Result: Arsenal 4 – 1 Fulham
Competition: Premier League
Date: 1st Jan 2019
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Arsenal: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Subs: Cech, Lichtsteiner, Elneny, Ramsey, Torreira, Saka, Nketiah
Arsenal got their 2019 off to a great start with a flattering 4-1 win over Fulham at home. Arsenal went ahead through a Xhaka goal in the first half but could have conceded goals to Fulham who fluffed their lines in front of goal.
It was in the second half where the game opened up – Lacazette doubling the lead before Kamara striked back for Fulham. Ramsey made it three before Aubameyang put the icing on the cake with a fourth after missing his share of chances through the match.
Arsenal started their first match of 2019 looking to bury the memories of the Liverpool game with two chances within as many minutes. The best of the two featured a counter attack which ended with Iwobi cutting back for Aubameyang who could only hit the ball high into the stands with his attempt.
The intensity dipped soon enough as Fulham sat deep and Arsenal found it hard to pass out of the back with the visitors’ forward line pressing high.
Alarm bells rung around the Emirates when Fulham countered on the 14th minute. Fulham sliced through the midfield with a pass to Sessegnon in acres of space on the right wing. His curled attempt towards the far post went just wide – a warning to the Arsenal team who have been operating in second gear.
Sessegnon had another chance at putting the Cottagers ahead when he evaded Kolasinac at the far post to meet a cross. His missed attempt to connect with the ball was another let off for Arsenal that continue to have lapses in concentration at the back.
However, Arsenal punished Fulham for their profligacy by hitting back with a Xhaka goal. So used to long range pile drivers from Xhaka, audiences had to be content with a simple tap in by the Swiss international as he sauntered into the box unmarked to meet Iwobi’s looping cross. 1-0 Arsenal.
Fulham did not let their head go down and continued searching for an equaliser. More loose defending by the Arsenal team saw Mitrovic rise high above the defenders to head the ball on target. Leno was on hand to save the ball on the line and spare his teammates’ blushes.
On the 39th minute, Arsenal almost scored a second in a similar fashion to the first thanks to quick feet by Iwobi who dribbled past his defender and crossed in from the left. Aubameyang was the recipient of the pass this time, choosing to head the ball but could not find the target. A wasted chance to go into the second half two goals in front.
The team had to settle with a one goal lead going into half time. It was a positive performance going forward while discussions on covering gaps in defence and midfield a definite topic in the manager team talk.
That talk must have concluded with Emery deciding that more bodies were required in midfield as Torreira came on for Mustafi. Arsenal’s reversion to the back four did not help the team settle – players looked confused by their new positions on the field while Fulham pressed high up the field.
It did not take long for Arsenal to find their feet as fantastic link up play between Iwobi, Kolasinac and Aubameyang cut through the Fulham defence. Kolasinac laid off the final ball for Lacazette who had the easy job of scoring from the middle of the box unmarked. 2-0 Arsenal.
Fulham’s substitutions of Kamara, Fosu-Mensah and Seri cranked up the pressure on Arsenal and they finally found a way with a goal by Kamara on the 68th minute. Seri won the ball from Torreira in the middle of the pitch and the ball found its way to Sessegnon on the left who cut back to an unmarked Kamara who sidefooted the ball at the far post. 2-1 Fulham.
Emery responded by bringing on Ramsey for Lacazette to secure the win for the Gunners on the 74th minute. And secure the game he did, scoring not long after coming on to settle the nerves. It all came from another tantalizing cutback from Kolasinac. Aubameyang’s shot rebounded off the post and fortuitously found Ramsey who curled the ball into the top corner to make it 3-1 Arsenal.
Guendouzi later threaded an excellent ball for Aubameyang who outran his marker but was denied by the goalkeeper who stood his line and smothered away Aubameyang’s chip for a corner. Aubameyang finally got his goal from the resulting corner – Sokratis laying off for the Gabon striker to shoot from the right hand side of the box. His attempt was deflected and looped over the Fulham players to nestle into the far post. 4-1 Arsenal.
