Fulham 0-3 Arsenal: Trossard stars as Gunners regain five-point lead

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Leandro Trossard played a starring role as Premier League leaders Arsenal restored their five-point lead at the summit with a 3-0 victory over Fulham.

The Belgium international claimed a hat-trick of assists at Craven Cottage, with Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard all profiting.

Mikel Arteta's side subsequently became the first side in the history of English league football to win five successive away London derbies without conceding a single goal.

Arsenal, who welcomed Gabriel Jesus back from injury, also made it five straight Premier League victories in all as they took another step towards the title.

The Gunners thought they had taken the lead when Antonee Robinson put through his own net in the 16th minute, but the VAR ruled Martinelli had strayed offside before Bernd Leno parried his shot against the Fulham defender.

However, Arsenal broke through five minutes later as Gabriel, who scored the winner in the reverse fixture in August, climbed to head in Trossard's corner.

Trossard was the provider again when his cross was nodded in by Martinelli at the far post after 26 minutes, while Odegaard tucked away another precise centre from the former Brighton and Hove Albion man in first-half stoppage time.

Fulham were far more positive after the break. Bobby De Cordova-Reid drew a smart reflex save from Aaron Ramsdale, while Aleksandar Mitrovic's header hit the crossbar.

But Arsenal stood firm to deny their opponents a potential route back into the contest and went close to increasing their margin of victory through Odegaard and the returning Jesus.

What does it mean? Gunners cruise to victory

Craven Cottage has been a notoriously difficult place to go in the Premier League this season. Indeed, only Newcastle United, Manchester United and Tottenham had left with maximum points.

But there was never any doubt Arsenal would join that list after doing the damage in the first half.

With home games against struggling Crystal Palace and Leeds United to come, the Gunners will know they have a great opportunity to strengthen their bid for a first Premier League title in 19 years.

Historic hat-trick for Trossard

The Belgium international made Premier League history with his contribution towards yet another important Arsenal victory.

Trossard became the first player to register a hat-trick of first-half assists in an away game, producing inviting crosses for Gabriel, Martinelli and Odegaard to finish.

The return of Jesus

What a welcome sight it was for Arsenal fans as Jesus made his long-awaited return to action, replacing Trossard for the final 13 minutes.

The Brazil international, who had not played for his club since the 2-0 win at Wolves in November, almost made an immediate impact, with Leno saving his low shot five minutes from time.

Jesus' return comes at an ideal time for the Gunners, who are potentially just 11 games away from glory.

Key Opta Facts

– 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 of 32), their highest win rate against an opponent they have faced 20 or more times in the competition. 
– 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.
– Gabriel has scored three goals in four Premier League appearances against Fulham, his most against a single side in the division.
– 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.

What's next?

Arsenal's attention switches back to the Europa League as they welcome Sporting CP on Thursday for the second leg of their last-16 tie. Meanwhile, Fulham's focus will be on the FA Cup three days later, when they face Manchester United in the quarter-finals at Old Trafford.