Arsenal went to Craven Cottage today to take on Fulham in what should have been a London derby, but came away with a devastating win.
Our London rivals have well and truly been put in their place, and if they are to have any hope of surviving from relegation this term, they will need some vast improvement.
Arsenal started the match out of shape, but were troubling our rivals on the break, and the manager refused to stop shouting his team orders from his area until things clicked.
Our team just got better and better as the match continued, and in reality we should well have won by more.
Willian showed his talent despite clearly lacking match sharpness, and he could well have grabbed himself two goals, although you wouldn’t complain about three assists on your debut would you?
Our team opened the scoring inside the opening 10 minutes, with Aubameyang teeing up Granit Xhaka to shoot from the edge of the box, only to mishit, and the ball ricochet to lay stranded in front of the Brazilian playmaker, who forced Fulham’s keeper into committing to the save, which allowed Alexandre Lacazette to open the scoring into an open net.
While we didn’t manage to add to that in the first half, we ended the half very much in the driving seat, and the second-half was no change.
We continued to remain in control, transitioning into attack at speed, and we eventually added to our tally thanks a corner, with Willian finding new signing Gabriel Magalhaes, who somewhat luckily directed the ball into the net with what looked like his shoulder…
The third goal was easily our most pleasing to see, with the former Chelsea man picking out Aubameyang in space, who made all the difficult parts of the game look easy.
The forward took the ball down on his chest, and ran into the box, only to slot the ball past the defender and keeper to the keeper’s left and into the net. Game, set and match.
We didn’t start the match at our best, which is only to be accepted at this early part of the season, but how good was the second-half? Do we now have to raise our expectations for the season or do we need a little ‘it was only Fulham’ to keep us grounded?
All Gunners were fantastic! I just wish they could minimize the number of crosses from the opposition in the next match, because big teams like Man City and Liverpool would likely capitalize on those wild crosses
– Lacazette: A very good false nine. Great ball control, combative and worked his arse off for the team
– Aubameyang: Got frustated a bit due to the lack of chances for him in the first half, but produced an excellent finish from the left wing as usual
– Willian: He wasn’t explosive, but the ball was glued on his feet, produced some excellent first touches and showed a great vision by providing a long pass for Aubameyang
– Xhaka and Elneny: Who needs Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar if Xhaka and Elneny play very well in 3-4-3? They play like Liverpool’s midfielders now, shielded the defenders well and produced many forward passes
– Maitland-Niles: Our new invisible wall. If Gilberto Silva saw this match, I think he’d love Maitland-Niles’ movements, pace, energy and work rate
– Bellerin: Very good in attacking as usual. I hope he’d stay, because his pace and dribbling skill would be useful for big games
– Holding, Magalhaes and Tierney: Solid defending and protected well by Xhaka/ Elneny/ Maitland-Niles. Apart from that nerve-wracking moment from Magalhaes, he showed his skills and dominance in the air
– Leno: Had little to do because our defense is too solid. I’m still worried about his ability in handling the crosses though
– Arteta: Many fans are screaming for the old 4-2-3-1, but he knows what’s better for the team. A great tactician who has learned a lot from Moyes, Wenger and Guardiola
All the lads played well today
including El Neny and Xhaka.
WTS, Arsenal still desperately NEED
Thomas Partey in midfield. There
isnt a player on the roster that
possesses the Ghanian’s skill set
and his inclusion in the starting 11
would make Arsenal SERIOUS top
4 and possible EPL titles conteders.
I LOVE Auoar but the diminutive
Frenchmen would be a luxury
signing for Arsenal atm
Lol…there’s no way Aouar would be a luxury player.
Let’s not get carried away now shall we? He’ll improve us massively alongside Partey.
They both offer different things
Guess you didn’t see how “Kos tha Boss” kept Aouar in check last night.
Lol…Aouar came in from the bench and dribbled Koscienly only for his attempt to hit the goalpost.
Kos did zilch against him
👍 Eddie, hopefully Arsenal get both #1Partey #2 Aouar, before October end of transfer window.
This is what you should know about the team Arteta is trying yo build.
Like I said, Willian is competition for Pepe.
Willian has done his, Pepe it’s up to you now.
I’m seriously loving playing from the back.
Solid game from everyone, Gabriel took his time well and got into the game.
And we’re gonna be adding Aouar and Partey!!!
Good win, let’s not get carried away
Eddie,do you know something we don’t. Adding both Aouar and Party. If we are able to manage that before the end of the window 🔥🔥🔥
On top of that where will we play Aouar? isn’t he a CAM? in this formation there is no CAM
Auba is incredible….The last gift from Wenger to the club….Legend….
Gabrielle man of the match
👍 Jah son, Gabriel and Willian great debuts; first game for a new club, especially in a new League is hard.
Willian MOTM all 3 assists who needs Ozil now
Pete should take some notes here. The aggression and effectiveness of Willian made our attack more potent. Hope it will make pepe better.
You have taken words outta my mouth. I was to post same thing.
