Mikel Arteta has applauded a far better Arsenal side despite a disappointing draw with Fulham at Emirates.
It was another subpar delivery by the Gunners who struggled to muffle a spirited Fulham side determined to halt the hosts’ two-match winning start to the season.
Martin Odegaard scored a lifeline 44th-minute goal but Kai Havertz was caught offside and the goal was ruled out. Despite playing second fiddle to the Gunners, Fulham’s resolute defending earned the Cotaggers a deserved lead at the interval.
Arsenal cleared the game perfectly in the second half but could not find the back of the net as Fulham held onto the narrow lead before Tete’s reckless tackle on Vieira earned the Gunners a spotkick which was converted by Saka to level the score.
Few minutes after netting the equaliser, substitute, Eddie Nketiah, steered Arsenal to the lead, thanks to Vieira’s perfect cross from the flank which the English star effortlessly flicked pass Leno.
Arsenal were seemingly heading towards a deserved win with the quick double before Paulinha rose to the occasion for Fulham, netting a late 87th-minute equaliser to level terms again.
Against the run of play, Arsenal were forced to a dramatic draw, dropping two valuable points against the visitors after two winning starts to the season.
Mikel Arteta is apparently unruffled by the outcome of the match. Speaking in post-match press conference, Arteta downplayed perceptions Arsenal are dropping low from last season’s prolific start with projections they may not be able to contend for the Premier League title again.
The Spaniard insisted in a cheeky press conference remark that Arsenal are 10 times better than last season.
“We controlled and the subs made a huge difference and great impact. I love the determination and the confidence they brought to the team.”
“We should have scored five, six, seven (goals).
“If I compare the game this season to last season, we were 10 times better than last season. At least 10.”
Arsenal won their first five Premier League matches last season. They tackled Fulham among the first five fixtures on matchday four and won before wrapping up the fifth straight win against Aston Villa.
After the 2-2 draw against Fulham, the Gunners seemed obviously below par when juxtaposed with their indomitable trail last season and a seemingly slimming chances of challenging for the Premier League title again.
However, Mikel Arteta shares a different perspective as he believes Arsenal are still top of their game and far more ready for the Premier League title challenge despite sharing spoils with Fulham.
The Gunners were obviously the better team with more clearcut chances that would have killed the game but a poor finishing rob them of all three points.
Arteta would hope to return to winning ways when Arsenal host Manchester United on Saturday, 3 September 2023.
Do you think Arsenal are far better than they were last season?