Sunday 12 August 2007, 12:00pm at Emirates Stadium, London
Barclays Premier League
Arsenal
Arsenal
2
van Persie (pen) 83'; Hleb 90'
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Healy 1'
Arsenal claimed all three points at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon after grabbing two goals in the final eight minutes of play. Fulham preserved their lead for 84 minutes before Van Persie and Hleb snatched a late win for Arsenal.

83' Penalty

Robin van Persie

90' Goal

Aliaksandr Hleb
Assist by Francesc Fábregas

85' Yellow Card

Mathieu Flamini Card was given for violent conduct

63' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Theo Walcott
Off:Emmanuel Eboué

72' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Nicklas Bendtner
Off:Tomas Rosicky

90'+6 Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alexandre Song
Off:Robin van Persie

1' Goal

David Healy

59' Yellow Card

Carlos Bocanegra Card was given for a foul

66' Yellow Card

Steven Davis Card was given for a foul

73' Yellow Card

Diomansy Kamara

84' Yellow Card

Tony Warner Card was given for violent conduct

85' Yellow Card

Papa Bouba Diop Card was given for violent conduct

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Clint Dempsey
Off:Hameur Bouazza

63' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Diomansy Kamara
Off:David Healy

73' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Papa Bouba Diop
Off:Alexei Smertin

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Despite the loss Sanchez' side put on an impressive performance, characterised by an outstanding work ethic and an effective style of play. Fulham's strong travelling support got their first competitive view of the Manager's summer signings but Tony Warner was Fulham's outstanding player on the day.

Antti Niemi was forced out of action after picking up an injury during his pre-match warm-up and Warner stepped in. In the first half alone the big keeper pulled off several outstanding saves and commanded his area with authority.

Fulham's season got off to a flyer in the first minute when David Healy capitalised on Jens Lehmann's mistake. The German keeper gifted Healy his first Premiership goal. His clearance under pressure fell straight into the striker's range six yards from goal. Healy made no mistake with the finish. It was a dream start for the Northern Ireland international on his competitive debut.

Wenger's side attacked with their fluid passing game but Fulham's defence remained resolute during the first half. There first serious threat on goal was a penalty appeal by Van Persie on 11 minutes. Through on goal the striker tussled with Knight in the area and Van Persie went to ground. Referee Dowd was unimpressed and waved play on.

During the opening fifteen minutes Arsenal were restricted to long range efforts as Fulham looked to consolidate their lead. The Gunners most productive work came down the right hand side but Konchesky and Bouazza are players with pace in abundance and defended admirably on Fulham's left flank. Carlos Bocanegra was clearly taking no prisoners, highlighted by a crunching tackle on Van Persie in front of the technical area on 13 minutes.

Rosicky almost pulled the game level on 14 minutes. Sagna probed down the right and sent in a low cross from the byline. Rosicky connected with the cross 12 yards from goal but his right footed volley curled wide of Warner's post.

Despite Arsenal's pressure Fulham countered on several occasions during the opening period and long range efforts from Smertin, Healy and Davies forced Lehmann into saves.

On the half hour mark Tony Warner denied Rosicky twice in as many minutes. First the keeper tipped the midfielder's 30 yard effort round before pulling off a superb reflex save from eight yards out.

Fulham had a strong penalty appeal turned down before the break when Davies was tripped in the area. Racing onto a through ball the midfielder entered the box before Fabregas clipped his heels. No penalty was awarded and unfortunately for Fulham one of the game's key moments had gone the home side's way.

Before half-time Warner denied Van Persie twice. His most impressive keeping displayed an acute awareness of impeding danger, rushing from his area to spread himself at the feet of Van Persie on more than one occasion. Fulham's overall defensive play was strong. Knight and Bocanegra were commanding in the centre and Baird also shone with some last ditch tackles before the break.

Sanchez made one change for the second half with Clint Dempsey replacing Hameur Bouazza.

Two minutes into the second period Warner was there again to protect Fulham's lead. Rosicky beat Baird down the left flank but Warner once again reduced the angle and spread himself to deflect the ball away to safety.

Fulham almost doubled their lead twice before the hour. Steven Davis almost scored with a right footed shot in the area but Lehmann made up for his first half error to deny the midfielder. Fulham had several chances throughout the game and played some effective counter attacking football. On 55 minutes Davies' corner caused panic in Arsenal's area and as the ball swept across the area Carols Bocanegra came within inches of increasing Fulham's lead.