I personally think Pepe won’t make a premier league player he just don’t want to get stuck in like Willian he needs to be a bit more robust
I m glad willian had a great debut… 3 assist if you add laca goal… he almost got a goal that hit the woodwork.
Solid debut for Gabriel. Aside that early miscommunication he had with Leno, he played well. To think he just joined, he looks settled. He will improve. Wonder header goal as well…
You know Aubamenyang was gonna score once he does that Thierry Henry turn and bang GOAL. Hehe.
I predicted 1:4, so 0:3 was even better with a clean sheet… Great start. Yay
Welldone to the boys and Arteta
I told you 3-0 and it will be the same against West Ham mark my words
Gabriel Magalhães’ Arsenal debut by numbers:
121 touches (most)
113 passes (most)
95% pass accuracy
5 ball recoveries
2 tackles made
2 fouls won
1 goal scored
0 goals conceded
0 x dribbled past
And he was named Man of the Match.
Thanks 👍 wanted to see gabriel game by numbers.No way luiz and Mari can replace him
I guess Luiz will replace AMN
And Tierney will move as LWB
Luiz plays like a sweeper, hard to replicate that.
Brilliant stuff on his debut. Long may it continue.
Wonderful stat. This will help remove pressure from saliba who is another good defender
Gabriel Magales, RESPECT!
Hard to ask for a better debut, he was brilliant!
He looks the business.
That guy is the real deal.
So composed, dominant and energetic.
There’s no reason not to be optimistic
Was saying a few days ago here about how impressed I was seeing him in training. That guy is no joke. I was skeptical when we bought him having only seen his highlights, but what I saw in training was evident enough for me how massive he’ll be for us and he proved it today
Excited about our defence – how refreshing, Kstix 🙂
Really excited Sue, we still need Partey and if we do get him, not many will doubt our claim as title contenders. Up next West ham
Sue, thanks for the stat’s. 😄
EPL new season is here,my weekends sorted.We are top of the table hope we end the season up there! If a free transfer player was to replace a 72million signing in the team then that’s the mess Arteta is clearing as first team manager.
Arteta setup the team brilliantly. We pressed high and when Fulham managed to breach through our own half we kept our shape with two banks of four players. Defense and Leno were largely untroubled and dealt with everything Fulham thrown at us. And we always had at least two players available to receive pass like a triangle. Fulham got no anwser to our movement, especially when Auba moved inside. Arteta could be the best signing ever. In Mikel I trust. #COYG
2 banks of 4?
We defend with 5 actual defenders and two midfielders infront of them.
Willian – Auba goal connection very similar to Saka – Auba goal in the CS. Brilliant stuff! 💪🏽
Just add aoura and partey to this team and believe me we just started d demolition of teams. Special shout out to ceballos
Agreed. Ceballos looked really positive when he came….always looking for the ball and attempting forward passes.
Only 3 more wins to match our away record from last year….. We will do pretty well this season away from home… who else had Artetas voice always calling Laca, Laca.. Good to hear. Arteta wants perfection as Laca said after the game…
Aouarr will fit very nicely in to this team.. just as I expected, everyone saying keep Martinez for some reason never want to admit, that his rise just happened to coincide with Arteta making us much better defensively..I’m not begrudging his fine play but we were so much stronger defensively that he made it look easy.. just like Bernie did today.. COYG
hey guys, aren’t there any fantasy PL leagues? Can anyone post the link if so?
Best time to be a GUNNER
Mikel Arteta, RESPECT! RESPECT!
All players, RESPECT!
My fellow gunners, RESPECT!
Attack sorted … defence definitely improving .. can sell at least one of chambers Luiz and mustafi … midfield was largely mistake free but offered little and they were comfortable there .. more balanced when ceballos entered … having guendhouzi elneny and xhaka is silly … need to retain one And bring in DM with a forward gear and we are set set .. of the 2 today elneny Looked the best … if we need resources sell bellerin niles and Suarez more than capable of filling his shoes… credit to arteta though for getting a team performance
Is is that Bellerin in not better than the other options available or is it that he’s the one we can extract the most value on the transfer market? Seemed to me he performed quite well today?
I guess the latter is the case
The only reason he’s available for sale is because we need the funds
Selling Bellerin and Niles leaves us with 1 RB…. That’s not wise even for a team like Liverpool who don’t get many injuries. I’d sell none of them IMO. Sokratis, Chambers, Kolasinac can go. Torreira maybe also.
RW1, if and when Arsenal transfers in upgraded midfielders, the players demoted to the bench have shown that the Arsenal bench will be solid, with reliable midfielders ready to step up.
Great start to the season 👍
Shout out to the two debutants ,so impressed with Willian low centre of gravity and super quick feet absolute steal.
Good job guys. Happy today
Now for the ladies to have the perfect start can’t wait for the magic of Miedema and my favourite De Donk (she reminds me a lot of Rosicky)
Rumour has it Martinez is having a medical at Villa this afternoon…
We desperately need the funds dearie
Dearie!!!! What is that all about dooey/!!
Can only hope it was a typo error
However I’m getting called my lovely here in Cornwall and when I get back to Leicestershire it’s me duck!
