Arsenal had a chance to finish 2023 at the top of the league. A win at Fulham would see the Gunners overtake Liverpool on points. Arsenal could have started the year mentally fresh even if Liverpool had a game in hand.
But Fulham, who have lost three matches in a row, have given themselves a New Year’s gift before starting 2024. The London club brought smiles to the fans’ faces after defeating Arsenal 2-1 at home.
Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal the lead in the 5th minute of the match. But Raul Jimenez and Bobby de Córdova-Reid scored twice in both halves to give Fulham victory. After almost a year, the team won despite falling behind.
It is not that the team won against the game. Fulham won by playing well yesterday. Meanwhile, Arsenal lost 11 points in the last five matches. They lost the top spot in the league and now they are fourth. Even though they are level on points with third-placed Manchester City, City have one game in hand.
Coach Mikel Arteta is very disappointed, ‘very sad and difficult day. What happened today can never happen again. If I do that again, I won’t get a chance to do what I want to do. Today could have been a great day, finishing the year at the top of the league. We have to look in the mirror, because today’s performance was the worst of the season. There is no doubt about it.’
Arsenal took 30 shots despite losing to West Ham on Boxing Day. But Arsenal was behind in all aspects yesterday. Arteta admitted, ‘We deserved the win against West Ham. Today’s story is different. We weren’t very good. We didn’t have enough rhythm, didn’t have purpose, didn’t inspire enough fear.’