Fulham refusing to panic after Arsenal horror show as attention turns to Manchester United FA Cup clash


Tim Ream has admitted that Fulham suffered “breakdowns in communication” during their first-half defensive horror show against Arsenal.

Marco Silva’s side let in three goals and were fortunate not to concede more in a dreadful opening 45 minutes at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

Gabriel, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli all scored for Arsenal as Fulham lost 3-0 after one of their worst performances in an otherwise excellent season.

And Cottagers captain Ream accepted their backline were culpable on a difficult afternoon against the Premier League leaders.

“There were a lot of things that didn’t go right,” he said. “We were giving the ball away in bad areas, there were breakdowns in communication in where to be. Overall, not a great day for us.”

Day to forget: Fulham’s defence were torn apart by ruthless Arsenal at Craven Cottage (PA)
Day to forget: Fulham’s defence were torn apart by ruthless Arsenal at Craven Cottage (PA)

A VAR check for offside gave Fulham an early let-off after Antonee Robinson scored an own goal, but the hosts were regularly carved open by Arsenal in the first half.

“It gave us a little bit of a reprieve,” said Ream. “We took it as a warning sign but didn’t use it to our advantage enough and unfortunately it wasn’t long after that they got their first goal.

“We just haven’t been at the races in the last few games. It’s something that we’ll look at, analyse, and try to put right on Sunday [against Manchester United in an FA Cup quarter-final].

“It’s not a bad thing that we’re disappointed. There’s no panic. Of course we want to win and want to play in the semi-final at Wembley. But when you start throwing in words like ‘desperation’ you start doing silly things, and that’s not what the manager is about.”

Fulham also conceded three goals in their west London derby loss at Brentford last week and are now eighth in the table after back-to-back defeats.

On the looming trip to Old Trafford, Ream said: “I’m excited. We’ve taken the competition very seriously. Now we’re in with a chance to get to a semi-final and Wembley. We have to switch gears now.”