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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 March 2006, 16:54 GMT
Fulham 0-4 Arsenal
Arsenal's Thierry Henry
Arsenal's Thierry Henry is congratulated by his team mates
Arsenal prepared for Real Madrid's visit in the Champions League in fine style, cruising past sorry Fulham at Craven Cottage.

They missed a host of chances before Thierry Henry beat Tony Warner at his near post and Emmanuel Adebayor steered home a second shortly afterwards.

Henry tucked in a Freddie Ljungberg pass to make it three with 12 minutes to go.

And Cesc Fabregas finished a Mathieu Flamini cross for a fourth late on.

The Gunners never really looked in danger of falling to their ninth away defeat of the season and it soon became apparent the Fulham defence was there to be unlocked.

Fulham generated little to inspire confidence among the Craven Cottage regulars.

Had it not been for an uncharacteristic piece of miscontrol from Henry when straight through and a couple of last-ditch tackles from Zat Knight, their goal would have been penetrated long before the 31st minute.

Vassiriki Diaby, who impressed in the heart of the Arsenal midfield, knocked the ball through to Henry and the Frenchman was not going to make another mistake, although Tony Warner will have been disappointed to have been beaten at his near post.

From that moment, they were in complete control and a second just four minutes later killed the game and precipitated an attacking masterclass from the Gunners.

This time, Freddie Ljungberg played a perfect ball through to Adebayor, who slipped it past Warner before the Fulham keeper could move into a position where he could possibly save an effort.

Knight and Moritz Volz had a heated argument containing some pushing and shoving as the teams went to the changing rooms at half-time, and they might have reflected that, as Henry stepped in to split them up, it was the nearest they got to the Frenchman all afternoon.

It certainly didn't improve for the home side after the break as the Gunners created chance after chance.

Adebayor somehow managed to knock the ball wide when Henry presented him with the simplest of opportunities and Warner had to react smartly to deny both Ljungberg and Alex Hleb.

Ljungberg showed some neat footwork to create a chance for himself but Warner blocked his way again while, finally, Fulham offered something to trouble to Gunners, when Jens Lehmann had to dive to his left to save Steed Malbranque's long-range effort.

However, the third goal arrived with 12 minutes left when Ljungberg played Henry through and he steered the ball across Warner and into the corner.

To help reflect the dominance Arsenal enjoyed, Fabregas got on the end of Flamini's cross to increase the lead further with four minutes to go.

  • Fulham manager Chris Coleman:
    "It was the worst performance we have had at home this season but that was the best display from an Arsenal team against us.

    "Thierry Henry put in one of the best performances I have ever seen and they sent out a warning sign to everybody else.

    "We have got no complaints because we were poor on the day. We didn't create any chances and they looked like scoring every time they came forward."

  • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:
    "I feel the team is developing well and we will gain some confidence but we need to be consistent.

    "We have shown a lot of mental strength recently and that is very encouraging.

    "Thierry was immense but I think the whole team played very well."

    Fulham: Warner, Volz, Knight, Goma, Rosenior, Radzinski, Elliott, Malbranque, Boa Morte, Helguson (John 61), McBride.
    Subs Not Used: Crossley, Bocanegra, Elrich, Niclas Jensen.

    Arsenal: Lehmann, Eboue, Toure, Senderos, Flamini, Ljungberg, Diaby, Silva, Hleb (Fabregas 79), Adebayor (Bergkamp 72), Henry (Reyes 84).
    Subs Not Used: Poom, Djourou.

    Booked: Diaby.

    Goals: Henry 31, Adebayor 35, Henry 77, Fabregas 86.

    Att: 22,397

    Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).

    Interview: Arsenal captain Thierry Henry

    Interview: Fulham manager Chris Coleman

    Interview: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

    Saturday's football photos
    04 Mar 06 |  Photo Galleries


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