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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Craven Cottage

Trossard earns Arteta plaudits, Silva slams his side for feeble first half : Post-match reactions

Mikel Arteta praised January signing Leandro Trossard for the 'football intelligence' which set up all three goals for Arsenal in Sunday's 3-0 victory at Fulham.

The Belgian winger was outstanding during a one-sided first-half which saw the Gunners regain their five-point advantage over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

His assists and overall play were a key factor in an afternoon that proved far more comfortable than last week's nerve-shredding triumph over Bournemouth and his boss could not have been more delighted.

"When we talk about composure and finding the right pass, and looking for the right colour in the box when it's very blurry and a lot of players make wrong decisions, he's the opposite," Arteta said.

"He created three goals and he could have scored two. I think he was really impressive.

"Not only that, he was injured a few days ago and he could have taken another week or 10 days and he was really willing to come back early. We needed him today and his contribution was superb.

"His football intelligence is really clever - to understand straight away what is required, what is his role, and he executed it really well."

Arteta had another big reason to celebrate his 100th win as Gunners boss with the return off the bench of Gabriel Jesus.

"It's a big boost, this first step today," the Spaniard said. "We didn't know whether it was the right game for him today but a few days ago he said to me 'I'm ready.' He looked free and generated too big chances straight away. and it's great to have him back."

In contrast to that satisfaction, Fulham boss Marco Silva had far less cause to look back fondly on the afternoon, blasting his team for their limp opening half.

"In the first half we were on the pitch....but in some moments it looked as if we weren't," said the Whites' boss.

"Too soft. Not brave enough. Off the ball completely not aggressive and you left them to play the way that they wanted. And in some moments we didn't even disturb them 50 per cent that we should have done.

"When you play, not just against top sides, but in the Premier League, doing these type of situations, things come all against you, and that's what happened first half.

"Second half was different. We were more frequent in our attacks, created more chances and we were more brave and aggressive in some moments. At least we expressed ourselves more on the pitch.

"First thing I said at half time is that we have to wake up, because if you don't wake up it will be even worse. It was the worst performance in one half that we made [this season]."

Silva did not lay the blame on the absence of the suspended Joao Palhinha, or the injured Willian, who suffered hamstring and back problems which ruled him out at the last minute.

"We had all the players and the capacity to do much better than we did," he said.


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