Bocanegra was booked on 60 minutes after another no-nonsense tackle in the middle of the park. Knight and Baird were forced into some last ditch tackling on the hour moments before Lawrie Sanchez introduced his big summer signing, Diomansy Kamara.

Wenger's approach was made clear for the remaining 30 minutes of the game when he replacing Emmanuel Eboue with Theo Walcott. Arsenal continued to probe but they could not find a final flourish to their fluid approach play.

With twenty minutes remaining Sanchez and Wenger made further changes. Wenger reinforced his attack, replaced Rosicky with striker Bendtner whilst Sanchez bolstered Fulham's midfield with the presence of Bouba Diop. Smertin made way for the Senegalese international.

Arsenal went on a major offensive in the final 15 minutes and Fulham's players were forced to lie deep and soak up the pressure. However Arsenal's strikers were misfiring, highlighted by Van Persie's shot on 77 minutes. The Dutch striker left footed drive from 18 yards should have tested Warner but the keeper collected with ease.

On 77 minutes Dempsey had a glorious chance to kill the game off. The American raced through Arsenal's offside trap and was through on goal with Lehmann to beat. Dempsey was stretched to connect cleanly with the ball and sent his effort wide of the far post. Fulham were left to rue their missed opportunity minutes later.

Arsenal's way back into the game came from the penalty spot. Toure burst into the area and crashed into Bocanegra. The American was adjudged to have impeded the player's progress and the spot kick was awarded. Van Persie's penalty was clinical – the Dutchman smashing his strike into the roof of the net. The Emirates erupted.

Following the goal a mass melee ensued in the area as both sets of players tussled for the ball. Warner and Flamini were booked. With two minutes remaining Lehmann almost ended the game as he started when a lack of communication in the area saw the ball trickle past the post.

Right at the death Fulham were dealt the cruellest of blows. Warner was once again on hand to deny Bendtner in the area but seconds later Hleb collected the ball 8 yards from goal and on the turn sent his right footed shot into the far corner of the net. It was a crushing end for the Whites who had stood toe to toe with the Gunners right up until the final minute.

There was no way back for Fulham in the dying seconds but despite the loss Fulham will take many positives from the game going into Wednesday night's match against Bolton Wanderers at the Cottage.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Sunday 12 August 2007
Kick-off: 12:00pm

Venue: Emirates Stadium, London

Referee: Phil Dowd

Arsenal

Line-up: Lehmann; Sagna, Touré, Gallas, Clichy; Eboué (Walcott 63'), Fábregas, Hleb, Flamini, Rosicky (Bendtner 72'); van Persie (Song 90')

Unused substitutes: Almunia, Senderos

Manager: Arsène Wenger

Fulham

Line-up: Warner; Baird, Bocanegra, Knight, Konchesky; Davies, Smertin (Diop 73'), Steven Davis, Bouazza (Dempsey 45'); Healy (Kamara 63'), McBride

