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Fulham vs Arsenal. Premier League.

Craven CottageAttendance24,426.

Fulham 0

    Arsenal 3

    • G dos Santos Magalhães (21st minute)
    • G Martinelli (26th minute)
    • M Ødegaard (47th minute)

    Fulham 0-3 Arsenal: Gunners go five points clear again with slick victory as Gabriel Jesus makes comeback

    Report and free highlights from the Premier League match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage as the Gunners emerged 3-0 winners; Gabriel Jesus returned from injury as Mikel Arteta's side moved five points clear of Manchester City again

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win against Fulham

    Arsenal produced a slick attacking performance to beat Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage and re-establish a five-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

    Mikel Arteta's side were under pressure to win after City's late victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday and they responded emphatically, scoring three times in a rampant first half.

    All three goals were created by Leandro Trossard, with Gabriel Magalhaes (21), Gabriel Martinelli (26) and Martin Odegaard (45+2) the beneficiaries, and there was a further boost as Gabriel Jesus made his return from injury as a late substitute.

    Fulham improved in the second half, forcing Aaron Ramsdale into action on a couple of occasions and rattling the bar through Aleksandar Mitrovic, but Arsenal remained a threat at the other end, with Jesus nearly marking his comeback with a goal when he was denied by Bernd Leno.

    The victory ensures Arsenal maintain a healthy lead over City at the top of the Premier League, their title chase gathering momentum with a fifth consecutive win which never really looked in doubt.

    Player ratings

    Fulham: Leno (6), Tete (6), Tosin (5), Ream (5), Robinson (5), Reed (6), Lukic (6), Pereira (6), Decordova-Reid (6), Solomon (6), Mitrovic (6).

    Subs: James (6), Wilson (6).

    Arsenal: Ramsdale (8), White (7), Saliba (8), Gabriel (8), Zinchenko (7), Partey (8), Xhaka (7), Odegaard (8), Saka (7), Martinelli (8), Trossard (9).

    Subs: Nelson (7), Tierney (7), Jesus (7), Vieira (7), Tomiyasu (6).

    Player of the match: Leandro Trossard

    How Arsenal breezed to victory

    Fulham came into the game having won four of their last six in all competitions but they never looked like troubling Arsenal and had no answer to their speed and incisiveness in attack.

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    Gabriel gives the Gunners an early lead at Craven Cottage

    The hosts were handed an early reprieve when Antonee Robinson's own goal was ruled out by VAR, with Martinelli found to be offside in the build-up, but Arsenal's opener arrived soon afterwards, Gabriel rising highest to head in Trossard's wicked corner.

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    Arsenal continued to tear into the visitors and the second goal swiftly followed, Trossard's chipped delivery into the six-yard box, following a superb move which started deep in their own half, finding Martinelli, who easily won his header against Robinson to nod home.

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    Gabriel Martinelli doubles the lead for the Gunners with a headed finish

    Fulham offered practically nothing in the first half, apart from a dangerous Manor Solomon cross-shot and an Andreas Pereira effort that looped over following an errant pass by Aaron Ramsdale, and up at the other end Arsenal smelled blood.

    Team news

    • Arsenal welcomed Gabriel Jesus back into their squad for the first time since November, the Brazilian on the bench, with Leandro Trossard starting.
    • Willian missed out for Fulham against his former side, with Tosin Adarabioyo and Bobby Decordova-Reid coming into the side.

    Granit Xhaka should have extended their lead but a poor touch allowed his former team-mate Leno to gather the ball after the midfielder found himself through on goal following a flowing attack.

    The former Arsenal goalkeeper was soon called into action again, parrying Martinelli's diagonal shot, but there was nothing he could do about Odegaard's third, Fulham's static defending leaving him exposed as the visitors ruthlessly capitalised.

    Fulham improved after the break, with Pereira firing a deflected effort wide inside the first minute and Mitrovic beginning to come into the game having been kept quiet in the first half.

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    Martin Odegaard keeps his composure in front of goal to give the Gunners a 3-0 lead

    The Serb was inches away from pulling a goal back moments after Ramsdale had pulled off a fine save from Bobby Decordova-Reid's angled effort but his header bounced back off the woodwork.

    Arsenal showed steel to keep their clean sheet intact, however, and had chances to extend their lead further in the closing stages, with substitute Jesus, lively on his first appearance since November 12, denied by the foot of Leno when through on goal.

    Odegaard had a late opportunity too, blazing over from a left-wing cut-back, but the damage was long done at that point, the comfortable victory putting Arsenal one step closer to the title.

    Analysis: Trossard showing his worth

    There was a period of no more than 10 seconds in the second half at Craven Cottage which typified Leandro Trossard's display. It began with him sprinting back to make a tackle and prevent a counter, and ended with him driving forward with the ball at his feet.

