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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 January 2008, 16:55 GMT
Fulham 0-3 Arsenal
By Ian Hughes

Emmanuel Adebayor
Adebayor proved too much for Fulham to handle
Two Emmanuel Adebayor headers and a Tomas Rosicky volley ensured Arsenal stayed level on points with Manchester United at the top of the table.

Adebayor nodded Gael Clichy's left-wing cross into the right corner on 19 minutes to put Arsenal ahead.

The Togo striker used his height advantage just before the break to steer home Alexander Hleb's cross.

Rosicky hit the post from six yards just after half-time but volleyed in Eduardo da Silva's cross on 81 minutes.

Initially it seemed second-from-bottom Fulham were up for the fight as they scrapped and harried and held their own, keeping their shape well to contain Arsenal.

But Fulham were powerless to prevent Adebayor opening the scoring as he rose above the defence to head Clichy's cross precisely into the right corner.


Arsenal's fluid one and two-touch passing bewildered their opponents and damage limitation already appeared to be the order of the day for Fulham, as they defended deep and in numbers.

That gave Arsenal total freedom to stroke the ball around but surprisingly they unwisely tried to play through the massed ranks in the middle.

Two tame Cesc Fabregas shots and a too-high Adebayor volley were all Arsenal had to show for their dominance.

Until, that is, Arsenal went wide as Hleb floated over a pin-point cross from the right for Adebayor to power home a header past a helpless Antti Niemi.

Fulham might have reduced the deficit before the break as a decent Simon Davies run ended in a chance for Danny Murphy, but he steered his shot over from the edge of the box.

Four minutes after the restart Eduardo beat three men before pulling the ball back for Rosicky to thump a shot against the post.

Arsenal then eased into a steady rhythm, content to maintain their lead rather than increase it.

Against better quality opposition that may have been a dangerous tactic but Fulham failed to threaten and looked bereft of ideas and belief.

Arsenal nearly added a third when Fabregas poked a shot wide after excellent play by Hleb.

But the Gunners finally got that third goal when Rosicky volleyed smartly into the bottom right corner from Eduardo's centre.

  • Fulham boss Roy Hodgson:
    "We had a bright start but still came in two goals down at half-time and were suddenly facing a mammoth task.

    "It was a bit unfortunate that the first good cross that came in put us a goal down.

    "Confidence is not high when you're not winning matches and it's difficult when you're facing a team as skilful and good at keeping the ball as Arsenal.

    "We kept at our task and didn't throw in the towel but we didn't threaten them nearly enough and it was a comfortable victory for them."

  • Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: 
    "We did not give many chances away and scored three goals away from home.

    "The way we played was an excellent response to our performance last week when we drew 1-1 against Birmingham.

    "It shows how much the team is up for it and in the second half we controlled the game and there was more in the locker if needed."

    Fulham: Niemi, Volz, Hughes, Stefanovic, Bocanegra, Ki-Hyeon (Healy 61), Smertin (Kuqi 78), Davis (Bullard 46), Murphy, Davies, Dempsey.
    Subs Not Used: Warner, Baird.

    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Senderos, Gallas, Clichy, Hleb, Flamini, Fabregas, Rosicky, Adebayor, Eduardo.
    Subs Not Used: Lehmann, Diaby, Silva, Bendtner, Justin Hoyte.

    Booked: Clichy.

    Goals: Adebayor 19, 38, Rosicky 81.

    Att: 25,297

    Ref: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

    BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor 8.85 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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