Unused substitutes: Volz, Omozusi

Manager: Lawrie Sanchez

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Newcastle United 1 3
2 Manchester City 1 3
3 Arsenal 1 3
4 Blackburn Rovers 1 3
5 Everton 1 3
6 Liverpool 1 3
7 Sunderland 1 3
8 Derby County 1 1
9 Portsmouth 1 1
10 Birmingham City 0 0
11 Chelsea 0 0
12 Manchester United 0 0
13 Reading 0 0
14 Aston Villa 1 0
15 Fulham 1 0
16 Middlesbrough 1 0
17 Wigan Athletic 1 0
18 Tottenham Hotspur 1 0
19 Bolton Wanderers 1 0
20 West Ham United 1 0
Goals
2
1
Total Shots
27
14
Shots On Target
12
7
Passing Accuracy
79%
61%
Fouls
7
20
Corners
14
4
Offsides
6
1
Bookings
1
5
Sending Offs
0
0
Arsenal (4-5-1)
  • 1Jens Lehmann
  • 3Bacary Sagna
  • 5Kolo Touré
  • 10William Gallas
  • 22Gaël Clichy
  • 27Emmanuel Eboué
  • 4Francesc Fábregas
  • 13Aliaksandr Hleb
  • 16Mathieu Flamini
  • 7Tomas Rosicky
  • 11Robin van Persie
Substitutes
  • 24Manuel Almunia
  • 6Philippe Senderos
  • 17Alexandre Song
  • 26Nicklas Bendtner
  • 32Theo Walcott
Manager
  • Arsène Wenger
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 34Chris Baird
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 4Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 8Alexei Smertin
  • 10Steven Davis
  • 24Hameur Bouazza
  • 31David Healy
  • 20Brian McBride
Substitutes
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 22Elliot Omozusi
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 11Diomansy Kamara
  • 23Clint Dempsey
Manager
  • Lawrie Sanchez
Goals
0
0
Total shots
0
0
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
0
0
Minutes played by player
0
0
Assists from open play
0
0
Crosses
0
0
Tackles
0
0
Successful aerial duels
0
0
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
0
0
Pass forwards
0
0
Successful dribbles
0
0
Sum of all a players ball events
0
0
Accurate passes
0
0
Key passes
0
0
Player intercepts a pass
0
0
Goalkeeper saves
0
0
Goalkeeper catches a cross
0
0
  • Match ends, Arsenal 2, Fulham 1.
  • 90'+6' Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Fulham 1.
  • 90'+6' Substitution, Arsenal. Alexandre Song replaces Robin van Persie.
  • 90'+5' Attempt missed. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Robin van Persie with a through ball following a fast break.
  • 90'+4' Offside, Arsenal. Aliaksandr Hleb tries a through ball, but Nicklas Bendtner is caught offside.
  • 90'+4' Robin van Persie (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 90'+4' Foul by Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham).
  • 90'+1' Attempt saved. Papa Bouba Diop (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
  • 90' Goal! Arsenal 2, Fulham 1. Aliaksandr Hleb (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas with a through ball.
  • 89' Attempt saved. Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
  • 89' Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 89' Foul by Clint Dempsey (Fulham).
  • 88' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Kolo Touré.
  • 87' Foul by Gaël Clichy (Arsenal).
  • 87' Papa Bouba Diop (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 86' Attempt saved. Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
  • 86' Attempt missed. Papa Bouba Diop (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
  • 85' Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card for fighting.
  • 85' Papa Bouba Diop (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for fighting.
  • 84' Tony Warner (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for fighting.
  • 83' Goal! Arsenal 1, Fulham 1. Robin van Persie (Arsenal) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the top right corner.
  • 82' Penalty Arsenal. Kolo Touré draws a foul in the penalty area.
  • 82' Penalty conceded by Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham) after a foul in the penalty area.
  • 81' Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 81' Foul by Diomansy Kamara (Fulham).
  • 79' Gaël Clichy (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 79' Foul by Simon Davies (Fulham).
  • 78' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Zat Knight.
  • 78' Attempt missed. Clint Dempsey (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Brian McBride with a through ball.
  • 77' Delay over. They are ready to continue.
  • 77' Delay in match Zat Knight (Fulham) because of an injury.
  • 76' Attempt saved. Robin van Persie (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kolo Touré.
  • 74' Attempt blocked. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
  • 74' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Chris Baird.
  • 74' Attempt blocked. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas.
  • 74' Attempt blocked. Kolo Touré (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aliaksandr Hleb.
  • 73' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Zat Knight.
  • 73' Diomansy Kamara (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.
  • 73' Francesc Fábregas (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 73' Foul by Steven Davis (Fulham).
  • 73' Substitution, Fulham. Papa Bouba Diop replaces Alexei Smertin.
  • 72' Substitution, Arsenal. Nicklas Bendtner replaces Tomas Rosicky.
  • 70' Francesc Fábregas (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 70' Foul by Brian McBride (Fulham).
  • 70' Foul by Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal).
  • 70' Tony Warner (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 69' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Paul Konchesky.
  • 69' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Chris Baird.
  • 67' Attempt missed. Robin van Persie (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.
  • 66' Steven Davis (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
  • 66' Robin van Persie (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 66' Foul by Steven Davis (Fulham).
  • 65' Offside, Fulham. Steven Davis tries a through ball, but Diomansy Kamara is caught offside.
  • 63' Substitution, Fulham. Diomansy Kamara replaces David Healy.
  • 63' Substitution, Arsenal. Theo Walcott replaces Emmanuel Eboué.
  • 62' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Carlos Bocanegra.
  • 62' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Zat Knight.
  • 62' Attempt blocked. Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
  • 60' Attempt blocked. Robin van Persie (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