The game ended comfortably and set the Gunners back on course to chase Chelsea for fourth place as the latter are now only 2 points ahead albeit with a game in hand.
wish iwobi had some of ozil’s creativity and ozil had some of iwobi’s physicality..
Iwobi is hazard without brains.
Ooff, what players would them be. And we would have 2 of them!
Ozil with Iwobi’s hair.
Seriously, you think the difference between Hazard and Iwobi is football intelligence? You don’t think Hazard is more technically gifted? Seriously?
Comfortable win against a poor Fulham team, even though they were allowed a dodgy goal. Good to see Laca and Auba score. Hope that brings the team’s confidence levels back up.
A win is a win but our defence is not good too put it mildly. No one is taking control and our passing that lead to their goal just about summed it up.
The big question is will Emery think that Ozil is strong enough to face Blackpool next week!!!
I think he will and I hope Özil gives his all and not think of himself above this kind of game.
He wants to stay and convince Emery of his place in the team apparently, so hope he tears it up.
Also he desperately needs game time and rythem
And there lies a bit of an issue, game time and rhythm especially for that stile of player. Never really had either this season, not all of it down to back and knee problems either the word tactical has sprung up more than once.
this is the problem with the whole Ozil situation – a player who wasn’t even in the squad today nor has played particularly well since last fall is still one of the main topics of conversation.
He wasn’t in the squad last match either received plenty of abuse though.
The situation has to be dealt with. We have one of the 3 highest paid players in the pl deemed not good enough to play against top teams or away from home. It’s a total mess as his wages and style of play make it unlikely we could move him on either (unless he’s willing to go to China) as at this point his reputation is lot bigger than what he’s consistently produced
Always goes missing in the big games
Totally untrue. Do you remember him in our 3 FA cup wins? When at his best in the first 5 years he played as well against top teams as he did against others.
was joking 🙂
I thought our defending looked very fragile in several instances–but their goal came from a pretty obvious foul on Torreira (yes Koscielny gave him a ball that was hard to deal with, but he did deal with it, and Sessegnon only got it by fouling.)
The thing is I don’t think the players we have are terrible, they’re just not organised. Too many times today was Koscielny dropping too deep and keeping players on and similarly Kolasinac was letting players go assuming they would be picked up by those in the middle. It seems as though they’re not operating on the same wavelength because, truth be told, a back line of AMN, Sokratis, Koscielny and Kolasinac actually seems quite solid on paper.
To be fair we do have to put an asterisk by the Boss for a few matches yet until we see if he’s getting back to full form. Not his fault in any way, it’s just the recovery from an scary injury like that.
Let’s enjoy the win.
Glad to back to winning way. But, why can’t we just keep a clean sheet against this team? Our defense is still very vulnerable, we are lucky they fluffed their chances in the 1st half.
I will take a 4-1 win with a vulnerable defence any day.
Don’t let this win distract from the fact we will probably lose Ozil and possibly Ramsey and Laca this January without any additions to our squad which probably means we WON’T be finishing in the top four.
I’m not happy to back a manager who seems like he may have a problem with Laca. I would happily much rather get rid of Emery if it come down to it.
Don’t be ridiculous. He won’t let Laca leave
How about instead we don’t let all of that distract from a nice day out.
Just glad it was Fulham we were playing, very flattering scoreline. Huge chasm in class between Koscielny’s and Mutafi’s passing. Man can’t build attacks, man can’t defend. Also, Alex Iwobi how can you be so inconsistent even within 90 minutes, world beater in the first half couldn’t pass to save himself in the second.
Still giving away too many chances at the back, and not quite as clinical as we could be at the other end. But lots of potential in some of these players. Well done lads!
Do we even try to keep a clean sheet? Meh a win is a win
We did. But not can be done about the referee thinking it’s a Sunday league match and thinking it’s ok to rugby tackle someone
Not really the point though.. They could have scored against us through any one of their many chances. Happened to be after a borderline foul but we wouldn’t have kept a clean sheet anyway.
Really? When did they look like scoring after their goal?
Not sure there’s even much point given our defensive personnel. Just going to try and outscore them and most days we will.
We could have easily lost this one if Fulham were more clinical. Xhaka had a great game. Defense is still suspect, but at least a win to start the year.
