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Premier League hits and misses: Time for an Arsenal reset after damaging back-to-back defeats?

Plus: Fulham striker Raul Jimenez shows his worth in the 2-1 home win over Arsenal; Tottenham battle against injuries to sit in remarkable position heading into 2024 after 3-1 home victory against Bournemouth; Cherries' progress under boss Andoni Iraola clear to see despite loss

Time for an Arsenal reset?

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Fulham’s win against Arsenal in the Premier League

You could feel Mikel Arteta's anger as he spoke to the media at his post-match press conference.

On Thursday, he had seen his side miss a host of chances as they lost 2-0 to West Ham. Sometimes that can happen and is just one of those things, said Arteta, but the defeat to Fulham was much more "worrying" for the Spaniard.

Having only lost two of their opening 18 Premier League games this season (Winning 12 and drawing four), Arsenal have since lost both of their last two, just the second time since the start of last season that they have suffered back-to-back league defeats.

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Gary Cotterill and Oliver Yew review Arsenal’s second consecutive defeat as they were beaten by Fulham at Craven Cottage in the Premier League.

"We had the chance to be top of the table after 20 games. Three days ago, we lost a game that we deserved to win, today was a different story. We weren't good enough. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror."

The Gunners now have a break from league action. They face Liverpool in the FA Cup next Sunday but after that, their next league engagement is not until January 20 when Crystal Palace visit the Emirates.

It could be a break that is coming just at the right time for Arteta and his side as they look to find the fluency and attacking threat that has eluded them so far this season and was so evident in their second-placed finish last season.

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It's been a miserable end to 2023 and after being top of the table at Christmas, they now finish the year in fourth and potentially five points behind leaders Liverpool should they beat Newcastle on Monday. But just as Arsenal have found out in recent weeks, things can change quickly and that's something for Arteta and the Arsenal supporters to hold onto.

Oliver Yew

Jimenez showing his worth again for Fulham

Fulham's Raul Jimenez celebrates after scoring his side's first goal
Image: Fulham's Raul Jimenez celebrates after scoring his side's first goal

It had been a disastrous run for Fulham. Two 5-0 home wins against Nottingham Forest and West Ham were followed by three straight defeats with scoring a single goal.

Expectation was low with Arsenal the visitors and Craven Cottage was left flat after Bukayo Saka's fifth-minute opener.

You might have expected the hosts to crumble, but the response they showed, led by the returning Raul Jimenez, was superb.

The striker, who returned from suspension grabbed the equaliser, provided a real focal point for Fulham up against Arsenal centre backs William Saliba and Gabriel. He went on to net a fifth goal in seven league appearances and has now scored four goals in his last four Premier League games, as many as his previous 50 appearances in the competition beforehand.

He is now showing the form once again that made him such a threat with Wolves and that will only help Fulham, who ended an 11-game winless run against Arsenal, as they look to climb the table in the second half of the season.

Peter Smith

Spurs in remarkable position to give New Year hope

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win against Bournemouth in the Premier League

Tottenham start the New Year just three points off the top of the Premier League and one point behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

It is a remarkable position for them to be in considering their injury crisis, the summer departure of the club's all-time top scorer Harry Kane and the short time Ange Postecoglou has been in charge for.

Spurs had to ride their luck against a wasteful Bournemouth side but got the job done with some clinical finishing that gives them real hope heading into 2024.

The January transfer window is arriving at the perfect time, and with key players set to come back, Spurs will believe they will able to produce more convincing performances to return to their outstanding early season form that saw them go 10 games unbeaten and top of the league.

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Danyal Khan and David Richardson review Tottenham's 3-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League.

But Postecoglou's side are managing to ride out the injury and suspension crisis well enough to remain not only in the hunt for a top-four place but also in the title race conversation.

Spurs can celebrate the New Year with plenty of optimism.
Declan Olley

Bournemouth display progress under Iraola

Dominic Solanke takes on Ben Davies and Emerson Royal
Image: Dominic Solanke takes on Ben Davies and Emerson Royal

Bournemouth will enter 2024 still wondering how they came away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with nothing - but confident they can break into the top 10.

Andoni Iraola's side played with all the confidence and swagger of a team that had won six of their last seven games on their way to chalking up 24 shots.

It was 12 more than Tottenham mustered with the in-form Dominic Solanke having nine efforts yet failing to score due to a mixture of poor finishing, bad luck and Guglielmo Vicario.

Bournemouth lost by a two-goal margin to Tottenham in August yet the progress in this defeat was clear to see.

Iraola's fashionable way of playing has finally paid off after a difficult start and relegation worries have eased significantly with a 10-point gap to the bottom three.
David Richardson

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