Match ends, Fulham 1, Arsenal 5.
Fulham 1-5 Arsenal: Unai Emery's side make it nine consecutive wins
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A contract offer to Ramsey was withdrawn last month but the Wales midfielder showed his quality when he created and finished a stunning team move to help Arsenal to a ninth straight win in all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.
"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 England's latest goalkeeping addition Marcus Bettinelli.
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 regained the lead through Lacazette, after his opportune strike from long range 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.
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.
A sixth consecutive Premier League victory for Arsenal moved Unai Emery's men in to fourth in the table, after Chelsea won at Southampton and Manchester City claimed a point at Anfield.
Fulham remain just above the relegation zone in 17th.
Arsenal maintain under-the-radar title push
After losing their opening two Premier League games to Manchester City and Chelsea, Arsenal are showing real signs of progress under Emery.
And the feelgood factor seems to have returned to the club, with chants of "we've got our Arsenal back" ringing out from the away end at Craven Cottage.
The first half was an even affair but the Gunners showed a clinical edge in the second period to blow their opposition away.
Lacazette and Aubameyang appear to have a great relationship on and off the pitch, and they both scored from the two shots they had on goal on Sunday.
Ramsey and Aubameyang became the first two substitutes to register a goal and an assist in the same game in Premier League history.
Question marks still remain over Arsenal's ability to achieve results against the division's top sides - but Emery is building a team that are making a habit of winning.
Attack isn't always the best form of defence
Before Sunday's game, Fulham striker Aleksander Mitrovic said his side "needed to be smarter at the back" but would continue to play the same way and try to score goals.
Fulham are the only Premier League side yet to keep a clean sheet this season, and the Cottagers have also conceded 21 goals - the most in the division.
But that does not seem to have deterred Slavisa Jokanovic's men from playing attacking football, as the hosts produced 12 shots on goal in the first half, albeit five of those were blocked and four were off target.
The game could have been different as early as three minutes in when Luciano Vietto capitalised on a misplaced pass from Bellerin, but his fierce effort was well saved by Leno, via a Rob Holding deflection.
But as the match developed, the visitors' quality began to tell and Fulham's attempt to go toe-to-toe with the Gunners was ruthlessly exploited.
Defeat by the likes of Arsenal will not determine the Cottagers' season, but Jokanovic may have to tweak his approach against top-quality opposition.
Man of the match - Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)
'We tried to create but showed many weaknesses' - what they said
Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic said: "It is without any doubt a hard defeat for us, we tried to create things but showed many weaknesses as they scored easy goals.
"We tried to be offensive and play high with two full-backs to find a solution - but from the second goal it is clear the plan was not working. We really need to work on the weaknesses in the defensive side.
"It [conceding goals] has to be a worry always. It is a hard result, but today Arsenal showed their quality and pace. We have 90 [possible] points ahead of us and we need to be brave and keep on fighting."
Arsenal manager Unai Emery said: "Our performance over the 90 minutes was very important. To be together, and with our performance, we found each moment and each player."
On Arsenal finding themselves in the top four: "I believe in us. We believe in our process but also we must keep taking confidence. I think we are in the first competition in the world. It is very difficult but we must prepare, continue improving and show big commitment."
Fulham hit record low points haul - the stats
- Arsenal have a 51.5% win rate in Premier League London derbies (124 out of 241) - the best in the division. In contrast, Fulham have the lowest win rate in these games (20.7% - 25 out of 121).
- Arsenal have won four of their past five away Premier League matches - as many as they had won in their previous 19 on the road.
- This is Fulham's joint-lowest points haul after the first eight Premier League games in a season.
- Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette has been directly involved in six goals in five starts in the Premier League so far this season (four goals, two assists).
- Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had a hand in more goals in all competitions in 2018 than any other player at the club (16 goals, five assists).
- Aaron Ramsey scored Arsenal's third goal just 39 seconds after coming on as a substitute - the fastest Premier League goal by an Arsenal substitute since December 2007.
Arsenal return to Premier League action after the international break at home to Leicester on Monday, 22 October (20:00 BST), while Fulham travel to Cardiff on Saturday, 20 October (15:00).
- 13ReamSubstituted forKamaraat 54'minutes
- 20Le Marchand
- 29Zambo AnguissaSubstituted forMcDonaldat 62'minutes
- 3R Sessegnon
- 19ViettoBooked at 57minsSubstituted forJohansenat 83'minutes
- 14SchürrleBooked at 70mins
- 43S Sessegnon
- 17IwobiSubstituted forRamseyat 67'minutes
- 23WelbeckSubstituted forAubameyangat 62'minutes
- 9LacazetteSubstituted forGuendouziat 80'minutes
- Paul Tierney
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Fulham 1, Arsenal 5.
Goal! Fulham 1, Arsenal 5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey with a through ball.
Attempt missed. André Schürrle (Fulham) right footed shot from long range on the right is too high. Assisted by Jean Michael Seri.
Offside, Fulham. Denis Odoi tries a through ball, but André Schürrle is caught offside.
Foul by Jean Michael Seri (Fulham).
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Fulham. Stefan Johansen replaces Luciano Vietto.
Substitution, Arsenal. Matteo Guendouzi replaces Alexandre Lacazette.
Goal! Fulham 1, Arsenal 4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín with a cross.
Foul by Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham).
Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Cyrus Christie.
Offside, Fulham. Ryan Sessegnon tries a through ball, but Aleksandar Mitrovic is caught offside.
Luciano Vietto (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lucas Torreira (Arsenal).
Attempt saved. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Cyrus Christie with a headed pass.
Attempt blocked. Cyrus Christie (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Denis Odoi.
Luciano Vietto (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal).
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Rob Holding.
André Schürrle (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by André Schürrle (Fulham).
Lucas Torreira (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Maxime Le Marchand.
Goal! Fulham 1, Arsenal 3. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Substitution, Arsenal. Aaron Ramsey replaces Alex Iwobi.
Jean Michael Seri (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Granit Xhaka (Arsenal).
Luciano Vietto (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Rob Holding (Arsenal).
Offside, Fulham. Maxime Le Marchand tries a through ball, but Ryan Sessegnon is caught offside.
Substitution, Arsenal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replaces Danny Welbeck.
Substitution, Fulham. Kevin McDonald replaces André-Frank Zambo Anguissa.
Attempt blocked. André Schürrle (Fulham) right footed shot from long range on the left is blocked. Assisted by Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Attempt missed. Aboubakar Kamara (Fulham) with an attempt from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Cyrus Christie with a cross.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) because of an injury.
Luciano Vietto (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Luciano Vietto (Fulham).