But we didn’t lose did we, we won 4-1 because we were better. I’m not having a go at you directly but people forget we went on a run 22 unbeaten, have a new manager and a defense that’s in pieces. Can we please just not be so god damn negative all the time on here.
My thoughts as well.
Always ready to look for the negatives in a performance, in a player even if that player doesn’t play.
Arsenal won. Enjoy it otherwise what’s the point !!!
Are you saying I can’t have a go at the players for not playing like Messi, Ronaldo, Pirlo, Maldini and a mix of prime Buffon and Mad Jens at the same time? Or that I can’t have a go at Ozil because we won without him? Or that we lost because he chickened out last time out? Where’s the “intelligence” in that?
fair enough win, never had much doubt we would go out as winner and very much needed after the last weeks
Still a bit knackered about Ramsey leaving though, think he could still play a big part
Koscielny is coming back slowly, thought he was very good today!
I agree with Kos. He looked fit, sharp and composed for the first time this season. His pass that lead to Torreira losing the ball aside.
Very happy for him!
I however was really concerned after their goal when we didn’t win any duels and passed forward so sloppily.
Good win in the end.
Wish Kolasinac would check to see where his man is more often. Too casual going backwards too often.
On the other hand, I thought Kolasinac was our best player overall.
Especially annoying when Ozil isn’t really in favour and has played poorly this season. Credit to Ramsey though, he’s leaving at the end of the season and seems more up for the fight than our star player…
Dorryj guy, but Özil was part of the 22 unbeaten run and offered us goals and more key chances than anyone else in the team (with less games than some). So OK, it’s fashion to belittle him, but let that to the pundits, please.
Don’t exaggerate his impact. He hardly had 2 or 3 good games in the unbeaten run.
Rode our luck in the first half. But improved in the second.
Nothing much have changed in regards to our defense or overall shape.
But hopefully the confidence is back.
That’s more like it. We need better defending but it feels good to start the year with a W.
Back to winning ways against a Fulham team who were hilariously worse defensively than Arsenal. Some thoughts below. – It might be a good time to revert to a back four. We don’t have enough centre backs in reserve and Mustafi looked poor and rusty with his distribution, his one good trait. – Glad that Koscielny is making improvements. Steady today despite not being spectacular. – Iwobi looks to be gaining his form again though he still has moments where he lacked composure with his final pass. – Kolasinac is a beast when attacking. Though his defending was not great… Read more »
Interesting point on Iwobi, I do think the lack of composure is caused/exacerbated by how quickly the crowd get on his back whenever he makes a mistake, yet he is the conductor in chief on the left hand side (which we primarily attack from especially with no Hector) and it’s a difficult role. Look at how profligate Alexis was statistically. Unfortunately, I don’t think we can really play much with a back four if we have Kolasinac playing. He doesn’t have the awareness defensively, he’s not very good 1v1, and it can sometimes appear he tracks back with only 50%nof… Read more »
Mmmqmmm I love it when we paper over the cracks
What a wanker of a referee! They kept on kicking at every opportunity, but he kept on ignoring everything.
Thank fuck Sessegnon didn’t have his shooting boots on.
Kolasanic is a weapon going forward, not so good at the back.
Koscielney is the boss, Mustafi not so much.
Iwobi had a great first half, 2nd very bad.
Aubamayang deserved his goal, worked hard and some nice touches.
Nice to get the new year off to a winning start, now let’s sort out our defending and a scrap for 4th might just be on the cards.
Happy New Year fellow gooners!
Props to lacazete when he convert the boos to cheers when he got subbed.
Thought that showed good awareness. Could easily have sulked with the crowd behind him to put some pressure on the manager but he lifted the crowd and Ramsey got his goal to cap it off
Yes, great response from him.
In the end good decision by Emery as Auba and Ramsey scored. Ridiculous how many good chances Auba keeps missing still. He’s still phenomenal but man he could make it so much easier ?
Not sure it was a good decision to leave Ramsey out from the start in this sort of match. Look at Xhaka’s goal, and then the very similar good chance Xhaka also had. Pretty clearly, Fulham has a lot of trouble picking up a midfield runner. I thought: if only Arsenal had a midfielder who habitually makes those runs, pops up in the area, and scores important goals.
