Arsenal v Fulham: 5 things we learned
- Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/PA
Arsenal salvaged a point in injury time with a 1-1 draw against Fulham on Sunday.
Here are five things we learned:
1. Once again, failing to follow up an impressive European showing
Following their demolition of Slavia Prague, Mikel Arteta would have hoped his side were capable of a similar display at home to relegation-threatened Fulham. Although the home side mustered 18 shots on goal, they were unable to replicate the clinical nature of their performance in Prague, only managing to salvage a point through Eddie Nketiah’s leveller at the death.
2. Fraught with controversy
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Whilst the Cottagers will be unhappy with the fact that Nketiah’s equaliser was allowed to stand, they also had their fair share of fortune, as Arsenal had two first-half strikes, from Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli, chalked off for offside. Even the foul committed by Gabriel, which resulted in Josh Maja’s penalty, could be contested by the most pedantic of fans, it just goes to show that, in the current era of VAR, luck has a cruel way of evening out over the course of 90 minutes.
3. No Premier League consistency
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On the back of an accomplished win against Sheffield United, the game against Fulham was a real opportunity for Arsenal to gain ground in the race for European qualification, particularly with Tottenham Hotspur’s draw against Everton on Friday. The Gunners failed to capitalise, with two dropped points indicating that their best route to Europe looks to be through winning this season’s Europa League.
4. Injuries mounting
Already without Kieran Tierney, David Luiz, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Martin Odegaard, Arsenal added Alexandre Lacazette to a growing injury list, as he limped off with a hamstring problem. A record of seven goals in nine previous games has seen the Frenchman emerge as a focal point in attack, so his manager and fans alike will be hoping that the issue is not too serious.
5. Fulham are almost down and out
Scott Parker’s players fought valiantly, yet the concession of a goal in stoppage-time means the west Londoners are up against the odds to survive an immediate drop back to the Championship. Having played two games more than 16th placed Brighton and one more than 17th placed Burnley, both of who trail by six points, Fulham look set to lose out in the bid for top-flight survival.