO is NOT an average football player. He seems to float above the pitch and he is like a magnet…he attracts 3…4…even 5 defenders and yet he very rarely, if ever, loses the ball. And his passes…..this idiot says cringe worthy….IDIOT!!…. his passes are the stuff of every other players… Read more »

Burak

Thank you. Fulham packed their own area with every player they had, and Ozil intelligently pulling them out of position, opening up space, and moving around the ball is somehow not enough for some people. If he dominated every aspect of the game, as some people seem to expect, then we would be extremely vulnerable to losing him to injury. Let’s not take him for granted.

GoonTang

Still created 3 goalscoring chances today. Go away.

Wenger's Glasses

Can’t praise Ozil enough. He can change our attacking movement from one side to another so effortlessly.. & elegantly!

But let’s be honest, the players don’t even need to step up the gear on this game, & they don’t really need to, really, that’s how good our team this season, already saving energy for the next game.

COYG!

Strevs

Ozil was fucking shit today, what was that? No good having talent if you’re going to apply it like an Arshavin. How many heavy touches and lazy passes?? He needs to learn from santi about application and desire. Putting out a showing like that for my club, he needs to smarten up, maybe show some humility, thinking he can coast through games. Maybe try a shot ocassionally too. He shouldnt be exempt from critisism. Watch the thumbs down come though, for criticizing precious little ozil.

Yes ted, Ive been drinking like a mad eejit

Ozil was a good 7.5 out of 10 today at least what are you on about? Thougt Wilshere was class today as well. Not afraid to take risks and drive into the opposition half is just what you need in matches like this. Only one santi cazorla. Nacho was immense and giroud worked hard for the team.

Jijo

He had a decent game.. Its not his mistake he doesn’t find the runners every time he is in a position to give a through ball. There was a moment in the Aston Villa game.. He got the ball in a very good position.. saw Giroud running. He was sure Giroud will not reach there before the defenders.. he passed sideways, and the counter attacking stopped. He need runners. He needs width which we aren’t providing!

cb

Desperate for attention?

Perhaps do some good things, find some friends. And watch the match with them.

deji

What is it with people thinking that every player has to run around like they are on fire before they can play their game?

That’s Ozil”s game for God’s sake. Just look at how many opposition players he draws to himself.

Has he had bad games? Of course. Every player has those. The fact he cost us so much doesn’t mean he has to single handedly get us the trophy you know?

Jijo

I read somewhere.. he created most number of chances this season all across Europe..! I just don’t understand what do people actually expect.! Dribble past 3-4 opponents? Be flashy? He does make things look simple and I dont think that is a negative. He doesn’t need those 5-10 steps forward to decide and give a pass. He does it instantly..

Heroldgoon

Perhaps the only thing ozil needs to do is put in abit more effort and i have to agree with that. His job will not be done by anybody else….

morefiah

Siiiigh….. what bothers me is what I call the the Aaron Ramsey Syndrome (Funny that the acronym is ARS…which could also mean A Real Supporter turned another way). Most FANS rode that young man like a bull for almost two full seasons. There was nothing he could do right, even when the evidence to the contrary was right before their faces. It didnt matter to them that he had suffered a career-threatening injury….all that mattered was that They Were Not Getting What They Wanted (whatever that was). I saw the same thing a few weeks back with Podolski….first game back… Read more »

Jijo

Well said..

morefiah

Siiiigh….. what bothers me is what I call the the Aaron Ramsey Syndrome (Funny that the acronym is ARS…which could also mean A Real Supporter turned another way). Most FANS rode that young man like a bull for almost two full seasons. There was nothing he could do right, even when the evidence to the contrary was right before their faces. It didnt matter to them that he had suffered a career-threatening injury….all that mattered was that They Were Not Getting What They Wanted (whatever that was). I saw the same thing a few weeks back with Podolski….first game back… Read more »

dan

Its not that he has to run around to get attention, nor does he need to be bashed repeatedly – I criticised him today, because he was shit today, by HIS standards. Big difference from a witchhunt some people create. I happen to think he’s been quite good all things considered, I see similarities with pires when he first joined, but when things aren’t quite working for you, don’t throw your arms up and complain, harry and try and get the ball back. His price tag is a by-product of him supposedly being one of the best attacking midfielders in… Read more »

Dick Swiveller

But how many intelligent runs and nice little touches, helping the ball through into people in dangerous positions and creating space?

