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Home7/10 Martinelli, Ceballos the bright spots; Rest get 6.5 or less
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7/10 Martinelli, Ceballos the bright spots; Rest get 6.5 or less

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Eddie Nketiah scored deep into stoppage time to help Arsenal eke out a 1-1 draw against London rivals Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.

Arsenal made a bright start to the game with Gabriel Martinelli seeing an effort go just wide and having another saved within seven minutes. Fulham hardly threatened going forward apart from a deflected effort from Josh Maja that went narrowly wide. The Gunners seemed to have broken the deadlock in the 40th minute through Dani Ceballos after a wonderfully worked team move, but the goal was chalked off for offside in the buildup.

The home team began strongly after the break as well, with Alexandre Lacazette missing narrowly However, the failure to make these chances count came to bite Arsenal back in the 59th minute as Fulham were awarded a penalty for a foul on Mario Lemina by Gabriel Magalhaes and Josh Maja made no mistake from the spot.

Arsenal pushed for an equaliser but apart from an effort from Nicolas Pepe that was brilliantly saved by Alphonse Areola, weren’t able to find a way through as Fulham held firm. Martinelli did fashion another chance but Areola was up to the task again. However, in a dramatic finish to the encounter substitute Eddie Nketiah found the back of the net in the seventh and final minute of stoppage time to salvage a point for his side.

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It was a step down from Arsenal’s recent performances against Sheffield United and Slavia Prague and does little to keep their hopes of a top-six finish alive. Here’s how we rated the performances of Mikel Arteta’s men against the Cottagers on Sunday afternoon.

Mat Ryan: 6/10

Handed just his second start for Arsenal, the Australian wasn’t called into action much on the afternoon. Showed good command in his box when needed to. No chance with Maja’s penalty.

Hector Bellerin: 5.5/10

Getting the nod over Calum Chambers, the Spaniard endured a quiet outing. Didn’t get forward much, although it seemed more of a tactical decision by Arteta to have him move into midfield time and again. Did little of note apart from the chipped cross that Ceballos’ offside goal was scored from. Wasn’t always secure on the ball and made way for Pepe in the second half.

Rob Holding: 6/10

Another start for the Englishman, who again stood firm at the back. Wasn’t stretched a great deal by the visitors but still coped well with whatever came at him.

Gabriel Magalhaes: 4/10

Back into the lineup in place of Pablo Mari, the Brazilian did not look like someone who was trying to prove a point and earn his spot back. Rash moment in the second half gave away the penalty. Did make a couple of tackles and interceptions but the damage had been done by his challenge on Lemina.

Granit Xhaka: 6.5/10

Another game at left-back for the Switzerland international wherein he wasn’t tested a great defensively but did what was needed when Fulham did push upfield. His ability to play out accurate passes from the back does come in handy but lacked that bit of incisiveness on the afternoon.

Mohamed Elneny: 5.5/10

Getting the nod ahead of Thomas Partey, the Egyptian was his usual energetic self when not in possession. On the ball, though, the difference in quality was palpable as he slowed things down too often and wasn’t progressive enough.

Dani Ceballos: 7/10

Drifted out to the left constantly and his movement into the final third caused problems to the Fulham defence who weren’t always able to pick him up. Thought he had scored in the first half, only for the goal to get chalked off for offside in the buildup. Played a game-high three key passes and worked hard when not in possession as well. But influence waned as the game wore on.

Bukayo Saka: 6.5/10

Lively yet again but couldn’t produce that moment of magic needed to take Arsenal over the line. Nevertheless, caused Antonee Robinson problems with his movement, as he completed four dribbles and two key passes. His toe was adjudged to be offside by VAR ruling out Ceballos’ first-half goal. Could do with a rest.

Emile Smith Rowe: 5.5/10

A fairly uneventful outing compared to his display against Slavia Prague in midweek. There were bright moments of link-up with Saka at times but never really managed to impose himself on the proceedings. Did play in a couple of key passes but that didn’t lead to anything noteworthy.

Gabriel Martinelli: 7/10

Back-to-back league starts for the Brazilian and from the first minute, he looked the likeliest to make things happen for Arsenal. Missed narrowly in the opening minute then had a shot saved by Areola soon after. Created the chance for Pepe in the second half before having another effort saved in the dying stages of the game. Made two key passes, completed four dribbles and tracked back well too, when needed. A step in the right direction.

Alexandre Lacazette: 5/10

After two stunning displays, the Frenchman couldn’t make a mark on Sunday. Endured a rather quiet first half apart from the involvement in Ceballos’ chalked off goal. Had a shot miss narrowly in the second period before being taken off injured.

SUBSTITUTES

Thomas Partey: 6/10

On for Elneny in the 68th minute. Looked more purposeful on the ball than the man he replaced and was solid in his defensive duties.

Nicolas Pepe: 6/10

Replaced Bellerin in the 68th minute. Had a goal-bound effort brilliantly saved by Areola. Sloppy at times though.

Eddie Nketiah: 6.5/10

Came on for the injured Lacazette for the final twenty minutes. Anonymous for large parts but popped up late in the game to find the back of the net and salvage a point for his team which bumps up his rating.



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