Arsenal v Fulham player ratings

Fulham showed plenty of fighting spirit but eventually succumbed to the Premier League leaders. Here’s how we rated the players in their 2-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Maarten Stekelenburg: 7
Produced good saves to delay Arsenal getting in front, particularly when denying Bacary Sagna and Serge Gnabry.

Sascha Riether: 7
Had a solid game at right-back but was badly positioned in the build-up to Arsenal’s second goal. That lapse aside, he did well.

Brede Hangeland: 7
Outstanding in the first half, marshalling an under-pressure defence and saving the day with a number of excellent challenges, showing how much he’s been missed while sidelined. Was given the runaround in the second half as Arsenal took control. Perhaps his lack of match fitness following his recent injury lay-off caught up with him.

Dan Burn: 7
A tough Premier League debut for the centre-back but he can feel proud of his display. Reads the game well despite his relative lack of experience and is quick once he gets into his stride.

Kieran Richardson: 7
Hardly able to get forward at all but showed he is capable of doing a solid job at the back.

Ashkan Dejagah: 7
Occasionally a threat on the counter-attack but most of his best work came in his own half, where he offered excellent cover for Riether down the right-hand side.

Steve Sidwell: 8
Had an excellent game against his former club. He passed the ball well, closed down brilliantly and almost scored with a cracking volley.

Scott Parker: 7
Also had an effective game in midfield, where Fulham needed to have some success in order to avoid being overrun by a slick Arsenal side. Sidwell and Parker made sure the visitors were in the game well into the second half.

Alexander Kacaniklic: 7
The young Swede missed a decent chance but had a good game overall. Full of running, especially off the ball, and willing to put a foot in when needed.

Clint Dempsey: 5
A disappointing afternoon for the American, who struggled to get into the game in his first league appearance since rejoining Fulham on loan from Seattle Sounders.

Dimitar Berbatov: 7
His representatives have been quick to talk up potential interest from Arsenal, and Berbatov certainly showed Gunners boss Arsene Wenger what he is capable of. His touch and link-up play was top-class, especially in the first half. Constantly looked to make things happen and his movement gave Arsenal problems.

Darren Bent: 5
Struggled to get info the game after coming on and when a chance did come his way he made a mess of it.

The Gunners continue to answer the critics who argue they won’t last the course in the title race. They showed great persistence against a team that frustrated them for long spells, and the all-important opener was a beauty, with Santi Cazorla finishing off a lovely move – the first of his two fine goals.

Man of the match: Cazorla

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