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Elneny: Zero interceptions, zero clearances – Arsenal midfielder’s uninspiring display against Fulham

3:47 AM SGT 28/8/22
Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny of Egypt.
The Egyptian was poor as the Gunners saw off the Cottagers to move to the English top-flight summit

Mohamed Elneny was not imposing as Arsenal overcame Fulham 2-1 in Saturday's Premier League showing.

Playing his first league match of the 2022-23 campaign, the Egypt international marshalled the Gunners’ midfield alongside Granit Xhaka in a 4-2-3-1 formation employed by Mikel Arteta.

Even with a bright start, the hosts went a goal down after Aleksandar Mitrovic beat Aaron Ramsdale to put the Cottagers ahead.

Fuelled by that deficit, Arsenal bounced back to secure all points courtesy of goals from Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Magalhaes. But how did Elneny contribute to this result?

Playing as a defensive midfielder, the former Basel man did not impress defensively as he made just one tackle while he scored zero judging by interceptions, clearances and blocked shots.

He committed a foul once and was lucky not to have been booked by referee Jarred Gillett from Australia.

Offensively, he scored zero in terms of shots, shots on target, key passes, and dribbles. Whereas, he made 54 touches, 51 passes and a passing accuracy of 98% against Marco Silva’s side.

Meanwhile, Ghana prospect Eddie Nketiah replaced Kieran Tierney in the 60th minute but gave a good account of himself.

For his contributions in 30 minutes of action, he accrued three shots with his only shot on target failing to beat goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

Although the former England youth international made no key passes, he contributed a cross, 15 touches, five passes and a passing accuracy of 80%. His contribution defensively saw him make one tackle and one clearance.

Ghana international Thomas Partey was conspicuously missing due to a thigh injury suffered.

For Fulham, Tosin Adarabioyo played from start to finish but he could not prevent his team from losing away from home.

The Super Eagles prospect contributed three total tackles, two interceptions, two clearances, two blocked shots and one foul committed.

Arteta lauded the belief and confidence of his players as well as the notable home support.

"It comes down to having more belief and confidence," he told the media.

"I saw someone here today at the stadium that I love. They haven’t been here for two years until today.

“They said it was the best they’ve seen the atmosphere here since Arsenal played at Highbury.

"The support we’re receiving in the stadium at the moment makes things much easier."