The remaining 100% record in this season’s Premier League was preserved as Arsenal came from a goal behind to register a 2-1 win over Fulham at the Emirates Stadium this evening.
Heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures the Gunners were three for three and were seeking to make it four straight victories. With five minutes to play it looked as if they’d surrendered top spot to defending champions Manchester City, both were level on points (10) with Brighton & Hove Albion.
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How they got there was through a momentary lapse of concentration from Gabriel saw Aleksandar Mitrovic pick his pocket to register a 100th goal for the Cottagers, but Mikel Arteta’s men responded via skipper Martin Ødegaard, his third goal of the 2022/23 campaign. Leading from the front, Ødegaard is now four away from matching last season’s total.
Going back to Mitrovic he’s now bagged four goals for the newly-promoted Londoners, with half of those coming in an opening day 2-2 draw with Liverpool, and the other being a late winner against Brentford leading to ‘Mitro’ cheekily revealing that he is their leading marksman Ivan Toney’s hero. “Everybody has idols,” he said after that 3-2 success. “He used to play with me in Newcastle and he was my boy. My idol was (Alan) Shearer and I am probably his idol.”
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Bernd Leno, back at his former stomping ground, was playing a crucial role in seemingly earning a point for Marco Silva’s side while fellow summer recruit João Palhinha was a nuisance in midfield having attempted five tackles bringing his overall tally for the season to 18 which is more than any Premier League player to date. But their good work came undone in the final stages when Gabriel redeemed himself. No defender has scored more English top division goals since the start of last season than him (tied on six with Reece James).
But the real story here was Arsenal’s fighting spirit. Much has been written about this newlook team who could very well be made of the right stuff. Prior to today, Arsenal had earned just four points from losing positions since the start of last season – the joint-lowest total in the league. Next up is a visit from Aston Villa, the North Londoners head into that fixture with nine more points under their belt compared to this stage last season. It’s also been 18 years since they began a Premier League season with five wins on the bounce.