Report: Arsenal 4-0 Fulham

Arsenal achieved a feat they had never clinched since the 2004/05 season on Sunday.

Wenger’s men thumped Fulham 4-0, not only to finish an erratic season in style, but also secure an automatic place in the Champions League’s group stages next term – for the first time since Vieira and co finished as runners-up to Chelsea five seasons ago.

A third place finish was some gain today considering the extent of Arsenal’s run-in collapse which saw Tottenham – who were downed at Burnley anyway – with a sniff at above their neighbors.

The opening exchanges were all about goalkeepers with Arsenal’s Lukasz Fabianski looking shaky and Australia stopper Schwarzer pulling off fine saves to deny Van Persie and Arshavin. Schwarzer spoiled his good work, however, by gifting the north London side a 21st-minute lead.

He delayed a clearance and Arshavin nipped in to gain possession and, once the Russian had evaded Schwarzer’s desperate efforts to retrieve, his shot went in off Pantsil on the line.

Netherlands striker Van Persie doubled the lead five minutes later after Theo Walcott, who had burst through on the right thanks to Bacary Sagna’s through ball, unselfishly squared the ball for his colleague. Schwarzer managed to deflect the first shot on to the crossbar off his legs but the rebound fell perfectly for the Dutchman for a simple finish.

The west London side continued to live dangerously and they were grateful for a raised flag from a referee’s assistant to rule out a Walcott effort. A third Gunners goal arrived in the 37th minute as the Cottagers gave a master class in how not to defend.

England World Cup squad hopeful Walcott’s delivery from the right appeared to have little menace. However, two defenders managed to mis-kick attempted clearances and a third, Northern Ireland defender Baird, inexplicably put it into his own net.

Emmanuel Eboue had bamboozled Baird with a clever flick and produced another one to put Walcott through only for the winger to fire across goal and wide. Hodgson bolstered his attack at the break with David Elm replacing Bjorn Helge Riise and the newcomer hit a post within seconds, although the flag was up.

Van Persie then hit an upright at the other end on the rebound from another Schwarzer save. Pantsil hobbled off with a leg injury before the hour mark that could put his Europa League final hopes in jeopardy.

Arsenal centre-back Mikael Silvestre was next to be forced off and was replaced by Johan Djourou. USA striker Dempsey was booked and then substituted after failing to win a penalty as Sol Campbell challenged.

Then referee Mike Jones booked Eboue for diving and Fabianski for handling outside his area under pressure from Elm. Van Persie fired a good chance of his own making over the bar as the game meandered to its obvious conclusion.

Carlos Vela, who had replaced Arshavin with 13 minutes remaining, made it 4-0 in the 84th minute with a sublime chip after the offside trap had been sprung once again.

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7 thoughts on “Report: Arsenal 4-0 Fulham

  1. YEAH good performance happy st totteringhams day tottski tolst to burnley 4-2 haahaha this shows our dominance yet again. velas chip was sublime and i cant wait for next season this should definitely be our team for next season new goalkeeper (har( or
    buffon)
    sagna gallas if he stays or djouru vermaeln clichy
    fabregas song (melo if we buy him for cover) nasri
    chamakh van persie arshavin at least buy two defenders and a cover up for song oh n also goalkeeper come o n arsenallllllllllllllll

  2. Well done guys! It was nice to end the season with such a convincing win against a resurgent Fulham.

    This season has been rather patchy, sometimes exposing our frailties in many areas with unforgiving cruelty and at other times showing our mettle especially in the attacking third.

    Going on to the next season, we must strengthen our back line defence including the goalkeeping situation . I reckon that both are complementary. This is in the sense that if all the defenders in front of the goalie are strong enough and able to challenge and win balls both on the ground and in the air, the pressure on the goalkeeper will be reduced. In some of the most comical high ball scrambles on our goal line, you could see some of our men fighting valiantly below while the real action was taking place above them. It is not for us to prescribe how other teams should play us, especially as they are fighting for survival in most cases. Besides, the game is about utilizing what player resources you have to your best advantage.

    In the coming season, we must also be able to vary our tactics to suit the opposition. In particular, I am referring to the likes of Barca, where we will not have the ball for most of the match. We need to be able to defend as a team. Yes! The art of attacking football is beautiful. But I will contend that a good defensive display is just as beautiful to see.

    Finally, I demand that we must get out of this victim mentality where lesser teams bully us completely our of matches. It is becoming embarrassing to hear supporters of other teams say this to me with a knowing look.

    Onwards and Upwards Arsenal!

    1. “Resurgent” (they almost looked like a reserve team) doesn’t fit the bill for the Fulham side that we’ve faced, although they do threatened us on a few occasions (thanks to some magnificent goalkeeping by the ever reliant Flapianski, who was lucky to have played 90 mins, btw). But still, good work for our players for scoring buckets of goals again (and WINNING this time around)!

  3. The Wanderer:
    They are in the EUROPA League final and I hope they win against Atletico Madrid as it reflects well on the Premiership.

  4. Under the new rules, we wouldn’t have needed to qualify for the 08/09 CL as we finished third in the PL in 07/08. However, as it was, both 3rd and 4th place had to qualify then.

    1. We all know that fella.

      The sentence said “we have achieved a feat we hadn’t since 2004/05”. It is a “feat” (automotive qualification) not “position” (2nd or 3rd place).

      And it is just refreshing to know that for once, we won’t be bothered by those previously straight-forward but now tough qualifiers.

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