4 Talking Points From Arsenal’s 2-0 Win Over Fulham

By on January 19, 2014

Arsenal eased past Fulham 2-0 at the Emirates on Saturday to remain top of the Premier League. Here, Gunner333 gives us 4 talking points from the game.

Serge-Gnabry

The Gunners welcomed a struggling Fulham side to the Emirates Stadium, in a game which was full of expectation for the home side. Fulham had the league’s worst defence going into the game (46) whilst Arsenal had the strongest with Mertesacker and Koscielny at the back.

It came as no surprise to see Arsenal bombing forwards in the opening stages. After a quick one-two with fellow German Serge Gnabry, Mesut Özil squeezed his effort past the forthcoming Stekelenburg, but Hangeland cleared his lines to keep it goalless.

Fulham later broke from another Gunners attack, Berbatov breaking up the play. His pass then to Kacanilklic looked promising, but the Swede’s poor second touch allowed Szczesny time to come out and smother the ball.

The second half told no new tale, Arsenal’s midfield the focal point of their play but few good attacks were strung together.

Perhaps the greatest chance came from a Cazorla free-kick. The Spaniard’s floated ball reaching Gnabry who struck, but was denied. The rebound fell to Giroud who could only find Stekelenburg from close-range but he was flagged offside anyway.

Fulham had kept only three clean-sheets so far this league campaign and this looked to continue when our little Spaniard stepped-up yet again. Wilshere laying it on for the energetic Cazorla, who fired it into the far corner for 1-0. Finally the breakthrough had come and rightfully so. Wenger’s side looked eager to kill the game off and gave the away side very little to work with.

It took a matter of minutes to wrap the game up, Santi on target again. Monreal’s well delivered cross reaching Cazorla, who slipped his effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Podolski nearly made it three when his pile-driver of a shot rattled the near post but Fulham held on to lose by just the two.

Here I will now analyse four talking points from the game:

1) Lively Legs!

To be champions of England’s top flight, it is paramount to have a squad rich with depth and fitness, fortunately we have both. Although the depth may not be brimming with top quality, our players are all in tip-top physical shape and able last the 90 minutes. In this game especially we exhibited the ability to physically outwit our opponent.

The second Santi goal was all about tired legs for Fulham as Sidwell failed to close him down on the edge of the area giving thw Spaniard time to fire home. We looked far fitter than the visitors during the second half which was key to this game. Our back-line looked lively also and were more than capable of dealing with the ageing legs of Berbatov.

2) Too Much Space?

Although our energy levels were high, we gave Fulham a little too much space than perhaps we should have done. In the early stages both Dejagah and Sidwell created some promising chances, which were denied only by keeper Szczesny.

It is always a difficult task to prevent any dynamic movements from the opposition but if we can use a high tempo to close the other team down and break up play, it will limit the time and space the opposition have. This was exhibited in the second half against Fulham.

3) Options Available

When we play with a high tempo, we always seem to have more options available when players are on the ball. We spread the play better and have numbers in the middle as well as down the flanks, meaning our options are seldom limited.

In the first half when we barely got out of first gear, there was less movement and therefore less options for the man on the ball. But after the break we stepped it up and reaped the rewards. Let’s try and play with a high tempo from the off.

4) No New Additions?

It’s difficult to spot a weakness in this Gunners team, so surely nobody is needed, right? Wrong! I think it’s clear we still lack proper depth up front so I would certainly hope Arsene Wenger will be bringing in another striker before the end of the month.

A back-up winger would also be useful with Theo Walcott being out, but Serge Gnabry has looked promising in recent games so perhaps we could go without another wide-man. We also have The Ox back and he’ll play an important role once he’s back up to full fitness.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below.

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