Arsenal faltered as ten-man Fulham grabbed a dramatic 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Cottagers took an early lead in the first minute of the game. However, the hosts scored twice in quick succession to turn the game on its head. Joao Palhinha then secured a memorable draw just seven minutes from time in a dramatic finish.
It was Andreas Pereira who scored in the opening minute. Bukayo Saka played a loose back-pass straight to the former Manchester United midfielder and he took advantage.
The Brazilian scooped a first-time effort past an out-of-position Aaron Ramsdale.
Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, and Saka tested Bernd Leno on several occasions. However, the former Arsenal keeper was at his very best to keep his side ahead.
Raul Jimenez almost made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute with an acrobatic overhead kick. The Mexican executed the move beautifully, but his effort went inches wide of the post.
Saka should have restored parity in the 31st minute but the English international missed a sitter.
Arsenal let Fulham escape
Arsenal tried to force the initiative soon after the break but Fulham frustrated the home side with their determined defending until Kenny Tate brought down Fabio Vieira in the box to give away a penalty.
Saka stepped up to send Leno the wrong way to restore parity on the day. Just two minutes later, Eddie Nketiah then scored from close range from Vieira’s low cross to give his side the lead. Fulham were reduced to ten men when Calvin Bassey was sent off for a second yellow card when he blocked off Nketiah as the striker was through on goal from a counterattack.
It looked like Arsenal would grab the three points from the game, but Palhinha’s first-time strike inside the box hit the back of the net to escape with a point. Mikel Arteta’s side would be disappointed not to hold on to the lead and will now look ahead to next weekend’s huge encounter against Manchester United at home.
Fulham, meanwhile, will travel to the Etihad Stadium for a tough assignment against Manchester City before hosting Tottenham in midweek in the Carabao Cup.
Photo credit: IMAGO / Sportsphoto
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