Fulham 1 Arsenal 5
Schurrle 44, Lacazette 29, 49, Ramsey 67, Aubameyang 79, 91

Arsenal produced a sparkling five star performance to sink Fulham 5-1 at Craven Cottage. A double each from Alexandre Lacazette and substitute from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who came on for Danny Welbeck just past the hour mark added to what is an early contender for goal of the season by Aaron Ramsey just 39 seconds after his introduction for Alex Iwobi. The move began when the former Wales captain flicked the ball over his marker to find Lacazette. He fed Hector Bellerin, and the Spain defender then flicked up for Ramsey to surge deep into the Fulham half and head onto Henrikh Mkhitaryan. His pass out to his left instinctively found Aubameyang, who spotted Ramsey and crossed to enable him to finish with the most exquisite of back heels beyond the reach of Marcus Bettinelli. The goal was a thing of beauty, the move reminiscent of Arsenal in their pomp. ” We’ve got our Arsenal back,” sang the travelling Gunners’ supporters, who were also paying homage to the stars of the past, with Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, David Rocastle and Patrick Vieira getting a mention. The latter’s famous VIEIRA chant has a new version with Lucas Torreira the beneficiary. “Torreira oh, oh, oh. He comes from Uruguay, he’s only five feet high” the chant echoed over Craven Cottage and will be heard for a while yet as the thought tackling Torreira continues his fine post World Cup form at Arsenal.

Following Thursday’s 3-0 Europa League win against Qarabag FK in Baku, Unai Emery had dismissed the fatigue factor and the lack of proper rest in-between that game at this trip to Fulham. The Cottagers sensed a vulnerable Arsenal and Luciano Vietto forced Bernd Leno into an early save, and that got the visitors full attention. Just on the half hour mark and Arsenal’s sharp passing  and movement saw Nacho Monreal cross which found Lacazette. The France striker controlled the ball with his left foot before turning sharply to fire low past Bettinelli. Fulham levelled just before the break when Monreal’s pass out was seized on and Kevin Schurrle raced onto Vietto’s pass to chip Leno to make it 1-1 at the break.

Four minutes after the re-start and Arsenal re-took the lead. Moments earlier however Bellerin produced a great shot which seemed destined for the top corner until the full stretch of Bettenilli enabled him to palm away. From a Fulham throw in, Welbeck hustled to win back possession and from 20 yards out, Lacazette fired in with a low power drive for his second of the afternoon and to make it 2-1 to the Arsenal. Ramsey’s wonder then goal gave Arsenal a two goal cushion, and then it was over to Aubameyang.

The Gabon striker didn’t travel to Azerbaijan and was named as a substitute here. On 79 minutes, he took Bellerin’s pass from the right and from ten yards out and with his back to goal, controlled the ball with his right foot before spinning to unleash past Bettinelli for Arsenal’s fourth goal.

He wasn’t finished there either. In time added on, Aubameyang raced onto Ramey’s pass to fire into Bettinelli’s net to round off a fine away Arsenal performance. That last Aubameyang  goal and Ramsey’s earlier goal created a bit of Premier League history.  It was the first time two substitutes had registered a goal and an assist in the same game in the Premier League.

With a nine game winning run, six of which have been in the Premier League, Emery praised his main strike pairing.

“It is one process, to know better after training, after every match, after every decision, how we are better on the pitch, between the players, in our tactical system and impose our timing on the pitch in possession with the ball. Today is the first we played more clearly 4-4-2 with Danny and Lacazette first, and then Laca with Auba. Then Aaron is like a 10 player, but he can play near the attack and he can score or do an assist like today.”

The midfield pairing of Granit Xhaka and Torrira has stabilised, and despite the emergence of Matteo Guendouzi, Emery may prefer the pairing. Xhaka has now played four Premier League games without picking up a yellow card, while Torreira gives Arsenal that midfield bite so sorely missing in the latter years under Arsene Wenger.

Emery praised the growing Torreira influence on the Gunners.

“He’s very young, it’s his first season here at this level but he was playing in Italy which is a very hard competition also. He is playing also with his national team, against big teams. And here, I think with his process he’s doing very well. The first is his humility to work every day, to listen, to learn. He is playing today in the middle, then right in the 4-4-2 and his performance is the same. I think his career is just starting and we want to do it with him, he can do it with us, giving us and giving him the best performances at the best level.”

Arsenal are next in action after the international break with the hosting Leicester City in the Premier League on Monday 22nd October, where Emery will be looking to register a double figure match winning tally.