He’s doing his job. He could be doing it better, and I hope he will but just because he isn’t scoring fifty billiion goals doesn’t mean he’s doing ‘shit’.

rohit

I think we need to understand that may be Podolski and Ozil are the same type of players in at least one way – they disappear for parts of the game but then, suddenly, they spawn at some place and deliver something that is marvelous and such a joy to watch. Only difference being that Podolski scores and Ozil creates, and provides defensive shifts and also alters the speed of the play. It’s great to have players like that in the team I believe. Not everyone is a Cazorla or Rosicky or Arteta or (i think i can say) Ramsey.… Read more »

Greg91

I think you can more than say Ramsey, he’s our player of the season thus far.

Sanjeev

Crowd was fantastic. The Arsenal are coming.

Oh Long Johnson

Really enjoyed Podolski’s performance as a sub. Lots of energy, and he provides a directness we sometimes lack in our attacking play. Especially his lateral runs in front of the box, creates space for others, and makes those little one-twos into the box possible.

samba

Oooooh Santi Cazorla!! x3

Penis

Great form on that wanking celebration by Giroud. I’ll give it a 8/10. Had to dock two points because the angle of his wrist wasn’t quite perfect.

Der Springer

Glad someone else noticed. That would make a good GIF.

rohit

This team is amazing. The moment a person goes out, so many jump to grab his place. Who will Ramsey replace in the team now… our midfield is so damn packed!!!! when Rambo was taking the league by storm, people were asking for wilshere to be dropped and when poldi & walcott returned, people started shouting for cazorla to be dropped (those fans always irritate me, I have to say)… things have changed now; haven’t they? 🙂 Also, that Poldi strike just made me jump on my ‘suffering with meniscus injury’ knee. It’s amazing – the diversity we have now… Read more »

Jan

Think Ramsey when fit has to be our go to B2B alongside one of Flamini or Arteta, with Wilshere being pushed out to the wings, or perhaps for cover for Mesut at CAM. Gnabry is still young so no need to overplay him, and we gotta keep Cazorla in now that he might be starting to find some form.

Trapped in Wenger's basement

Cazorla is back!

Tom Thumb

Arsenal remind me of a car this season ,cruising along in third gear for most of the game, then into fifth gear, before the other team realize what happens we’re one or two up.A true sign of champions

Yes ted, Ive been drinking like a mad eejit

We were always a car. We just got the handbrake fixed.

Petit's Handbag

Koscielny, best defender we’ve had since Sol back in 02′ or even better?

gunner

If we force atleast a draw against man city , we will win the league.

Steve

Better second half and only 16 games to go coyg

gunn cabinet

Gotta love that air-punching celebration by the BFG. Priceless…

David

Noticed that too. Love that BFG nearly as much as he clearly loves the Arsenal.

RSA_GOONER

Great game, 3 point’s and a confident Cazorla, brilliant!

Eddee

Stekelalala must have a swollen hand now after a slight touch from poldi thunder shot..

Olatunde Lagos Gooner

Just the kind of performance that says a great deal about the team. 3 points/clean sheet: top of the league – keep marching on Gooners.

Salty

An excellent team performance yet again! Another clean sheet and another 3 points in the bag. Santi, you little diamond. It was amazing seeing the Big Ox back. COYG

Eddie

Agree Ozil isn’t firing completely at the moment, but a player of his class will come good and he is showing his undeniable quality in patches. A good example of a player from a slower league and taking time to adjust is Pires, and he acclimatised and became a real player for us.

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