Arsenal 2-2 Fulham: Gunners drop two points in the title race as Joao Palhinha nets late equaliser for 10-man Cottagers after Mikel Arteta’s side had come from behind to lead
- Fulham pulled off a shock with a man less to take a point from their Arsenal visit
- Joao Palhinha was the hero as Arsenal were left to rue for defensive mistakes
- WATCH: It’s All Coming Up – Mail Sport’s preview show for the weekend’s football
The board went up to show nine minutes of stoppage time but there would be no dramatic late winner for Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta’s side thought they had pulled off the comeback when Eddie Nketiah, on at half-time for Leandro Trossard, added to Bukayo Saka’s penalty, cancelling out Andreas Pereira’s first-minute opener.
But Fulham were to be the orchestrators of the drama in north London as Joao Palhinha struck four minutes from time to secure a valiant point.
Marco Silva and the travelling fans feared the worst when Calvin Bassey was sent off for two bookable offences, but it only galvanised Fulham through to the final whistle.
Fulham could even have won it in the final seconds too when Adama Traore broke away – but Aaron Ramsdale was equal to his chipped finish to keep it at 2-2.
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Joao Palhinha scored a decisive equaliser four minutes from time to secure Fulham a point
It was bitterly frustrating for Declan Rice and Co after they had come back from 1-0 down to 2-1
Fabio Vieira, who finished with two assists from the bench, almost won it late on acrobatically
Vieira was wide of the mark and it was Palhinha and Fulham that were celebrating the drama
Eddie Nketiah (middle) thought he would be the hero when he sealed a comeback for 2-1
Earlier, Bukayo Saka (middle) had scored from the spot after a cynical foul on Vieira in the box
Nketiah, on at half-time for Leandro Trossard, then made his mark by firing past Bernd Leno
Fulham boss Marco Silva appealed for calm from his players in such a frantic atmosphere
It had been a dream start for Fulham, with Andreas Pereira firing them ahead inside a minute
Arsenal: Ramsdale, Partey (Zinchenko 56), White, Saliba, Kiwior, Odegaard (Jorginho 84), Rice (Gabriel Jesus 90+1), Havertz (Vieira 56), Saka, Trossard (Nketiah 46), Martinelli.
Subs not used: Gabriel, Smith Rowe, Raya, Nelson.
Goals: Saka (69pen), Nketiah (72)
Fulham: Leno, Tete, Diop, Bassey, Robinson, Lukic (Reed 70), Joao Palhinha, Andreas Pereira (Cairney 63), Wilson (Traore 71), Jimenez, Reid (Adarabioyo 89).
Subs not used: Rodak, Rodrigo Muniz, Mbabu, Vinicius, Harris.
Goals: Pereira (1), Palhinha (86)
Booked: Bassey, Jimenez, Lukic
Red card: Bassey
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)
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