  • 59' Emmanuel Eboué (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 59' Foul by Paul Konchesky (Fulham).
  • 59' Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
  • 59' Aliaksandr Hleb (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 59' Foul by Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham).
  • 58' Attempt missed. Alexei Smertin (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.
  • 57' Offside, Arsenal. Francesc Fábregas tries a through ball, but Robin van Persie is caught offside.
  • 56' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Tomas Rosicky.
  • 53' Delay over. They are ready to continue.
  • 52' Delay in match Robin van Persie (Arsenal) because of an injury.
  • 51' Attempt saved. Robin van Persie (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tomas Rosicky with a through ball.
  • 51' Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 51' Foul by Simon Davies (Fulham).
  • 51' Kolo Touré (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 51' Foul by Steven Davis (Fulham).
  • 50' Offside, Arsenal. Tomas Rosicky tries a through ball, but Robin van Persie is caught offside.
  • 49' Attempt saved. Steven Davis (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
  • 48' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Carlos Bocanegra.
  • 46' Attempt saved. Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mathieu Flamini.
  • Second Half begins Arsenal 0, Fulham 1.
  • 45' Substitution, Fulham. Clint Dempsey replaces Hameur Bouazza.
  • 45'+3' First Half ends, Arsenal 0, Fulham 1.
  • 45'+1' Offside, Arsenal. Kolo Touré tries a through ball, but Francesc Fábregas is caught offside.
  • 45' Foul by Robin van Persie (Arsenal).
  • 45' Paul Konchesky (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 44' Kolo Touré (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 44' Foul by Brian McBride (Fulham).
  • 44' Offside, Arsenal. Mathieu Flamini tries a through ball, but William Gallas is caught offside.
  • 44' Attempt blocked. Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tomas Rosicky with a cross.
  • 43' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Tony Warner.
  • 43' Attempt saved. Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Robin van Persie.
  • 43' Attempt saved. David Healy (Fulham) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Simon Davies.
  • 41' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Tony Warner.
  • 40' Attempt saved. Robin van Persie (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Tomas Rosicky.
  • 40' Attempt saved. Aliaksandr Hleb (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Robin van Persie.
  • 39' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Chris Baird.
  • 39' Attempt blocked. Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aliaksandr Hleb.
  • 39' William Gallas (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 39' Foul by David Healy (Fulham).
  • 35' Attempt missed. Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) header from the left side of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Tomas Rosicky with a cross following a corner.
  • 35' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Carlos Bocanegra.
  • 35' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Tony Warner.
  • 34' Attempt saved. Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Emmanuel Eboué.
  • 34' Foul by Kolo Touré (Arsenal).
  • 34' David Healy (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 33' Attempt saved. Brian McBride (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Simon Davies with a cross.
  • 32' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Gaël Clichy.
  • 28' Attempt missed. Robin van Persie (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Emmanuel Eboué.
  • 26' Attempt missed. Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Simon Davies with a cross following a corner.
  • 26' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Kolo Touré.
  • 26' Attempt blocked. David Healy (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Simon Davies.
  • 26' Attempt saved. Simon Davies (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
  • 25' Offside, Arsenal. Francesc Fábregas tries a through ball, but Robin van Persie is caught offside.
  • 23' Foul by Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal).
  • 23' Chris Baird (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 21' Robin van Persie (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 21' Foul by Steven Davis (Fulham).
  • 19' Gaël Clichy (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 19' Foul by Hameur Bouazza (Fulham).
  • 18' Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Zat Knight.
  • 18' Attempt blocked. Aliaksandr Hleb (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Emmanuel Eboué with a cross.
  • 17' Robin van Persie (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 17' Foul by Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham).
  • 16' Kolo Touré (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 16' Foul by David Healy (Fulham).
  • 15' Attempt saved. David Healy (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Simon Davies.
  • 14' Attempt missed. Alexei Smertin (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Steven Davis.
  • 14' Foul by William Gallas (Arsenal).
  • 14' Brian McBride (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 13' Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 13' Foul by Brian McBride (Fulham).
  • 13' Attempt missed. Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Robin van Persie.
  • 11' Robin van Persie (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 11' Foul by Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham).
  • 10' Attempt missed. Francesc Fábregas (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Tomas Rosicky.
  • 7' Attempt blocked. Chris Baird (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Steven Davis.
  • 5' Attempt missed. Tomas Rosicky (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Aliaksandr Hleb.
  • 5' Attempt blocked. Emmanuel Eboué (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Francesc Fábregas.
  • 2' Hand ball by Emmanuel Eboué (Arsenal).
  • 1' Goal! Arsenal 0, Fulham 1. David Healy (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.
  • First Half begins.
  • Lineups are announced and players are warming up.