Sport Soccer

Tuesday 23 July 2019

Alex Iwobi: Arsenal confidence not knocked by Liverpool loss

The Gunners responded to the heavy Anfield defeat with a win over Fulham.

Alex Iwobi laid on an assist for Granit Xhaka’s opening goal as Arsenal beat Fulham. (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Alex Iwobi laid on an assist for Granit Xhaka’s opening goal as Arsenal beat Fulham. (Isabel Infantes/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, Press Association Sport

Alex Iwobi insists the confidence of Arsenal’s players was not affected by their weekend thrashing at Liverpool.

Unai Emery’s side lost 5-1 at Anfield but recovered well to secure a 4-1 victory at home to Fulham on New Year’s Day.

The result, as well as the performance, against Liverpool showed how far the Gunners are from being considered among the Premier League elite.

Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all struck in the win over Fulham, who remain in the bottom three as a result.

Although the scoreline looked more convincing than the overall display, Iwobi was pleased to see the players bounce back so soon after such a galling loss.

“It was a good performance from the team, and a great response after the defeat we had so it was a good result,” he told the club’s official website.

“We like to make sure our opponents are scared to come to the Emirates, and we have kept that going and it’s a great win for us and for the fans.”

Asked if the players had their confidence knocked at Liverpool, Nigeria international Iwobi replied: “No, not at all.

“We just picked ourselves up in training and you just have to forget about the past but learn your lessons.

“You could see today that we played with confidence and did well.”

It was a good performance from the team, and a great response after the defeat we had so it was a good result Alex Iwobi

Fulham’s consolation strike was scored by substitute Aboubakar Kamara, just days after manager Claudio Ranieri had said he wanted to “kill” the forward for missing a penalty he was not supposed to take.

After an altercation with Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tom Cairney, Kamara’s penalty against Huddersfield was saved – as Mitrovic eventually scored the only goal of a crucial 1-0 win for the Whites.

Kamara has since received online abuse following the incident but showed no ill-effects as he came off the bench to give the visitors a fighting chance of mounting a comeback.

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Kamara tussled with team-mates to take a penalty in the recent game against Huddersfield. (Yui Mok/PA)

Defender Tim Ream revealed the former Monaco player apologised to his team-mates soon after the penalty debacle and has called on everyone involved with Fulham to pull together behind Kamara.

“He apologised,” Ream said.

“The next day we put it all behind us and that was it. We have drawn a line under it and moved on. He has been the same old Abou. He has not let things faze him. He has not acted any differently.

“It is important the fans, the club, the players, the staff support him and support each other. We have to do the right things by each other and pull in the same direction.”

PA Media

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