Arsenal 2-1 Fulham: Gabriel makes amends for terrible error to keep Gunners perfect

·4-min read

Gabriel Magalhaes made amends for a terrible mistake by scoring a late winner as Arsenal maintained their 100 per cent Premier League record with a 2-1 victory over Fulham.

Aleksandar Mitrovic capitalised on Gabriel's error to give the Cottagers the lead with his 100th goal for the club against the run of play, as Saturday's London derby burst into life in the second half at Emirates Stadium.

Martin Odegaard equalised with a deflected strike and Gabriel scrambled the ball home in the 85th minute after former Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno flapped at a corner.

Victory for the Gunners in Mikel Arteta's 100th Premier League game in charge made it four out of four in the top flight this season and put them back at the top of the table.

Arsenal zipped the ball around with swagger in a promising start and Granit Xhaka burst into the penalty area to volley off target after Gabriel Jesus set him up.

Leno produced a fine save to deny Bukayo Saka an opening goal when the winger found himself through one-on-one, in a first half where Arteta's side dominated but lacked a cutting edge.

Leno was called into action again early in the second half, palming away Odegaard's drive and smothering a shot from the lively Jesus.

It was Fulham who took the lead 11 minutes into the second half courtesy of a gift from Gabriel, who was made to pay for dallying on the ball when Mitrovic robbed him and slotted beyond Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal were level eight minutes later, though, when the excellent Odegaard's left-footed shot from just inside the area deflected in off Tosin Adarabioyo.

Mitrovic almost restored Fulham's lead with a powerful header that tested Ramsdale's reactions and Ben White's block thwarted Bobby De Cordova-Reid following up.

Eddie Nketiah flashed a shot wide of the far post and fired straight at Leno as Arsenal piled on pressure, but Gabriel pounced to prod in from close range when the Fulham keeper made a mess of trying to deal with a corner from the left.

Nathaniel Chalobah could have snatched a point, but Ramsdale denied him to ensure Arsenal have maximum points in a promising start to the campaign.

Arsenal 2-1 Fulham
Arsenal 2-1 Fulham

What does it mean? Gunners fire back to end Cottagers' unbeaten start

They made hard work of it, but Arsenal have won four top-flight matches at the start of a season for only the fifth time – the last being back in 2004.

Fingers have been pointed at the Gunners for lacking character in the past, but they rolled up their sleeves in north London to seal a deserved win.

Fulham will reflect on a missed opportunity after losing for the first time in the Premier League this season and failing to beat Arsenal away from home for the first time.

Outstanding Odegaard leads by example

Skipper Odegaard stood out in the middle of the park and was rewarded with his third goal in two matches after a double in the win at Bournemouth.

The Norway playmaker pulled the strings, producing a couple of key passes and maintaining the high tempo as he led by example.

Mitrovic century in vain

Fulham's talisman Mitrovic lacked service, but he picked Gabriel's pocket to bring up his century and was a real handful.

The Serbia striker has scored four goals in as many games on the Cottagers' return to the top flight, keeping those who claimed he cannot deliver in the Premier League very quiet.

Key Opta facts

- Fulham have won just one of their last 26 Premier League London derbies, drawing five and losing 20.

- Arsenal have now lost none of their 31 home meetings with Fulham in all competitions (W25 D6), the joint-longest 100 per cent unbeaten home record in English football along with Blackburn against Grimsby (also 31).

- This was the first time Arsenal conceded the first goal in a Premier League match in the second half and managed to come back and win since December 26 2013 against West Ham.

- Arteta oversaw his 100th Premier League game, picking up 100 points in his second 50 (W32 D4 L14) after accruing 75 in his first 50 (W21 D12 L17).

- Saka registered his 16th Premier League assist, with only three players in the history of the competition managing more before turning 21 (Fabregas 38, Rooney 22, Owen 18).

- Since the start of 2020-21, Arsenal's Gabriel has scored eight goals in the Premier League, more than any other central defender in that time.

What's next?

Arsenal are at home to Aston Villa are on Wednesday, with Fulham travelling to Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday.