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Arsenal 2-1 Fulham: Match report, player ratings, fan reaction and more

Mikel Arteta’s young Arsenal side rose to the occasion to climb back to the summit of the Premier League table after Manchester City won earlier this afternoon

Arsenal answered the call at the Emirates stadium this evening when Mikel Arteta’s young Gunners battled back from a one-goal deficit to take all three points off Marco Silva’s Fulham in a 2-1 win to retake the top spot in the Premier League.

With Manchester City offering up their own comeback win at the Etihad on the back of an Erling Haaland hattrick in a 4-2 win over Crystal Palace, City wrestled control of the league away from Arsenal and it looked as if Pep Guardiola’s men may end up in familiar territory after Arteta’s troops struggled to breakdown a dogged Fulham defense in the first 45-minutes, with that feeling being compounded when Serbian star Aleksandar Mitrović slotted home past Aaron Ramsdale after stripping Gabriel of possession just 18-yards from goal.

But Arsenal would battle back on the back of heavy possession while pinning the Cottergs in their own half for the vast majority of the 90-minute exchange, and finally restored parity in the 64th minute when Martin Ødegaard beat former Gunners shot-stopper Bernd Leno after his well-struck effort deflected and left the German international wrong-footed.

Chance after chance would come as Arsenal were in the mood to not be denied in front of the home support on a day where the club mourned and remembered former head groundskeeper Steve Braddock, and it would be Gabriel to gift the club all three points when he slotted from just two yards in the 86th minute to rectify his previous error at the back that gave Fulham the lead.

Four matches, four wins, and another weekend in the books in north London as Arsenal has started brightly in 2022-23 while continuing to look like the main challengers to City in the opening weeks of the season.

Additionally, tonight’s win was Arteta’s 53rd three-point haul in what was his 100th Premier League match in charge, with only the legendary Arsène Wenger winning more across the same period, with 54 to his name.

But most importantly, Arsenal is finding ways to win now when in difficult circumstances under Arteta, which was a former Achilles heel that often separated the Gunners from the rest of the European pack.

Should this habit remain, the Gunners are in with a shout of genuinely finishing in the top three for the first time since 2015-16.

Arsenal Player Ratings

GK: Aaron Ramsdale (7) - A good performance from Ramsdale who controlled the 18-yard-box well while coming up with a handful of strong saves before full time.

RB: Ben White (6) - Perhaps not as good as a deputy right-back this evening as he had been in the three matches prior, but he remained serviceable overall.

CB: William Saliba (7) - An assist for Saliba on Gabriel’s match-winner thanks to a bouncing ball in the area, but overall, he was solid once again at the back.

CB: Gabriel Magalhães (7) - The match-winner after he slotted home from close range late on, but his overall performance was marred by being stripped of the ball for Mitrović's opener.

LB: Kieran Tierney (6) - A sub-par day back in the starting XI for the Scottish international who cannot measure up in build-up play as Oleksandr Zinchenko can.

CM: Mohammed Elneny (6) - Completed 90-minutes and generally went about his tasking well enough but he lacks the x-factor and additive quality that Thomas Partey brings to the table.

CM: Granit Xhaka (6.5) - Slightly off the boil compared to how he has begun the season for Arsenal but he was solid enough on the day. He is better with Partey and Zinchenko in the lineup.

RW: Bukayo Saka (7) - Another quietly effective performance from the England starlet but he remained a threat and finally added an assist to open his account this season.

CAM: Martin Ødegaard (8.5) - Another masterful performance from the Norwegian and club captain, scoring for the second week running while creating big chances throughout.

LW: Gabriel Martinelli (7) - Much like Saka on the opposite flank, Martinelli does not have to score each week to make a real difference out wide. He was once again a strategic focal point.

CF: Gabriel Jesus (7) - The summer signing from Manchester City continues to play well as the headline center-forward even when he doesn’t bag a goal. His influence is undoubtedly clear.

Sub: Eddie Nketiah (7) - Only featured for 29-minutes, Nketiah was a key catalyst in what would eventually lead to the match-winner. His pace, off-ball-movement, and direct running caused havoc.

Sub: Takehiro Tomiyasu (N/A) - On to replace Jesus just a minute before stoppage time. Worked hard over five minutes but did nothing to run the rule over.

Sub: Rob Holding (N/A) - Came on with seconds remaining to shore up the defense on set-pieces but had no time to put in a performance to judge.

Fulham Player Ratings

GK: Bernd Leno (8) - A very good homecoming from the former Arsenal number one and German international who maybe will feel he did enough to earn his new employers a point.

RB: Kenny Tete (7) - A good outing from the former AFC Ajax academy product as he continues to keep summer signing Kevin Mbabu out of the starting XI.

CB: Tosin Adarabioyo (6.5) - An overall decent evening from Adarabioyo though it is unclear if he will be able to keep his place in the XI if Issa Diop gets up to speed.

CB: Tim Ream (7) - Solid all around from the United States international who was a threat both in the tackle as well as in the air while also completing a last-ditch tackle to save a scoring chance.

LB: Antonee Robinson (7) - Another US international that showed he was up to the task, he didn’t always make the right choice, but his work rate was sublime and he defended well overall.

CM: Harrison Reed (6) - Worked hard on and off the ball to the best of his ability but it’s difficult to say he offered much more than that overall. Not bad but not influential either.

CM: João Palhinha (6.5) - Fulham pulled off a huge transfer coup when they brought Palhinha in from Sporting CP and though he may not be fully up to speed, he showed defensive quality tonight.

RW: Neeskens Kabano (6) - He had a handful of moments where he could have made a real difference but struggled to make the right decision when the time came. An okay outing.

CAM: Andreas Pereira (6) - Hardly anything spectacular from the Manchester United loanee signing, which proves why he has hardly got on well at Old Trafford to begin with.

LW: Bobby Cordova-Reed (6.5) - Cordova-Reed continues to defy the odds season after season for Fulham after he has made himself a key protagonist for the Cottagers. A decent effort from him.

CF: Aleksandar Mitrović (7.5) - Another goalscoring effort from the Serbian international center-forward while being a physical presence as usual. Bullied Gabriel for his goal stoutly.

Sub: Tom Cairney (6) - A player like Cairney would have needed time to settle to tap into the creativity he can bring, but with Fulham unable to control matters, he struggled to influence.

Sub: Kevin Mbabu (5) - A very poor appearance off the bench from the Swiss international right-back, being skinned on multiple occasions after failing to find footing in a high-intensity match.

Sub: Issa Diop (6.5) - Came on and won a few headers in the process while completing 100% of his passes after his introduction. Should challenge for a starting birth in the long run.

Sub: Nathaniel Chalobah (N/A) - Offered little to gauge on despite coming on to try to shore up matters to help Fulham defend to perhaps spring a late chance on the counter-attack.

Sub: Jay Stansfield (N/A) - Had one or two threatening direct moments off the back of fresh energy from the bench but still too difficult to judge overall.

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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