Really impressive game from the Gunners
We have to stay grounded for now and build on this momentum
If it’s a 343 formation
Saliba Mari Gabriel
Frees up space for bellerin to go and we get the much needed fund since AMN can slot in there with Cedric
We need more quality in the midfield, when we come up the bigger teams that will be the difference
Attack is stocked and sorted even if laca leaves
I’ll raise my expectations when we win against Liverpool on the 28th
Great performance. Willian masterclass. Gabriel looks the business. Only thing missing was midfield magic. Let’s hope we can get a midfield magician before the window closes. Can’t believe how good our 3 CBs played.
Computer problems have me not posting much but had to come in and say how happy I am with opening day performance. Well done boys!
Wishing the gunners the best of luck for the tough season ahead,especially in the league&many trophies to be won this season
After today’s performance, no way should we allow bellerin to leave.
I said three points before the kick off, this is new Arsenal, many thanks to MA, with the addition of Thomas Party, we are going to rull PL for many years to come. Congratulations to all my gunners fans around the world
We need to keep laca by all means, wonder why people rate auba above him as laca has a better footwork n he is a good scorer. Speak of goals, tfid you see mess auba caused today after fumbling belerins lofty pass. To me no top top striker should screw that chans like dat. And enlerny should be retain by all means, I mean look at his confidence on ball, we still need a 10 though. Imagine line up of enlerny ceballos auor as midfielders. Gendouzi should be sold already, a charlatan
Did you smoke something on auba comments. Laca better than auba that’s an insult. Giroud is also better than auba i guess according to your standard of judgment
I’m so delighted with the team performance today. We couldn’t had gotten a better result for a start to the 2020/2021 season with a clean sheet!
Confidence oozing at London Colney.
Mikel Arteta stamping his authority, style & strategic masterclass on the team.
Good times ahead.
Trust the process!
All sounds pretty good
Not complaining as I’m on holiday in Cornwall but couldn’t watch the game and Talksport on AM was scratchy and digital radio kept cutting out. 🙄It’s MOTD for me tonight
In Arteta I trust….. right from the beginning too
I Feel for you having to listen to Alan shearer and Gary lineker Sue ,atleast it will be enjoyable to watch and might even be first on .
I hope so
Reading all the comments it sounds as the Brazilians are brilliant
SueP, where about in Cornwall (a beautiful part of the world apart from the diabolical A30); I have relatives in St Austell?
We are staying between Truro and Falmouth in our dinky caravan. The Dordogne was cancelled a couple of weeks back due to Covid so a cancellation got us a UK break instead. You need to get over to Blighty and visit them. It’s lovely and I haven’t been this way for 30 plus years and the weather is gorgeous too
Arsenal fans.. this season there will be blood!!!
Gunz & Blood
U Can Say That Again My Brother !
Couldn’t catch the first half. Enjoyed the second half, particularly Holding with that juggling run.
Happy for the win, optimistic for the season.
Mice to see positive comments on blogs that go beyond just the football we played.
I thought the first half we were ok and yet we led 0-1. To really show our dominance we had to win 2 or more. 3 was a sign of improvement. Under unai we barely were scoring more then 1.
When arteta came 2 goals was the push. So to get 3 shows we are looking to focus on scoring, and not just the good defending we have seen everyone applaud.
Even today I felt we could of scored another. We hit the post, auba had one off the line..
We had 55% procession and no counter attacks. 3 goals and a clean sheet. This is a perfect performance.
In defence we were solid. The fact gabriel doesnt yet speak english or German was why he didnt understand were leno was stood or leno know what gabriel was doing. But even then the danger was small because leno came out and got involved. Helped each other out and why, as good as martinez has been, Leno will always be senior the type arsenal need right now as no.1.
Bellerin and M.Niles did their job well. Both ways.
Tierney was solid as ever and leno too.
Gabriel had a perfect debut and one he will not forget for a long time. If he will be a success as he intends at arsenal, then this will be the kind of feeling it will feel like. Not since the likes of Vieria or Sol with their stature have I seen another in an arsenal shirt.
I felt he was the most dominate player on the pitch with the ball in the air. He was aggressive and close and one the ball one on one and he had pace to close down the run behind. Do all 3 every week and arsenal fans will be singing his names.
As good as he was today, I feel Holding was just as good. He wont get the credit anymore unless he is playing week in week out. But after 4or 5 years and a few fa cup wins he is a young senior head. If given the chance along Gabriel and with Saliba too then it only bonds well. Solid and competition.
The average age of our 3 CBs was 23 hrs old.
It was good. Pepe Cellabos Saka… on the bench. It looks competitive again.
William will give experience of EPL and push Pepe and Saka.
Laca will want to score more and keep winning play for arsenal.
I read another post elsewhere by a fan who thinks arsenal will compete for the league if they come through Nov with a strong position.
I guess that’s worth checking to assess arsenal progress under Mikel.
For now, il enjoy the win.
Tom, Lacazette, one game, one goal this season; you are a hard marker!
And it was an away goal!! 😉