Arsenal vs Fulham: Instant Reaction
Not to plan
Headline: That was not the plan
I am still in some shock right now as I write this.
It’s never good when a team concedes in the opening minute and it absolutely threw the plan for both teams into the trash.
It made Arsenal play the next 20 minutes with there hair on fire and a bit too much pressing to try and get things back on track to where it almost left them out of control. The play was uncharacteristically sloppy and it took a good 30 minutes for the team to settle down and look “normal.”
Arsenal created a fair few chances in the first half with the best falling to Bukayo Saka (even tho the Kai Havertz chance was higher xG in my model it was not as clear and much harder than the rating in my view) who couldn’t make the right contact with his header.
The start of the second half was nervy and lacked some incisive play in the final third, the introduction of Zinchenko, and Vieira looked to really change the game for Arsenal with the threat really ramping up.
The concerning thing again for me was that Fulham seemed to be able to swing the momentum a little too easily after the goal. After the red card that should have been game over, my in-game win probability jumped to 93% after that and it should have been death by a thousand passes.
Things did not go to plan at all and Arsenal paid the price. Thankfully not the ultimate price, I still can’t believe Adama Traoré turned down the chance to draw a penalty when he had William Saliba one on one and committed on the ground in the box but I am thankful he did because they would have been the end of me.
It is a bad result but given everything but I don’t know how much we will have learned from this match.
Stock Rising: Fabio Vieira
When Vieira came on, I wrote down this is a BIG call from Mikel Arteta. He took off one of the big signings of the summer for a player who hadn’t fully impressed and had a lot of questions about him.
In this match, he impressed.
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