After conceding a late goal to deprive Mikel Arteta’s team the interim lead in the Premier League on Saturday, Fulham held Arsenal to a 2-2 home draw.

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The outcome places the Gunners in second place with seven points, trailing rival Tottenham Hotspur in north London on goal differential.

Fulham in match

Fulham took the lead in the opening minute thanks to a goal from Andreas Pereira, but Arsenal finally came back with two goals in two frenzied minutes in the second half from Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah.

Following Calvin Bassey’s dismissal for receiving a second caution in the 83rd minute, Fulham was reduced to 10 men, but Joo Palhinha’s goal from a corner helped them salvage a point.

Palhinha told , “Unfortunately we didn’t win, but I think it’s a good result.” To play against Arsenal is never easy. The effort we put out to the very end, even with only 10 men, was what mattered most.

The final ten minutes were challenging. I move to the back line, and we fought to defend the areas with everything we had until the very end, which made it possible for us to succeed.

After 57 seconds, Saka’s errant back ball was intercepted by Pereira for Fulham. The midfielder saw goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale far off his line and fired from over 30 meters away to quiet the home fans.

The error erupted. To the relief of Fulham’s former Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, Saka, who had many chances in the first half, missed a close-range header and had a cheekyFree kick directed for a corner towards the near post.

But after 70 minutes, Saka earned himself some redemption with a clinical penalty shoot in the pouring rain, burying his attempt into the bottom corner after Kenny Tete fouled Fabio Vieira in the box.

a fervent Two minutes later, after winning the ball back in Fulham’s half, Vieira whipped in a cross that fellow substitute Nketiah headed in to complete Arsenal’s comeback.

When Bassey ruthlessly fouled Nketiah to stop a counterattack, Fulham was relegated to 10 men. However, Marco Silva’s team equalized in the 87th minute when Palhinha timed his half-volley to perfection from a corner to beat Ramsdale and salvage a draw.

When Aaron Ramsdale backpedaled too far and too quickly, Andreas Pereira snuck in and bent the ball into the empty space. Here began Arsenal’s shock therapy, constant exposure to the struggles of the previous campaign, and the sheer emotional weight of both the Friday night they blew the championship away and the moment they felt it was destined for them when they defeated Bournemouth. That explains why they were walking so slowly.

arsenal

Ben White would nevertheless sometimes reprise his position as an overlapping right back of true skill, providing one excellent ball to Leandro Trossard in the first half, adding to the impression that Arsenal had their strategy all wrong. Unfortunately for the hosts, he was frequently required farther back on the field, ready for Fulham’s attempts to break through the gap Partey had left in his wake with a counterattack.

However, Ben White would occasionally return to his place as a truly skilled overlapping right back, giving one great pass to Leandro Trossard in the first half, adding to the perception that Arsenal had chosen the incorrect approach. Unfortunately for the hosts, he was frequently needed farther back on the field to prepare for Fulham’s attempts to use a counterattack to close the space Partey had left behind.

Arsenal didn’t deserve Arteta’s high post-game appraisal until the appearance of Fabio Vieira and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Maybe when his substitutes restored Arsenal to a lineup reminiscent of the team’s greatest performances from the previous campaign. Arsenal supporters might hope that Partey was paying attention as the latter brought his trademark zip in possession and clever positioning.

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The man who stood out, though, was Vieira, who had lost form in his debut season following a £35 million transfer from Porto. The Portuguese player appeared revitalized as he weaved through his close buddy Gabriel Martinelli. This caused Kenny Tete to make a mistaken challenge and give away a penalty kick, which Bukayo Saka converted to tie the game. Two minutes later, Vieira fizzed a ball into the near post, where it was converted in by the brilliant Eddie Nketiah, who had replaced Trossard at the break.

Calvin Bassey was down when the action resumed, and Marco Silva was furious that the center back received two cards for both time wastage and a careless foul on Nketiah. “That first yellow card is a joke,” the Fulham boss continued.

What next for arsenal

It should have been easy sailing for Arsenal once Bassey left. However, what fun would that have been? When Joao Palhinha connected with Harrison Reed’s corner, he scored the goal that his effort merited, giving the home team another of those thrilling victories that they can’t help but remember. There were all the hooks you could ask for—Gabriel Jesus’ comeback, a blocked fantastic bicycle kick from Fabio Vieira—but this time the thrill never materialized.

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