9/10 Odegaard brilliant in victory; Lucky Gabriel gets 6

Gabriel Magalhaes redeemed himself to get three points as Arsenal left him late against a resilient Fulham side at the Emirates.

Arsenal ended the day top of the Premier League table after claiming their fourth win of the season in as many games. After three comfortable wins, Fulham tested the Gunners considerably, putting in a resilient performance.

Arsenal were obviously not at their best level of fluidity in the first half, despite having the lion’s share of possession. They could only find one shot on target during that period, although defensively they barely allowed Fulham a sniff in their final third.

The second half was more entertaining as the Gunners started the period on the right foot. While the Gunners were generous at times in cutting the ball straight to former star Bernd Leno, it was Fulham who had the chance.

Gabriel Magalhaes made a horrible mistake, allowing Aleksandar Mitrovic to steal the ball from his feet and score past Aaron Ramsdale. The pressure was instantly on Arsenal, with Mikel Arteta’s record for chasing games being on full display on several occasions.

As Arsenal increased the pressure in Fulham’s half, they were quickly rewarded when Bukayo Saka set up Martin Odegaard, who scored past Leno, although the shot deflected a Fulham player. The game was back on and Arsenal were looking for a likely winner.

And the winner came in the form of redemption for Gabriel. The centre-back was lucky for Leno to miss the catch, as the ball hit William Saliba and fell gracefully for the Brazilian to strike from close range.

This win will no doubt mark a different style under Arteta, who led his side to victory from a goal down. In the end, the Gunners find themselves top of the league and are now eagerly awaiting the clash at Aston Villa.

Here’s how Arsenal players ranked in their narrow win over Fulham at the Emirates.

Arsenal

Aaron Ramsdale – 8/10

A sensational performance from Ramsdale excelled in his usual duties but made two superb saves in the second half. The first was a close range header from Mitrovic, while the second was a close range shot as Arsenal only took the lead in the game. He deserves massive credit for this display today.

Ben White – 7/10

Ben White continues to grow in that right-back role, as the England international put in another solid performance. In his current form, he looks solid defensively and is increasing his production in the final third, meaning he can become Arsenal’s first-choice right-back this season.

Guillaume Saliba – 7/10

Saliba put in another solid performance in central defence. Although the goal was in no way his fault, he did bring up an assist for Gabriel’s winner. The Frenchman seems to be growing and maturing in his role as Arsenal’s first-choice centre-back.

Gabriel Magalhaes – 6.5/10

Although his goal may have helped Arsenal get three points, small mistakes in an otherwise decent game hurt the team’s chances. Gabriel’s mistake put Fulham ahead, and the mistake was unnecessary, to begin with.

Kieran Tierney – 6/10

Tierney looked somewhat out of place in this Arsenal team. He replaced Oleksandr Zinchenko in the lineup, but he failed to contribute as much as the Ukrainian. Maybe he’s trying to learn the ropes of a different role on this side, and this could be his adjustment period.

Mohamed Elneny – 6/10

A late inclusion in Arteta’s plans after Thomas Partey’s exclusion. Elneny, as usual, was a solid entity in midfield. The Gunners missed the Ghanaian’s presence on the pitch but the Egyptian didn’t make a mistake despite not being very adventurous.

Xhaka Granite – 6/10

Xhaka himself was not fluent the last three games, but was an effective outlet nonetheless. Missed a glorious chance to put Arsenal ahead but missed their shot wide.

Martin Odegaard – 9/10

Odegaard was terrific in attack and put in another terrific performance to cap off a captain’s display. The Norwegian continued to push the boat for a solution after Arsenal’s delay. He scored the goal and launched the quest for a winner.

Bukayo Saka – 7/10

Saka was a constant outlet and had a good battle on the wing with Antonee Robinson. The Arsenal star produced the moment to set Odegaard up for the equaliser. He hasn’t found himself on the scoresheet yet but seems to be getting there slowly at first glance.

Gabriel Jesus – 6.5/10

Jesus was not at his best level of influence today, but was still a good outlet to lead the line. Eddie Nketiah has had more chances since his arrival but the Brazilian has always been a threat to Fulham’s defence.

Gabriel Martinelli – 6/10

Martinelli was missing something today as his final balls and ball strikes lacked momentum. Still, the Brazilian provided the corner for Arsenal’s winner and will end up in the happiest side.

Substitutes

Eddie Nketiah – 7/10

The Arsenal striker has changed the dimension of the attack. Nketiah was at the end of some brilliant chances but failed to finish them. His presence gives Arteta a solid option up front and will prove invaluable as the season progresses.

Takehiro Tomiyasu – N/A

Tomiyasu was sent in late in the game to bolster the defense and did a decent job.

Rob Holding – N/A

The outfit arrived with almost no minutes left on the clock.

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