Arsenal outclassed Fulham at Craven Cottage to restore their five-point lead on top of the Premier League table.
The Premier League title race is gradually turning into a two-horse race between Manchester City and Arsenal.
After Manchester City closed the gap at the top to two points, Arsenal needed nothing less than a win at Craven Cottage to return to their five-point lead on the table.
Fulham: Bernd Leno; Kenny Tete, Tosin Adarabioyo, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson; Harrison Reed, Sasa Lukic; Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Andreas Pereira, Manor Solomon; Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Arsenal: Aaron Ramsdale; Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Martin Odegaard, Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka; Bukayo Saka, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli.
Fulham drank from a firehose of Arsenal’s sustained pressure. Mikel Arteta effectively wrestled the game from Marco Silva, dominating proceedings.
Marco Silva’s boys were a revelation in the Premier League this season, eyeing a Europa League spot but they went into the game with a poor record against the Gunners.
They have been winless in their last 9 meetings with the Gunners and lost 71% of their last Premier League clash to the title hopefuls.
As the match kicked off, Fulham were losing their bearing. Xhaka, Zinchenko, and Gabriel Martinelli were a thorn in the flesh of the Europa League hopefuls, tormenting without ceasing with a series of quick-pace attacks and silky moves.
In the 16th minute, a quick one-two by Gabriel Martinelli and Xhaka saw the Brazilian charge down the left flank and fired a curling shot that bounced on Robinson and deflected back into the net after Leno pushed it away.
Sadly, the goal was ruled offside and the Gunners were stripped of the chance to take a deserved lead.
The disallowed goal fired up the Gunners’ morale as they pressed on with full force, looking for an early goal.
Five minutes after the disallowed goal, Arsenal took the lead again in the 21st minute.
Maghalhaes headed home Leandro Trossard’s outswinger from close range to give Arsenal the lead. This one counted and the visitors took a comfortable lead.
The Premier League title hopefuls continued to dominate play after Gabriel Martinelli’s header and deservedly doubled the lead in the 26th minute with Gabriel Martinelli’s header.
Xhaka had fed Leandro Trossard who charged pass Tete and crossed to Gabriel Martinelli who overtook Robinson and planted a header to double the lead for the Gunners.
Fulham plunge forward in their numbers after conceding the second goal trying to pull a comeback. Ramsdale nearly gave two goals away with outrageous goal-mouth blunders, but Pereira missed one of the opportunities to put one back for the home side.
Martinelli nearly bagged a brace in the 44th minute but was wrongfooted after he tried to volley home Ben White’s cross. Bend Leno still had to make a great save to keep the game alive for Fulham after Martinelli misfired from Ben White’s cross after being left unmarked at the back of the box.
In the stoppage time of the first half, Martin Oddegard buried the game for the Gunners after he chested down Leandro Trossard’s cross and fired Arsenal’s third into the bottom corner.
It was indeed a gameover for the home side after being effectively marooned and outclassed by a clinical Arsenal. Leandro Trossard was the difference in the game for the Gunners, delivering all three assists in the first 45 minutes.
Fulham produced a stunning second half performance but were unable to get pass Arsenal’s defense to break the goal deadlock.
The Gunners held on to secure a deserved 0-3 victory, restoring their five-point lead on top of Premier League table.