    The Belgian started the game as Arsenal's false nine but in truth he was everywhere, his intensity and energy in and out of possession setting the tone for an excellent team performance.

    He was involved in more or less every Arsenal attack before his 78th-minute withdrawal and contributed to each of the three goals directly, registering a hat-trick of assists and deservedly claiming the player of the match award.

    Leandro Trossard produced an excellent performance against Fulham
    Image: Leandro Trossard produced an excellent performance against Fulham

    In the space of around 25 minutes, he set up as many goals as any other Premier League player has managed in two months since his Arsenal debut. In total, he's produced five assists since his move from Brighton and scored one goal himself, against Brentford.

    His impact is precisely what Arsenal were hoping for when they paid £27m to sign him in January and it is easy to forget, in that context, that he was not their first choice. Right now, it feels like a blessing that Chelsea beat them to Mykhailo Mudryk.

    This game was supposed to be about the returning Gabriel Jesus, back in the squad for the first time since November following his knee injury. Instead, it was a reminder that Trossard will not give up his place easily. The 28-year-old is showing his worth.

    Arteta hails performance and 'beautiful' goals

    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports: "Really happy with the performance, winning 3-0 away from home, keeping the clean sheet, with the chances we created and the goals we scored.

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    Mikel Arteta reflects on Arsenal's victory

    "Big compliment to the team because we deserved to win, we played really well.

    "We had a goal disallowed and psychologically we had to come back from that but we kept trying, we playing, kept finding the spaces against a really organised team and overall, really happy.

    "The way we are distributing the goals is really important. Today, Leo [Leandro Trossard] contributed with three assists and he could have scored two at least as well.

    "It's good that everybody is willing and has got the capacity to arrive in the final third and create and score goals.

    "There are certain things we practice that are difficult to see in games but today we had some big chances and scored some beautiful goals."

    Trossard on perfect win, Odegaard delights at Jesus return

    Arsenal's triple-assister Leandro Trossard told Sky Sports: "When we win we're always happy. We knew it would be a tough game. We did really well. We kept a clean sheet as well.

    "A perfect win for us. I'm really happy with it [hat-trick of assists]. I always try to contribute. Today it went my way. I'm just really happy we won.

    "Same as last week. Eleven finals for us. We'll take it game by game. Today we did a great game."

    Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard told Sky Sports: "We did really well from the start. We controlled the game and scored some good goals in the first half. The second half was a bit different but very good.

    "He [Leandro Trossard] has brought some amazing things to the team. I love playing with him. He's good to find the right pass. We're really happy to have him on the team.

    "It was a good ball from Leo over the head of a defender. I kept my composure and put my shot in the corner."

    On the return of Gabriel Jesus, he added: "It's a massive boost. He's been out for a while now. We know what he'll give to the team. We're excited to have him back."

    On their focus towards the end of the season, he said: "Same focus. We've said all season we'll take it game by game. We'll do the same things, keep working hard and see where it takes us."

    Silva rues 'soft' first half from Fulham

    Fulham head coach Marco Silva said: "Arsenal deserved the three points.

    "Our first half, we were on the pitch but in some moments we weren't. Too soft, not ready enough, off the ball not aggressive. We let them play the way they wanted.

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    Fulham boss Marco Silva admitted his side failed to fire

    "When we play, not just against top sides, but in the Premier League, these types of [defensive] situations make things go against you and that's what happened in the first half.

    "The second half was slightly different, we created more chances, we were more brave and more aggressive in some moments. At least we expressed ourselves more in the second half.

    Martinelli equals Anelka - Opta stats

    • Gabriel Martinelli has scored 23 goals in the Premier League for Arsenal, the joint-most of any overseas player for the club before turning 22 years of age, along with Nicolas Anelka.
    • Arsenal's Leandro Trossard became the first player in Premier League history to assist three goals before half-time in an away match.
    • Arsenal have scored 24 goals from corner situations in the Premier League since the start of last season, the joint-most of any team along with Liverpool.
    • Fulham have lost each of their last 10 Premier League matches against teams starting the day top of the table, scoring three goals while conceding 22 goals in return in these matches.
    • Arsenal have won 72 per cent of their Premier League games against Fulham (23/32), their highest win rate against an opponent they've faced 20+ times in the competition.

    What's next?

    Arsenal have the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie with Sporting Lisbon on Thursday, then return to Premier League action with a home fixture against Crystal Palace on Sunday, with kick-off at 2pm.

    Fulham are in FA Cup action next weekend with an away tie against Manchester United on Sunday. Their next Premier League game comes against Bournemouth after the international break on April 1.

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