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1 vs 3
Played
August 24, 2013 12:45 PM BST
Craven Cottage — London
Referee:‬ H. Webb‎
Attendance:‬ 25622‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Fulham 1-3 Arsenal

Lukas Podolski put the Cottagers to the sword with two fine strikes from 20 yards after Olivier Giroud had opened the scoring at a sodden Craven Cottage, while Santi Cazorla shone

By Jay Jaffa

  • David Stockdale
    18
    33
    2.50

    David Stockdale

    Made a good early stop to deny Walcott from close range but was wrong-footed for the goal and could do little to prevent Giroud tucking the ball past him. Parried well on the second but was given no chance with the rebound. Made a series of late saves but was well beaten by Podolski's second.

  • John Arne Riise
    17
    58
    2.00

    John Arne Riise Flop of the Match

    Started promisingly before becoming a general nuisance in the attacking third, wasting a number of chances. His defensive work is always called into question and he was lucky to escape a booking for a foul on Walcott.

  • Brede Hangeland
    8
    36
    2.50

    Brede Hangeland

    Susceptible to pace and often found himself exposed to Arsenal counter-attacks - the second goal being a prime example. Pushed back too deep in a tough 90 minutes.

  • Aaron Hughes
    7
    35
    2.50

    Aaron Hughes

    Stood firm when he could alongside Hangeland but Arsenal's movement often had the Fulham backline in a daze. Made an important late block to prevent a fourth goal but a difficult day.

  • Sascha Riether
    24
    27
    3.00

    Sascha Riether

    Made a couple of surges forward but delivered his best work in his own half, with a number of telling challenges. More than a one-trick pony, his vision for Fulham's goal deserves saluting as he clipped a cute ball into Berbatov rather than crossing.

  • Steve Sidwell
    4
    39
    2.50

    Steve Sidwell

    Alongside Parker, got stuck in well but his passing was a little pragmatic and Fulham occasionally got bogged down in midfield.

  • Pajtim Kasami
    16
    34
    2.50

    Pajtim Kasami

    Hit a free kick through the wall that looked to have deflected off a hand. Otherwise he started busily before fading in a role just off Berbatov. Shunted to the right before being pushed back inside following the flurry of substitutions. Dragged a great chance wide in an up-and-down 90 minutes.

  • Damien Duff
    6
    44
    2.00

    Damien Duff

    Had a very quiet game on the right. Ran hard but had little joy. Replaced on the hour by Darren Bent.

  • Adel Taarabt
    43
    23
    3.00

    Adel Taarabt

    Played off the left and was often Fulham's dangerman. Occasionally wasteful but that's the nature of his game. Forced Szczesny into an excellent low save but faded. Replaced by Kacaniklic.

  • Scott Parker
    28
    38
    2.50

    Scott Parker

    Made his debut for Fulham but was given a tough ride up against Cazorla. Made a couple of notable challenges and did what he could but was often overrun. Missed a good chance in the first 45, placing his effort over the bar and was booked for a crude challenge on Cazorla. Difficult debut but more to come.

  • Dimitar Berbatov
    42
    40
    2.50

    Dimitar Berbatov

    Looked extremely frustrated, as is his default, but provided a sublime lay-off for Parker's missed chance. Got in a tangle with Sagna and perhaps could have been cautioned for an elbow on the Frenchman. His cross/shot led to Bent's goal but this wasn't his finest outing.

Substitutions

  • Alexander Kacaniklic
    12
    31
    2.50

    Alexander Kacaniklic

    Brought on shortly after Bent for Taarabt but struggled to make much of an impact as Arsenal closed shop.

  • Giorgos Karagounis
    31
    31
    2.50

    Giorgos Karagounis

    Late sub and tried to press forward but was often crowded out in the middle of the park. Hard to make an impact in this situation.

