Three talking points from the Fulham vs Arsenal game as the Gunners started their Premier League campaign with a grand victory
Arsenal kick-started their 2020/21 Premier League campaign with a thumping victory against Scott Parker’s Fulham side. The Whites hosted the 2019/20 FA Cup winners at the Craven Cottage in London, however, the newly promoted Championship side were no match against the Gunners.
Mikel Arteta and his men started their Premier League campaign with an unfortunately long list of injuries in the senior squad. David Luiz, Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli, Calum Chambers, and Shkodran Mustafi were all ruled out from the fixture due to their respective injuries.
Nonetheless, the north London side fielded their usual 3-4-3 formation that featured two debutants. Willian and Gabriel were given their first start in their debut itself. Arteta also opted to play Mohamed Elneny as well instead of Dani Ceballos whose loan extension was recently granted by the Spanish champions, Real Madrid.
Despite the few changes and two debutants on the field, Arsenal managed to finish the game with three goals to the good along with a clean sheet. Here are the talking points.
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A POOR PERFORMANCE FROM MAITLAND NILES
Ainsley Maitland-Niles was handed a start ahead of Buykayo Saka that was quite surprising. The current rumours state that Niles has considered a move out of the Emirates Stadium in search of more game-time. However, after being handed a place in the starting eleven, the England international failed to leave a mark. Niles was often caught out of position in the first half as the left-wing-back was rushing forward to support the attack which left the entire left flank vulnerable.
The player’s passing was quite poor as well after completing the game with just a 73% success rate with zero chances created despite being handed in an attacking role in the side. A poor game against Fulham might be the nail in the coffin for Niles and his chances of being handed more opportunities.