LONDON — Leandro Trossard became the first player in Premier League history to bag a hat trick of assists in the first half of an away game, as he dazzled in Arsenal’s 3-0 win at Fulham.
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Starting in a central role but drifting all over the place, the Belgian winger ripped Fulham apart and looks like being one of the best January signings in league history as he continues to help Arsenal push towards an unlikely Premier League title.
For the first time this season Gunners fans sang ‘we’re going to win the league!’ multiple times at Craven Cottage on Sunday as they remain five points clear at the top with 11 games to go.
Standing outside the famous cottage (watch the interview in full above) after he was named Man of the Match, ProSoccerTalk asked Trossard about that chant from the Arsenal fans.
Belgian winger wants fans to believe
“It’s nice for them,” Leandro Trossard said, smiling. “Obviously, it’s a great away win and we want to give them that belief. For us, though, we need to take it game by game. It’s a great win today, 3-0 at Fulham is not for everyone. They have had such a great season.
“There’s still a long way to go, though – 11 games. A lot can happen,” Trossard continued. “Last month there was a lot of talk after we lost against City at home. Now it is again that we are at the top of the table. We just need to look at ourselves. If we keep the momentum high, and the quality high, it’s up to us.”
Trossard’s January arrival has given Arsenal a real boost and added quality in attack as he was in the form of his life at Brighton in the first half of this season and has carried that on seamlessly since his switch to north London.
Arteta knows Arsenal can win games in different ways
His manager Mikel Arteta heaped praise on Trossard, who had been struggling with an injury but came back earlier than expected to help the team.
“When we talk about composure and finding the right pass, and looking to the right player in the box, it’s very blurry and some other players make rash decisions, and he created three goals. He could have scored two – I think he was really impressive,” Arteta said. “Not only that, he had an injury only a few days ago and that injury could have taken a week or 10 days. He was really willing to come back early, the physios and doctors did really well to do that. That changes things in the team, and we needed him today, his contribution was superb.”
Arteta now has so many attacking options with Gabriel Jesus back and with the duo of Gabriel Martinelli and Trossard linking up so well, plus Eddie Nketiah (currently out injured) standing in admirably over the last few months, the Arsenal boss now has different ways to set up his team.
Does that give Arsenal an extra edge in this title race? ProSoccerTalk asked the Arsenal boss after the win at Fulham if the untimely injuries to Jesus and Nketiah have actually given him a few more options on how to play and if that could be an unexpected bonus in their title pursuit.
“Yeah, we try to adapt to the qualities of the players that we have,” Arteta explained. “We put them in their strengths and their positions we want as much possible. Leo [Trossard] has very different qualities to Gabby [Jesus] and Martin [Odegaard] as well compliments him really well in terms of his space and understanding of the game. Great to have that versatility in the team.”
Versatility to keep opponents guessing? Check. Pretty much everyone healthy? Check. Five-point lead at the top of the table? Check.
Everything is going Arsenal’s way right now and Sunday proved this young team is hungry to complete a title-winning season as soon as possible.