  • Darren Bent
    47
    22
    3.00

    Darren Bent

    Came on with half an hour left to make his Fulham debut and popped up with a goal, tapping in from a couple of yards.

  • Wojciech Szczesny
    245
    22
    3.50

    Wojciech Szczesny

    Made a fine double save just after the opener to keep Arsenal in front and generally looked solid. Tipped a Taarabt effort behind right after half-time before having a quiet spell. Did his best to repel Berbatov but his touch on the Bulgarian's cross wasn't enough to divert it away from Bent who tucked home.

  • Bacary Sagna
    228
    13
    3.00

    Bacary Sagna

    Did well at centre-back up against Berbatov. Was caught a couple of times by the Bulgarian but remained composed and covered Mertesacker well in behind.

  • Per Mertesacker
    209
    17
    3.00

    Per Mertesacker

    Captained the side and looked imperious, rarely flustered and used the ball well. Was beaten by Berbatov's movement for the Fulham goal but was in control otherwise.

  • Carl Jenkinson
    152
    38
    3.00

    Carl Jenkinson

    Roamed forward well in the first half and was a constant threat up against Riise. Had a good 90 minutes on the right - a very able deputy to Sagna.

  • Kieran Gibbs
    208
    12
    3.50

    Kieran Gibbs

    Seemed wary of Riether's threat and was more reserved than in Turkey midweek. That said, had a good chance on the break that he dragged wide of the far post and gradually pushed on, joining Arsenal counter-attacks when he could. Looks an accomplished left-back when fully fit and confident.

  • Tomas Rosicky
    212
    18
    3.00

    Tomas Rosicky

    Showed great vision clipping a ball over the top to Walcott and generally looked to keep Arsenal ticking over. Kept the ball well throughout before exiting for Wilshere.

  • Aaron Ramsey
    253
    21
    3.50

    Aaron Ramsey

    Booked in a first half that saw him also assist Giroud's opener, as his low, speculative shot found its way to the Frenchman. Continued his form, dictating matters in the middle of the park. Growing in stature in this Arsenal team.

  • Santi Cazorla
    375
    16
    4.00

    Santi Cazorla Top of the Match

    A sodden pitch plus Cazorla's feet were always going to cause Scott Parker & Co. problems. The Spaniard engineered a number of long-range strikes in a half that oozed quality before delivering the telling pass for Arsenal's third. A joy to watch on this form.

  • Lukas Podolski
    377
    13
    4.00

    Lukas Podolski

    Made his first goal look easy, slamming a first time shot from the edge of the box through a crowd to double the Gunners' lead. Wasted a great chance, crossing low instead of trusting his left foot and striking at goal. Learnt his lesson, though, smashing a third Arsenal goal from the left beyond Stockdale. Subbed late on for Sanogo.

  • Olivier Giroud
    260
    16
    3.50

    Olivier Giroud

    Made it three in three, though a tad fortunately. The Frenchman tried to hurdle Ramsey's shot but inadvertently took it in his stride before poking past Stockdale. Led the line well, pinning back Hangeland and Hughes and instigated the move for the third with a fine touch in the build-up. Subbed for Monreal.

  • Theo Walcott
    189
    35
    3.00

    Theo Walcott

    Missed the first clear chance of the first half, firing at Stockdale when played in on goal. Had a hand in the second, firing powerfully across Stockdale but was a little quiet overall. Had a late chance to get his name on the scoresheet but struck his first time shot at Stockdale again.

Substitutions

  • Monreal
    143
    20
    3.00

    Monreal

    Came on with 20 to go for Giroud and went about his business tidily.

  • Jack Wilshere
    157
    40
    2.50

    Jack Wilshere

    Entered the game for Rosicky and was promptly booked. Had one telling strike from range that was well blocked by Hughes and embarked on a hallmark run at the heart of the Fulham defence.

  • Yaya Sanogo
    105
    63

    Yaya Sanogo

    Came on late in the day for Podolski but had little impact.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0