Two good things happened today as Arsenal eased past Fulham.
Eduardo showed he was more than a fox in the box with some great foot skills, turning into a provider on two occasions. Rosicky was the beneficiary of a Eduardo pass after the Croatian had dummied his way past three Fulham defenders from the left, his shot unfortunately hit the woodwork. But there was no denying Rosicky the second time as he volleyed Eduardo's second offering after the striker served up another cross from the edge of the box.
Good things happen when Arsenal widens its game. The Gael Clichy cross swung in from the left was just perfect and Adebayor timed his header to perfection and caressed it into the corner. Just before halftime Aleksandr Hleb's cross from the opposite flank found Adebayor powering the ball in. Two crosses, two headers, two goals.
The difference from the terribly disappointing match against Birmingham last weekend was clear. Instead of the incessant playing through the center approach which the Blues effectively bottled up, this time Clichy, Eduardo, Hleb, and Sagna went wide and gave the Fulham defence plenty to think about. Its also clear the Fabregas is getting his touch back but his shooting skills which accounted for a number of goals early in the season continue to desert him.
In fact, Arsenal's goals in recent matches have come through a variety of long balls and crosses. Clichy to Eduardo and Adebayor in the Everton and West Ham matches come to mind. This is what Arsenal have to do because the center approach becomes too predictable even when Arsenal is on top of its passing game. When the operational real estate narrows, all the opposing team has to do is to stack up the numbers and force Arsenal to isolate a player through a perfect pass. As seen in the Birmingham and Portsmouth game, its a self defeating cause.
So what does this augur for the rest of the season. Right now, it sticks in the craw but Man Utd have the upper hand. They came through with a win against Reading and the way they are playing, hoping for another upset inflicted on them by the Hammers or another team would be expecting too much. It might come down the Old Trafford showdown between these two teams and Arsenal's continued winning form against other teams. Another slip up would be the veritable nail in the coffin.