Arsenal

How Fulham rallied to beat Arsenal 2-1, denting their Premier League title hopes

Fulham handed Arsenal a second straight loss after goals from Raúl Jiménez and Bobby De Cordova-Reid overturned an early deficit at Craven Cottage

That win will calm any fears at Fulham of getting dragged into something unsavoury. It’s now a nine-point buffer to the bottom three and in truth, they look too good to seriously get sucked into that battle, providing everyone stays fit and signed up.

The promoted trio finish the year in the bottom three, while it’s worth a quick reminder that Everton’s 10-point deduction is still being appealed.

So it’s Liverpool who lead the Premier League heading into 2024, and with the first game of the New Year too, when they host Newcastle tomorrow (Monday).

From top at Christmas Day, Arsenal could be 3pts behind Manchester City if they win their game in hand. They sit fourth, only a point ahead of Spurs.

It’s tight at the top.

Mikel Arteta spoke to BBC Sport after Arsenal’s loss: “Really tough day. A sad day. Three days ago we played a game we lost that we completely meant to win it. Today was our worst game of the season. The pace, the purpose we have in attack, defensively we were second best, we could not dominate and had issues because of that.

“We didn’t do enough with that (possession), not enough purpose, speed or threat. We were sloppy with the ball. It wasn’t good enough. We didn’t deserve to win. When you have opportunities to go top of the league on December 31 and now end up with a really bad feeling, that is football. The lines are really thin.

“If we play like we played in the other 19 games we will be up there (in the title race). If we play like today we will be nowhere near. Today was a really difficult day to swallow.”

Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s winner in the 59th minute was his fourth Premier League goal of the season, coming in his 18th appearance.

That matches his total for the whole of last season, in which he made 36 appearances.

What went wrong for Arsenal? Or maybe it’s what’s still going wrong. Declan Rice had a glum face as he was speaking to Sky Sports, and they were hard questions to answer:

Having only lost two of their opening 18 Premier League games this season (W12 D4), Arsenal have since lost two straight.

It’s just the second time since the start of last season that they have suffered back-to-back league defeats.

Boddy Decordova-Reid was the match-winner and speaking to Sky Sports, it’s clear Fulham knew what they were doing today:

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