Arsenal 2-0 Fulham: Cazorla's beautiful brace

Two beautiful second-half goals from a scintillating Santi Cazorla despatched Fulham, and the score might have even flattered the Cottagers a bit as there were goal-line clearances, brilliant saves, and dented woodwork as Arsenal peppered Stekelenburg all game. It was a stellar performance and one that comfortable keeps us in first for another few weeks (with FA Cup matches next weekend).

We’d been knocking on the door for most of the first half but couldn’t quite knock it down until the 57th minute, when a nifty sequence saw Cazorla tip-toe along the top of the box, pass in to Giroud who flicked deeper into to Wilshere, whose cut-back pass found Cazorla curling in. He drilled shot from the penalty-spot into the top corner, with defenders and Stekelenburg helpelessly watching the ball ping around the box. It wasn’t quite Norwich, but it was a thing of beauty all the same.

Five minutes later, it was Cazorla again, latching onto a poorly headed clearance and fizzing a shot from the top of the box, through Sidwell’s legs (that tosser) and catching Stekelenburg moving right. It was a fine perfromance from the diminutive Spaniard, a welcome return to form after slogging through recent matches, and a suggestion that, with Walcott out and some uncertainty about that right flank, the left-flank will be an area to look to.

And it wasn’t just Cazorla. When Podolski came on, he looked dangerously hungry and was unfortunate not to come away with a brace of his own. Coming on in the 70th minute for Gnabry, he almost immediately netted, drilling a pass from Wilshere, but an alert Stekelenburg managed to deflect it. Minutes later, Stekelenburg just barely got fingers to a thunderous shot, and Podolsk’s shot hammered the post. It was a vital signal of Podolski’s potential. Just as I was wondering if Cazorla’s performance might further push Podolski further down the bench and away from the action, he announced that he wasn’t going anywhere just, yet, thank you very much. He may not ever be a regular starter, but if he could content himself with a “super-sub” role, coming on in the 60th or 70th minute, be it for Cazorla or for Giroud, he might carve out an invaluable niche for himself.

Back to the match, it’s not as if Fulham were without their moments. Darren Bent came on and nearly added to his tally of of five goals in his four appearances against Arsenal, running onto a cross in the box only for Szczesny to attempt the save, knocking into Bent who then chased it down but couldn’t slot home into the empty net, due in part to Kos’s last-ditch tackle. Kasami took a well-struck spot-kick just outside the box on our left-side, and Szczesny let it squirm through his hands only to collect just before the on-rushing Clint Dempsey slid in.

An that’s all she wrote. Man City defeated Cardiff 4-1 to stay within a point, and we’ll see what Chelsea does tomorrow when Man U, still without Rooney or van Persie.

‘Til next time, thanks for your visit!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

4 thoughts on “Arsenal 2-0 Fulham: Cazorla's beautiful brace

  1. Anonymous

    A lethargic game that was finally broken open in second half when Arsenal realized they might lose or draw. All of that passing seems to force the defense closer and closer to the box and reduces options for scoring. The only interesting element in first half was watching Fulham gain possession past midfield or just outside their box and slowly but steadily finding themselves passing back and forth but eventually forced back closer to their own goal. Despite that, what was frightening was that Fulham had more and better opportunities to score than did Arsenal for much of the first half.As to other frightening moments: Giroud going down with ankle injury. He did get up and finish, but expect an announcement that he may not be fit for next match.Interesting that Monreal, who last week went down with what appeared to be severe leg injury was back and fit. How is it that Ramsey was not?PS Jon, your original MOTM, Jack W., did little to distinguish himself today nor did Podolski other than his one booming shot. On the other hand my picks Kos and Per were OK although Per sees to have regressed as he left too many Fulham pepole open for shots.Maybe, other than Cazorla, the MOTM should have been our goalie, not for the one leaping deflection, but for those occasions he came out and stopped opportunities with well-timed tackles or diving grabs. Too bad Suarez is a better-skilled diver and AV's goalie not as skillful or we might have gained yet another point over Liverpool

  2. Anonymous

    I've been arguing for us to concede possession in order to draw opposing teams out, especially when we end up pinning them back in their own third. Some teams, like Cardiff, keep 9-10 behind the ball as a strategy while others, like Fulham, get pushed back as we pass around their box. Drawing them out and hitting on a counter would be nice to see more often, if only as a change of pace. As to Giroud, the more he goes down like that, the better, as it continues to remind Arsene of our needs. There's talk now of Juve's Vucinic, but it's hardly thrilling stuff. 30 years old. Prone to disappearing for long stretches.I wonder if Ramsey has red-lined a bit and needs a longer spell to rest. Injuries aside, he's covered more ground than anyone else in the squad (I believe). That said, though, I was surprised to see Monreal in.I think Poldi showed enough to climb a few rungs higher in Arsene's estimation, but I think he'd be best as a sub coming on late. Aside from a poor pass at some point around the 88th minute, all of his touches were spot-on, and he looked very good.I'd have to disagree slightly on Szczesny. Although he came off his line very well, he was very nearly beaten by Bent (he should have done much better to claim the ball) and almost let Kasami's spot-kick, well-taken as it was, squirt in. So it goes. Let's hope that Man U-Chelsea goes the way of Liverpool-AV. I'm not yet convinced that we can rule Man U out of the picture, as far back as they currently are, and I'd prefer that neither they nor Chelsea take three points. A draw, in my mind, means that four points disappear–two for each club–and that's preferable over either club claiming three. without Rooney or RvP, though, it's hard to see Man U achieving much unless Mourinho plays not to lose.

  3. Anonymous

    I agree with you as to Chelsea-ManU. Too bad Liverpool got any points today. The fact that the rumor or gossip is now Vucinic and even that seems doomed as Juve want money and a sale and Arsene won't spend “needless” money.Why do I fear that they will buy or trade or obtain anyone and within three weeks or so Giroud will go down? I would love to see Arsene Wenger's pecking order and that he is “deking” all other clubs until he gets his man. sadly his past history haunts him, me, you and most Gunner fans.

  4. Anonymous

    Frankly, I want Giroud to go down. Nothing major, of course, just something that knocks him out for a week or two in order to force Arsene to do something (kind of like Gibbs's injury accelerating the Monreal move).


Leave a Reply