A superb first-half display, in which Leandro Trossard claimed a hat-trick of assists, was the platform for Mikel Arteta’s 100th win as Gunner boss.
Brazilian duo Gabriel and Gabriel Martinelli scored headers within five minutes of each other to put us in control, and we were rarely troubled from that moment on.
Martin Odegaard expertly tucked home our third in first-half injury-time to give the scoreline the gloss it deserved.
There was more reason for the travelling Arsenal supporters to cheer late on, as Gabriel Jesus made his welcome return to action after four months out with a knee injury.
After a tentative opening 15 minutes or so we started to increase our tempo and had the ball in the net after a fast break on the left. Gabriel Martinelli and Granit Xhaka played a one-two to get the Brazilian in behind the defence.
His shot was parried by Bernd Leno into Antonee Robinson and into his own net. Arsenal celebrated but the goal was ruled out for offside in the build up after a VAR review.
We didn’t have to wait too long for the opener though. After winning three corners in succession, the third proved decisive. Leandro Trossard’s inswinging delivery was on the money and Gabriel rose highest to head home.
We were playing with more confidence now, and doubled our lead with another header.
This time the move started inside our own penalty area. Saliba’s sweeping pass forward got us on the attack, Trossard stood up a looping cross to the far post and Martinelli headed in from close range.
It was no more than we deserved, and we went hunting the third. A wonderful passage of combination play between Odegaard, Trassard and Xhaka created the next opportunity. Odegaard’s pass to Xhaka was dummied to Trossard, the Belgian returned a first time pass to Xhaka who had extended his run. But just as he was bearing down on Leno, his touch let him down.
A loose pass out by Aaron Ramsdale nearly gave Fulham a route back into the game, but Andreas Pereira lifted his shot just over.
It didn’t put us off our stride at all. Martinelli forced a save from Leno at the near post before we did eventually increase our advantage.
Trossard yet again was the instigator. His cross fell to Odegaard in the box, and the skipper was coolness personified. He took a touch, then another, shifted into onto his left foot, and slotted it home with ease.
It was the last kick of a scintillating first-half display from Mikel Arteta’s side.
Fulham started the second period in positive fashion, with Aleksandar Mitrovic the target of their attacking intent.
But we retained a huge threat on the break, with Martinelli and Odegaard both seeing shots blocked in the box.
Frequently we were springing into action though, with quick passing combinations. Xhaka’s wonderful touch created another shooting opportunity for Martinelli on the edge of the box, that was well charged down.
Mitrovic thumped a header against the bar for the hosts from a corner and Ramsdale made smart saves from Pereira and Tosin Adarabioyo
Arteta responded by bringing on Gabriel Jesus for his long-awaited comeback from injury. It was the Brazilian’s first of action for us since before the World Cup. He was 120 days out of the team, and looked intent on making up for lost time immediately.
He set up fellow sub Reiss Nelson for a good chance, before having his own shot saved by Leno.
The second half had been a more even affair, but the hard work had already been done, and we re-established our five-point cushion at the top of the table with a commanding authority.
Enjoy match highlights, training and behind the scenes to get closer to the likes of Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Vivianne Miedema, Gabriel Jesus, Alex Zinchenko, Leah Williamson, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kim Little, Gabriel Martinelli, Aaron Ramsdale, Beth Mead, Ben White and more.
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