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Arsenal bounce back from Liverpool shame with emphatic victory over struggling Fulham

LONDON -- Arsenal began 2019 with three precious points as they swept aside Fulham 4-1 at the Emirates. Here are three quick thoughts from their New Year's Day win.

1. Arsenal bounce back with big win

This felt like an important victory for Arsenal. Their 5-1 defeat to Liverpool last time out was, by a distance, their worst defeat of Unai Emery's reign thus far. As a side with a reputation for lacking mental toughness under his predecessor, Arsene Wenger, the big question here was how Emery's...

Weekend numbers: Ronaldo's missed 50, flying Reds and another PogBrace

The FC crew answer your tweets on the length of Unai Emery's honeymoon at Arsenal, Neil Warnock's success at Cardiff, New Year's resolutions and more.
Manchester City beat Southampton to end their losing run, but Shaka Hislop and Steve Nicol examine why teams are no longer afraid of the champions.
With a third successive win under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop assess the marked differences in Man United's play.
Stewart Robson and Peter Walton discuss the big refereeing decisions from the weekend's football action.
After Manchester City's win at Southampton, Steve Nicol says the returns of David Silva and Sergio Aguero will help steady the reigning champions.
ESPN take a look back at a year Paul Pogba will never forget.

Liverpool ended the year with a 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal, while Manchester United continued their impressive start under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, brushing aside Bournemouth 4-1. Over in Italy, Juventus entered the winter after a VAR-controversy fueled 2-1 win over Sampdoria thanks to a brace from... who else, Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Here, then, are the best of the numbers from the last bit of footballing action in 2018.


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Roberto Firmino's hat trick is the sixth in fixtures between Liverpool and Arsenal...

Premier League still full of surprises, with Man City stumbling, Salah back on form, Arsenal on song

When it comes to the Premier League, we're all prone to jumping to conclusions and taking the latest preachings from the pundits as gospel. Well, predictions make fools of us all, and the action last weekend blew a few theories sky high. It turns out Manchester City are not invincible: Fancy that!

Likewise, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was able to laugh in the faces of those experts, who basically told him he did not know what he was doing using "the world's top holding midfielder," N'Golo Kante,...

Weekend numbers: Lionel Messi's free-kick record, Romelu Lukaku ends home rut

Craig Burley was surprised to not see a reaction from Manchester City to N'Golo Kanté's first-half goal, in Chelsea's 2-0 win over the title-holders.
Craig Burley and Adrian Healy breakdown Manchester United's thrashing of Fulham and Jose Mourinho's cryptic comments after the match.
Jurgen Klopp insists he isn't surprised by Mohamed Salah's desire to score after he stayed on his feet during Liverpool's second goal.
Niko Kovac admits Borussia Dortmund would have to make mistakes in order for Bayern Munich to win the Bundesliga title.
Jose Mourinho feels Man United fans cannot point the finger at any of his players following their 4-1 win over Fulham.
Maurizio Sarri was quick to rule out Chelsea's title chances after their victory over Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho jokingly suggested Man United were trying to save money for January after he found no water at his press conference.

Chelsea stunning Manchester City and Liverpool thrashing Bournemouth to go top have made the Premier League title race exciting again. In Spain, Lionel Messi eviscerated Espanyol with a display of supreme skill, while in Italy, Juventus continued their remorseless march to an eighth straight scudetto with a 1-0 win over Inter. Here are the best numbers from an action-packed weekend of football.


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Here's a ridiculous Messi stat: Messi has more free-kick goals over the last four La Liga seasons (15)...

Respite for Mourinho, home goal for Lukaku as Man United cruise past Fulham

Marcus Rashford scored an excellent goal and provided two assists as Man United eased past 10-man Fulham at Old Trafford.
Craig Burley and Adrian Healy breakdown Manchester United's thrashing of Fulham and Jose Mourinho's cryptic comments after the match.
Jose Mourinho jokingly suggested Man United were trying to save money for January after he found no water at his press conference.

MANCHESTER, England -- Three points on Manchester United's 4-1 win vs. Fulham in the Premier League.

1. Much-needed win for Mourinho, Man United

Manchester United can do routine after all.

There was no crisis and no spectacular comeback, just a comfortable win against a team they were expected to beat. The pressure on Jose Mourinho, who recorded his 50th league win in charge of the club, has eased. For a few days, at least.

Fulham fans in the corner of Old Trafford made sure Mourinho and his players...

Fulham draw with Leicester but are taking steps forward under manager Claudio Ranieri

LONDON -- "One game at a time" was one of Claudio Ranieri's mantras during Leicester's miracle Premier League title triumph in 2016, and if the early days of his Fulham tenure are anything to go by, it is likely to serve him again at Craven Cottage.

His first game, a knockabout 3-2 win over Southampton, brought him a first victory. He was more encouraged by his side's display in last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Chelsea, and there were further positives to be taken from game three, a 1-1 draw against...