Date:30th August 2022 at 7:00am
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Mikel Arteta was left impressed with Gabriel Magalhaes after the defender recovered from his setback to help Arsenal seal three points against Fulham.

THE LOWDOWN: TEST OF CHARACTER

It was far from a straightforward victory as Arsenal had to come from behind at the Emirates to snatch a victory over Fulham.

The Gunners came into the game with much confidence and were strongly expected to dispatch their London rivals. Mikel Arteta’s side were doing much of the talking but a lapse in concentration from Gabriel Magalhaes allowed Oleksandr Mitrovic to capitalize and give the visitors a second-half lead.

Captain Martin Odegaard soon levelled matters after he was fortunate to see his effort deflect past former Gunner, Bernd Leno, to make it 1-1. Villain soon turned hero as Gabriel was the quickest to react in the box after a corner kick to seal a comeback 2-1 win for the Gunners.

That result saw Arsenal claim a comeback victory after conceding the first goal in a Premier League match in the second half for the first time since December 2013. Arteta has now hailed his side’s fighting spirit and Gabriel Magalhaes in particular, who atoned for his initial blunder.

THE LATEST: REDEMPTION FOR GABRIEL

Arsenal claimed a convincing 3-0 win at Bournemouth last weekend but Mikel Arteta claimed the manner in which his side defeated Fulham left him even more pleased.

“I’m even happier than last week, I think the performance was top,” he said to the club’s website.

“I think from the start to finish we went for it, we had periods where we had complete control and dominance of the game and created many chances, many shots and many arrivals in the final third, but it wasn’t happening. It was just a matter of time and being patient and not making a mistake.

“We did make a mistake, but then the best thing I think is the way the team reacted and Gabi reacted against adversity to overcome the situation. Obviously, when you have the character and support that we have in the stadium, that’s easy to do.” 

Speaking on Gabriel Magalhaes, who had a mixed performance, the Spaniard added: “That’s down to how he is now as a professional, his mentality, how he looks after himself, and this can happen to any player. It’s about how you’re going to react to that and I love the mentality of the team and how much they were willing to win and overcome the situation, and we managed to do it.”

THE VERDICT: THREE POINTS WAS ALL THAT MATTERED

It was not the best performance against Fulham but it was enough to claim all three points, which was the all-important result. Even on days where the Gunners are not in full gear, the ability to grind out points will pretty much help a great deal in the course of the season.

While Gabriel had an error to forget, it was good to see him grab a goal for his confidence and hard work. That strike also shows what the defender can offer upfront, as he is the highest-scoring defender in the Premier League since the start of last season with six goals.

Arsenal did just enough to maintain their perfect record and another tricky test awaits in the form of Aston Villa on Wednesday.