Alan Shearer reckons Arsenal got away with one in their win over Fulham on Sunday, and Ian Wright explained how Mikel Arteta’s tactical nous paid dividends.
The Gunners went five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 3-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Gabriel Magalhaes gave Arteta’s side the lead, before Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard put the result beyond doubt, but both Shearer and Wright believe Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno was impeded by Ben White.
“I think there is an argument to protect the goalkeeper here,” said Shearer. “Leno can’t come for that ball because Ben White is blocking him.
“By the time, Ben White has stopped blocking him, the ball is actually in the six-yard box, so he has made his mind up. He still can’t come. By the time Ben White leaves him, he can’t punch for the ball. Leno is forced into that position he can’t come to it because he is being blocked there.”
Leno was Arsenal’s No.1 before he was usurped by Aaron Ramsdale, and moved to Fulham as a result in the summer.
And Wright believes Arteta’s prior knowledge of Leno, and his lack of ability to collect crosses, was key to the tactic used by Arsenal.
Wright responded: “What you also have to understand is how much they know Bernd Leno. I think it’s one of his weaknesses for Arsenal was not coming (for crosses). He has kind of impeded him there. I can’t lie.
“But they know, once the ball is in a good area, then he’s not coming any further than that. They have used their knowledge of Leno very well. Ben White isn’t holding him. He is impeding him – we saw this so many times at Arsenal, he doesn’t come.”
Leandro Trossard was the star of the show for Arsenal, assisting all three first half goals, and Shearer was impressed by the “chaos” he caused.
“He’s (Trossard) causing chaos down the left-hand side, in fact, Arsenal are causing chaos all over the pitch,” said Shearer.
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