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Fulham stun Arsenal with 2-1 comeback victory at Craven Cottage

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Arsenal squandered an opportunity to end 2023 as Premier League leaders, succumbing to a 2-1 comeback defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage. 

The Gunners took an early lead when Bukayo Saka capitalized on Bernd Leno’s parry to convert Gabriel Martinelli’s rebound on five minutes.

However, Fulham responded strongly, with Raul Jimenez equalizing before halftime by guiding in Tom Cairney’s cross, marking his fourth goal in four matches. 

The momentum shifted further in Fulham’s favor when Bobby De Cordova-Reid netted from close range, exploiting Arsenal’s defensive lapse from a right-wing corner just shy of the hour mark.

Arsenal struggled to regain control in the second half, and Fulham nearly extended their lead as substitute Andreas Pereira struck the crossbar. 

Mikel Arteta expressed his disappointment, labeling it the “worst performance of the season” for Arsenal, who suffered their fourth league loss of the campaign.

Despite the setback, Arsenal maintains the fourth position, trailing leaders Liverpool by two points. 

Liverpool has an opportunity to widen the gap when they face Newcastle United on New Year’s Day. Fulham’s victory lifts them to 13th place, breaking a three-match league losing streak.

Looking ahead, both teams shift their focus to the FA Cup third round. Fulham is set to host Rotherham on Friday night, while Arsenal gears up for a high-stakes clash against Liverpool in what promises to be a highlight fixture next Sunday.

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