Would love to see us try playing a midfield three of Xhaka, Torriera, and Ramsey, either with the same front three as today or with Özil in a free role behind Lacazette and Aubameyang
This is a very interesting point. However, if we started with your hypothetical pairing, we would have had Guendouzi & Ramsey in a midfield two. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating by saying it could be a potential disaster with the former left exposed and with very little midfield control.
I think it further highlights how difficult the role of the manager is at present. He has many different ‘specialist’ footballers who need the right setup to ‘unlock’ their favourable attributes
I’d like to know if the manager wants his centre backs (and Xhaka) to try to intercept the ball high up the pitch, or whether they do it in spite of his instructions. Whichever it is, it constantly creates problems for us.
My understanding was that Emery wanted us to be a tackling team rather than an intercepting team, so it’s confusing and annoying me in equal measure.
Iwobi looking stronger and better. The defence improved when Mustafi went off. If Torreira keeps playing at this standard his song may be withdrawn? 🙂
I like that front 3. Iwobi and Guendouzi were bright, I thought. Maitland-niles getting back to it. I think defensively we looked better without Mustafi on the pitch but that could just be my bias at this point…
Get flattened by Liverpool, then go out n flatten a team like Fulham.
How Arseballs is that?
It’s high time we accept that Arsenal will rely on Emery to drag us to top 4 with whatever players he has at his disposal. I know it sucks but that’s just the current reality.
To be frank, I think Emery is doing a great job given the circumstances; atrocious management + high wages + bad defence.
Yes. Believe going forward need to get used to that sentiment from your first paragraph. Self-sustaining, or no outside (KSE) investment, seems to be code for buy cheap and coach them up UE. (See Dortmund model?)
safe to say we looked a lot better defensively once Mustafi went off and Torreira came on.
Problem is Torreria is knackard and needed a rest. We would have won without him so it was disappointing to see him come on and get kicked all over the place due to inept refereeing
Hmm.. Good result but Emery is going to alienate people with his treatment of Laca.
what treatment ??
is he above being subbed or something? because we can’t play 2 strikers all the time.
Emery is resting Laca for the FA Cup methinks.
I have felt frustrated too seeing him come off but maybe it will keep him fresh when we get 3 games a week coming up. How iwobi stayed on when he couldn’t seem to play a simple measured pass is beyond me lol. Niles looked QUALITY.
Here is Emery’s logic https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/46677557
Their goal should not have stood, Torreria was clearly fouled in the build up and all the panel agreed after the replays. I thought we looked tired, the defense still hasn’t clicked since the Holding Sok partnership, I know Kozzy has been rushed back but he is well off the pace as he showed at the bin dippers so winning 4-1 with all that even against Fulham wasn’t too bad. I think this team can score against any team and that really bodes well for when we do have a good defense. How good is Maitland Niles? I really hope… Read more »
Gwen is claiming to many false offsides, i want to see his arm stay down unless he’s sure
We now have 3 more points than after 21 games last season. We have substitutea win for a loss. an important improvement given the difficulties of the transition.
Descent, we need to strengthen the midfield as they are letting defence down . Litchsteiner can go. We need to make it happen biys
I love Ozil, I really do. On his day he can destroy any team but I agree with Pires’ opinion, he has lost his motivation. He doesn’t care for winning or anything and arrives only when he feels like. The drive in him is gone and if he doesn’t pull his socks up, he should be allowed to let go.
Unpopular opinion but someone’s gotta do the dirty work
Interesting game. Seems like the Fulham forwards had a pretty rough night before this match. Could have said the same for our defenders, but we play like this every week.
Our defence was all over the place. The passing around near and even inside the penalty area us just plain meaningless and can cause a few weak hearts to miss a few beats. The midfield get run over too easily. We are not hsndling high balls well. Of course NOT!! with the tall Torriera and the non-heading Guendouzi that is what you expect to get. Yes they challenged but will loose the battle and the second ball can cause havoc. We lost rhese areas. And dont start to blame Özil. He wasnt even on the pitch and I can see… Read more »