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Arsenal’s title hopes dwindle as Arteta admits “worst performance” in 2-1 loss to Fulham

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In a disappointing turn of events for Arsenal, manager Mikel Arteta conceded that his team’s recent 2-1 defeat against Fulham marked their poorest performance of the season.

The setback dealt a severe blow to the Gunners’ aspirations for the Premier League title, leaving them trailing leaders Liverpool by two points, having played an extra game.

Arteta, usually one to find positives in challenging situations, offered no defense for his players this time. “We weren’t good enough,” he admitted. “This one you have to isolate because it’s the worst performance of the season.”

The lack of a clinical striker has been identified as a significant weakness in Arteta’s squad, potentially hindering their chances of clinching their first league title in two decades.

Additionally, Arsenal’s defensive struggles are evident, having kept just one clean sheet in eight games throughout December.

Despite mounting pressure, Arteta rejected suggestions of reinforcing the squad in the January transfer window. However, he issued a stern warning to his players, emphasizing that repeat performances like the one against Fulham could jeopardize their quest to dethrone Manchester City as champions.

“If we play like today, we will be nowhere near. Today was a really difficult day to swallow,” Arteta remarked.

Currently sitting in fourth place, Arsenal faces the possibility of dropping out of the Champions League places before their next Premier League fixture in three weeks’ time.

Fulham, on the other hand, celebrated a significant turnaround, securing three points after losing their previous three league games without scoring a goal.

The return of Raul Jimenez from suspension proved pivotal for Fulham, as he slotted home the equalizer after Bukayo Saka had given Arsenal an early lead. The decisive goal came just before the hour mark when Bobby De Cordova-Reid capitalized on Arsenal’s failure to clear a corner.

Fulham’s manager, Marco Silva, expressed satisfaction with the victory, stating, “Really the best way to finish 2023, definitely. Our ambition was to finish on a high and react from the last two games. I really believe we deserve it. Over the 95 minutes, we deserved it more.”

As Arsenal grapples with internal challenges, their rivals continue to widen the gap at the top of the Premier League table, leaving fans and pundits alike questioning whether the Gunners can recover and mount a serious title challenge in the remaining fixtures of the season.

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