Arsenal thrash Fulham for ninth straight win

Arsenal manager Unai Emery said Aaron Ramsey is a “ very important player ” for the club after his goal of the season contender helped the Gunners thrash Fulham 5-1.

A contract offer to Ramsey was withdrawn last month but the Wales midfielder showed his quality when he created and finished a stunning team move to help Arsenal to a ninth straight win in all competitions – their best run since April 2015.

“ For me it was very important for him to take confidence and take that first goal, ” said Emery .

“ He did not start in the first 11 today but when he was on he scored within a minute and that gives confidence for both him and us .

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“ We are happy because I think this shows the commitment we have in training and the quality and the understanding of our tactical position .

“ I think we are in the first competition in the world , and we must keep taking confidence . ”

Alexandre Lacazette scored two impressive goals before substitute Ramsey added a third and Pierre -Emerick Aubameyang netted twice.

Frenchman Lacazette claimed the opening goal of the London derby at Craven Cottage when he spun on Nacho Monreal’ s cutback before drilling the ball past Marcus Bettinelli .

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But Fulham drew level before the break as Luciano Vietto pounced on a loose pass by Monreal to thread the ball through to Andre Schurrle , who chipped over Gunners keeper Bernd Leno .

Arsenal were a different side after the interval and Bettinelli – called up by England this week – produced the save of the game to keep out a fierce strike from Hector Bellerin , moments before Lacazette added his second – an early strike from long range which seemed to catch the Fulham keeper by surprise as it nestled in the bottom corner .

Ramsey was introduced in the 67th minute – and the Welshman added a third just 39 seconds later as Arsenal moved from left to right with one -touch passing and neat headers, before Aubameyang cut the ball back for Ramsey to flick past Bettinelli .

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Aubameyang added a fourth when he swivelled on a low cross from Bellerin to side- foot the ball into the far corner , before the Gabon striker rounded off the scoring after a neat low finish to cap a thoroughly entertaining victory in the derby.

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