WTTGT Reporter: Tashan Deniran-Alleyne
ARSENAL 1-1 FULHAM
Thomas Vermaelen scored at both end as he rescued a point for Arsenal after his own goal threatened to give Fulham a shock win at the Emirates.
Arsenal made two changes to their side from the midweek Champions League victory over Dortmund with Johan Djourou and Andrei Arshavin handed starting berths in place of Laurent Koscielny and Gervinho.
Arsenal’s first attempt at goal fell to Aaron Ramsey but his effort was turned away by Mark Schwarzer, which was the highlight of a flat opening 10 minutes, with the visitors looking comfortable partly down to the slow start to the match by the gunners. Bobby Zamora then saw his shot fly over the bar after shrugging off the challenge from Vermaelen.
Theo Walcott then burst into life, racing down the right wing before squaring for Ramsey who fired high and wide despite being well placed, the Englishman then fired a shot straight at Schwarzer as the gunners momentarily upped the tempo.
Moussa Dembele saw his shot deflected wide for a corner, before a promising Arsenal attack saw Robin van Persie cushion a header back for Arshavin, but the Russian couldn’t get his attempt on target.
Neat play from the Cottagers resulted in a shot for Dembele but he was denied by Wojciech Szczesny at the near post, Brede Hangeland then looped a header just wide from a Danny Murphy cross. Per Mertesacker glanced a header just wide in first half injury time as the half ended 0-0 with Fulham largely untroubled.
Arsenal upped the tempo at the start of the second half, going close with a couple of opportunities and they almost took the lead on the hour mark but van Persie’s goal bound effort was blocked by Chris Baird.
It was Fulham who took a shock but deserved lead thanks to an own goal from Vermaelen who attempted to intercept a ball into the area but unfortunately turned the ball into his own net, under pressure from John Arne Riise.
In search of a much needed goal, Arsene Wenger threw on Chamakh, Diaby and Gervinho and he was almost rewarded when van Persie’s corner was met by Djourou, but Schwarzer produced a stunning save to preserve his teams lead.
Good work from Gervinho down the left eventually presented a chance for van Persie who could only fire over , though the equaliser followed soon after, courtesy of Vermaelen who headed home Walcott’s right-wing cross, to make amends for his own goal.
Arsenal sensed a winner with five minutes to go, but for all their possession failed to test Schwarzer as the game finished all square to end Arsenal’s impressive streak of wins in the Premier League.
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