Arsenal 4 Fulham 1

Goals from Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped the Gunners to only their second win in six games as Arsenal won 4-1 at home against Fulham. After Ryan Sessegnon had missed two good chances for Fulham, Xhaka put the hosts ahead, finishing past Sergio Rico after a good cross from the impressive Alex Iwobi. Lacazette doubled the lead when he finished off Sead Kolasinac’s pull-back following a fine Arsenal passing move. Kamara pulled one back from close range, but Ramsey scored the Gunners’ third after Aubameyang had hit the post. Aubameyang’s deflected shot gave Arsenal their fourth and a deserved three points.

Unai Emery defended his decision to substitute goalscorer Lacazette as Arsenal bounced back from their thrashing by Liverpool to beat Fulham 4-1. The French striker grabbed the Gunners’ second goal in the second half, but was replaced by midfielder Aaron Ramsey with the score at 2-1, soon after the Cottagers’ Aboubakar Kamara reduced the deficit in the 69th minute. The decision was met by a negative reaction from a large number of home fans. It had been a poor festive season for Arsenal as they only managed a 1-1 draw at Brighton on 26 December before their thrashing at Anfield.

The Gunners were again without Mesut Ozil, with the German still sidelined with the knee injury that kept him out of the Liverpool match, while Ramsey, out of contract in the summer and a transfer target for Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Juventus, Paris St-Germain and Real Madrid, was only among the substitutes. Nevertheless, the hosts took a 25th-minute lead when Xhaka finished from Iwobi’s cross and they ended the first half strongly with chances for Matteo Guendouzi, Xhaka and Aubameyang. A wonderful passing move down the left wing after 10 minutes of the second half, involving Iwobi, Kolasinac and Lacazette, led to the Gunners’ second as the Frenchman scored his seventh Premier League goal of the campaign. Arsenal started the game with three centre-halves – Laurent Koscielny, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi – but were lucky not to fall behind as Sessegnon twice missed good chances when it was goalless.

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