Fulham 1 Arsenal 5: Lacazette leads Gunners to ninth consecutive win

Arsenal moved up to third in the Premier League after seeing off Fulham at Craven Cottage, with Alexandre Lacazette twice on the scoresheet.

Alexandre Lacazette celebrates against Fulham   -  Getty Images

Arsenal made it nine wins in a row in all competitions as they thrashed Fulham 5-1 in the Premier League on Sunday. Alexandre Lacazette scored twice for the Gunners before Aaron Ramsey's brilliant finish and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's late double secured a third straight away win in the top flight – its best such run since October 2016.

Andre Schurrle had brought Fulham level at half time, but it is now five defeats in eight games for Slavisa Jokanovic's side, who have conceded 21 times in those matches this season.

Unai Emery's side, which has won every game since back-to-back losses to Manchester City and Chelsea in August, is now third in the table, above rival Tottenham on goal difference.

Maxime Le Marchand's timely interception denied Lacazette early on, but the France striker broke the deadlock against the run of play 29 minutes in, turning past Tim Ream and drilling home from six yards out, Nacho Monreal with the assist.

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Fulham's back three looked exposed with every Arsenal attack and only fine work from Marcus Bettinelli stopped Alex Iwobi tapping home a second, but it snatched an equaliser a minute before half-time, Schurrle clipping a fine first-time finish over Leno after a good Luciano Vietto pass.

Bettinelli made an excellent one-handed save to deny Hector Bellerin just after the break, but he was beaten in the bottom-left corner barely a minute later as Lacazette blasted home his second of the game on the half-volley.

Any hope of another Fulham comeback was quelled with 23 minutes left, as Ramsey, 39 seconds after coming on, flicked a backheel in off the post after a super counter-attack gave Aubameyang room to cross.

Aubameyang sealed the victory in style, collecting Bellerin's cross and firing left-footed beyond Bettinelli on the turn, before striding onto Ramsey's pass and drilling into the bottom-left corner in injury time.

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What it means: Emery's side has top spot in sight

It seemed unlikely after its back-to-back losses to City and Chelsea at the start of the season, but Arsenal is now only a point behind the champion and Liverpool, which meets at Anfield later on Sunday.

The Gunners is growing in confidence under Emery and is undoubtedly on track for a top-four challenge, while Lacazette's form comes as a major plus.

Fulham, meanwhile, is still without a clean sheet and has conceded more goals than any other side in the top flight. It is just two points above the bottom three, too.

Lacazette looking lethal

Lacazette is flying under Emery this season and scored with his first two shots on target of the match at Craven Cottage.

Aside from his goalscoring, the forward's all-round play was a real highlight for the Gunners, which is reaping the rewards of the striker's increasing confidence.

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Ream left reeling

Ream's first outing this season ended in a 3-0 loss to Everton, and this did not go any better for the United States defender.

He simply could not live with the pace of Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi and allowed Lacazette to turn in the box to score his first goal. He only lasted 54 minutes.

What's next?

Arsenal now has a 15-day rest before it resumes league duties at home to Leicester City on October 22, three days before it heads to Sporting CP in the Europa League.

Fulham's next outing is on October 20, when it travels to struggling Cardiff City in a game that looks even more important after both sides' losses this weekend.

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