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North beats west as Arsenal rout Fulham in London derby

Pin Both strikers were in a clinical mood. AFP
Both strikers were in a clinical mood. AFP

North beats west as Arsenal rout Fulham in London derby

Simon Green by Simon Green @besoccer_com - 0 4,223

Arsenal dished out a 5-1 thrashing of their London rivals Fulham on Saturday at Craven Cottage, thanks to two goals apiece from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Given the contrasting form that both sides were showing coming in ot this one, it might have been expected that Fulham would play more cautiously than they did in the opening moments.

Slavisa Jokanovic's men dominated possesion and had some good chances early on, most notable Vietto's effort drawing an excellent save from Bernd Leno, making his Premier League debut.

While Fulham had the ball for long periods, Arsenal seemed to be happy to use the pace of Iwobi, Welbeck and Lacazette on the counter-attack which porvided a constant threat.

And it was Lacazette who proved to be the decisive point of the attack, as he opened the scoring. Iwobi combined nicely with Nacho Monreal on the left wing, who drilled the ball across to the Frenchman who was waiting in the centre of the box. He turned with his first touch, and fired the ball in to the bottom left corner of the net.

Fulham, to their credit, stuck to their style of play as the first half continued but didn't look like scoring.

However, Arsenal gifted them a way back in to the match thanks to a very sloppy pass from Holding, which was intercepted and played in to Schurrle. The German international picked his moment and then lifted the ball over Bernd Leno wonderfully to take the game level just before the break.

Unfortunately for the home team, their good work was undone thanks to some suspect goalkeeping. 

A long ball was nodded down by Danny Welbeck in to the path of Lacazette again, who powered towards goal and lashed a shot towards the near post. While it was a good strike, Marcus Bettenelli will undoubtedly be disappointed to concede such a goal.

After a poor miss from Kamara that could have brought the game level again, the 'Gunners' punished them yet again with a brutally efficient counter-attack.

Arsenal moved the ball from defence in to attack with one-touch passing before Aubameyang found himself on the left wing and able to pick out Aaron Ramsey, whose flick with his left foot perfectly nestled in to the corner of the net.

The punishment was not done yet, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got in on the act thanks to a composed finish with his left foot from a Bellerin cross, before converting from in an incisive shot from 20 yards, to confirm Fulham's drubbing.

Unai Emery will be thrilled with the performance of his side today, who showed that their counter-attacking skills are among the best in the league at the moment, as well as having two strikers on excellent form in Aubameyang and Lacazaette.

Meanwhile, Slavisa Jokanovic has a lot of work to do with his Fulham side, who have been exposed yet again to have profound defensive frailities when faced with top-class opposition. It could be a tricky season for the 'Cottagers'.

Simon Green

Simon Green

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