Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press
Arsenal grabbed their sixth Premier League win in a row on Sunday with a 5-1 triumph over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged a brace each in the dominant performance.
The Frenchman opened the scoring but Andre Schurrle hit back shortly before half-time. Lacazette was on point again early in the second half, and Aaron Ramsey and Aubameyang secured the win.
The Gunners continue to rise up the standings and will keep a close eye on Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, who will all be in action later on Sunday.
Lacazette-Iwobi Partnership Has to Continue After International Break
Lacazette bagged a brace on Sunday but Iwobi was the standout, drawing plenty of praise for his excellent movement and the constant threat that came whenever he had the ball at his feet.
As noted by sportswriter James Benge, the away fans isolated the youngster with their praise:
James Benge @jamesbenge
Away fans chanting “oh Alex Iwobi” in unision, couldn’t have imagined that last season.
He and Torreira have been Arsenal’s best player… and now Torreira is down with an injury.
The 22-year-old has received a few opportunities to flash his ability this season, with many of his minutes coming in the UEFA Europa League. With Aubameyang at less than 100 percent and Mesut Ozil out of the squad, he was handed a start on Sunday.
Iwobi made the most of his chance and combined well with the in-form Lacazette, forming an excellent partnership. The latter has been in red-hot form of late:
Ozil and Aubameyang will and should return to the starting XI after the international break but Arsenal manager Unai Emery has to find a way to keep Iwobi involved.
He’s been one of the breakout performers of the season so far and offers an entirely different dynamic from Ramsey, who has cooled down a bit after a hot start. He did get a fantastic goal on Sunday, however.
The Nigerian loves to use his trickery out wide and his inclusion into the starting XI would allow Ozil far more space in a central role. It’s a switch Emery has to consider more often in the future.
Emery Needs to Address Full-Back Position in January
Arsenal entered half-time tied with the Cottagers due to a defensive error from Nacho Monreal, who all but gifted the hosts a goal with a terrible clearance:
Charles Watts @charles_watts
Right on half-time. Poor clearance from Monreal, Fulham break and Schurrle scores. Arsenal shoot themselves in the foot. 1-1
It was but the latest example of Arsenal’s frequent struggles at the full-back position. It’s usually Hector Bellerin who receives the bulk of the criticism, but the 32-year-old Monreal also hasn’t been at his best at times this year and is starting to show signs of his age.
The Gunners invested in Stephan Lichtsteiner this summer but he was never meant to be a big part of the puzzle as a veteran free agent. Sead Kolasinac is also part of the mix when healthy, but like all of the others, he has had his struggles.
Full-backs are crucial in the modern game and clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester City have built their teams around the attacking impulses of theirs. Arsenal can’t continue to rely on an ageing veteran like Monreal and a former top prospect like Bellerin, who has never taken the next step in his development.
Arsenal host Leicester City after the international break, while Fulham visit Cardiff City.