Saturday 24 August 2013, 12:45pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Bent 77'
Giroud 14'; Podolski 41', 68'

77' Goal

Darren Bent

73' Yellow Card

Scott Parker Card was given for a foul

78' Yellow Card

Pajtim Kasami Card was given for a foul

59' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Darren Bent
Off:Damien Duff

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alexander Kacaniklic
Off:Adel Taarabt

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Giorgos Karagounis
Off:Steve Sidwell

14' Goal

Olivier Giroud
Assist by Aaron Ramsey

41' Goal

Lukas Podolski

68' Goal

Lukas Podolski
Assist by Santiago Cazorla

21' Yellow Card

Aaron Ramsey

80' Yellow Card

Jack Wilshere Card was given for a foul

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jack Wilshere
Off:Tomas Rosicky

72' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Nacho Monreal
Off:Olivier Giroud

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Yaya Sanogo
Off:Lukas Podolski

A debut goal from Darren Bent proved to be little consolation for Fulham on Saturday afternoon as Arsenal left Craven Cottage with a 3-1 win.

A debut goal from Darren Bent proved to be little consolation for Fulham on Saturday afternoon as Arsenal left Craven Cottage with a 3-1 win.

The damage had already been done by the time the England international reacted first after Dimitar Berbatov’s shot had been saved, with an Olivier Giroud effort and Lukas Podolski’s brace putting the Gunners firmly in the ascendency.

The scoreline was somewhat harsh on the Whites, who dominated for long spells of the match, but it was ultimately Arsenal’s clinical finishing that earned the North London side the points.

There were several positives for Manager Martin Jol to take though, with new arrivals Adel Taarabt, Scott Parker and Bent all bringing something different to the team.

Jol made three changes to the side that defeated Sunderland a week ago, as David Stockdale and John Arne Riise replaced the injured Maarten Stekelenburg and Kieran Richardson, while Parker was handed a debut at the expense of Derek Boateng.

The rain was torrential as both sides struggled to get the ball under control on the zippy surface, with Podolski seeing the game’s first shot deflect wide for a corner with five minutes gone.

Moments later, good work by Pajtim Kasami saw him win the ball back on the edge of his own area before beating an incoming Arsenal man to the follow up to play in Berbatov. The Bulgarian switched play to Taarabt who was chopped down 30 yards from goal by Carl Jenkinson, but Riise’s subsequent free-kick was never troubling Wojciech Szczesny.

A neat through ball by Tomas Rosicky found an unmarked Theo Walcott in the area on 10 minutes, but Stockdale was out quickly to turn the England international’s effort behind for another corner.

Out of nothing the visitors took the lead on 14 minutes when Aaron Ramsey’s speculative effort fell fortuitously to Giroud who collected well before clipping a neat effort beyond Stockdale.

The Whites responded well though and came agonisingly close to equalising two minutes later only for Szczesny to make a great double save, firstly to deny Taarabt, before blocking Damien Duff’s follow up.

Good hold-up play by Giroud on 20 minutes allowed him to play Santi Cazorla in on the edge of the area, but the Spaniard’s effort was straight at Stockdale who saved comfortably.

Taarabt was causing the Arsenal defence all manner of issues with his trickery and he won a free-kick in a dangerous position on 25 minutes, but Kasami’s set-piece deflected harmlessly into Szczesny’s arms.

Fulham were by far the better side but were just lacking in the final third, as was evident again in the 28th minute when Duff did well to rob his man 30 yards from goal, but his pass to Berbatov had too much pace on it for the striker to get it under control.

Loanee Taarabt was clearly eager to impress and he tried his luck once again on 29 minutes, fizzing a left footed drive wide of Szczesny’s far post.

A beautiful team move on the half hour mark presented Parker with his first chance in a Fulham shirt as he bent Berbatov’s first time lay off over the bar with his weaker left foot.

Almost everything was going through Taarabt and the Morocco international had a go on his right foot this time, bending an effort into Szczesny’s arms on 32 minutes.

After Fulham went close once again to an equaliser on 38 minutes when Riise flashed an effort across goal, the Gunners almost doubled their lead instantly on the counter when they had a plethora of men forward. It was eventually Kieran Gibbs who got a shot away, but his effort sailed some way wide.

Cruelly on the hosts, Arsenal doubled their lead four minutes before half-time through Podolski. It was particularly harsh on Stockdale who had made a fine save to keep out Walcott’s initial strike, but Podolski was there to thump home the rebound from just inside the box.

As one minute of added time was announced, the Gunners had a clear opportunity to add a third to their tally, but Podolski’s angled cross-cum-shot was neither goalbound or likely to find a teammate.

The rain had ceased somewhat as the second half began with Kasami showing great strength and skill to beat Cazorla and set up a Fulham break. He played the ball to Berbatov who fed Taarabt, with the playmaker turning well to beat his man before forcing a smart stop from Szczesny.

Parker showed that he has attacking qualities as well as defensive in the 51st minute when he rode three Arsenal challenges to make his way into the area, only to see Bacary Sagna make a late sliding tackle to deny him a sight of goal.

A slick counter attack from Arsenal three minutes later saw the ball worked to Walcott down the right, but Riise did well to match him for pace before getting in a vital sliding block.

A great cross by Gibbs was then met by Walcott who headed back into the path of Ramsey, who saw his powerful shot deflected away for a corner.

Fulham fans got their first glimpse of new loan signing Bent just before the hour mark when he was introduced in place of Duff, with Jol making his second change shortly after when the impressive Taarabt was replaced by Alexander Kacaniklic.

The best chance of the second period came on 66 minutes when Parker slid Sascha Riether in down the right. The full-back played a sharp pass back to the edge of thee area, but Berbatov seemed to put Kasami off as the Swiss youth international snatched at his shot to send it wide.

And Arsenal showed their clinical edge for the third time two minutes later. Following Fulham’s attack, the Gunners broke swiftly after Giroud did brilliantly to pluck a high ball out of the air before finding Walcott. He fed Cazorla who in turn played it back to Podolski, with the German lashing the ball into the far corner, leaving Stockdale with no chance.

Arsene Wenger then made his first changes of the afternoon, as England midfielder Jack Wilshere replaced Rosicky, before left-back Nacho Monreal took the place of goalscorer Giroud.

Parker was booked for a late challenge on Cazorla with 72 minutes played, with Giorgos Karagounis coming on for Steve Sidwell a few minutes later.

Fulham were handed a lifeline with 13 minutes remaining courtesy of a debut goal for Bent. Riether dinked a sublime ball into Berbatov inside the area and when Szczesny could only parry his shot, Bent was on hand to tap into an empty net.

The Whites pushed for a way back into the match but it was Arsenal who came closest to grabbing another goal when Walcott smashed one goalwards with Stockdale getting in the way well to keep the score respectable.

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Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 24 August 2013
Kick-off: 12:45pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 25,622

Referee: Howard Webb


Line-up: Stockdale; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, John Arne Riise; Duff (Bent 59'), Parker, Sidwell (Karagounis 75'), Taarabt (Kacaniklic 62'); Kasami; Berbatov

Unused substitutes: Etheridge, Briggs, Derek Boateng, Ruiz

Manager: Martin Jol


Line-up: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Rosicky (Wilshere 70'), Ramsey; Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski (Sanogo 81'); Giroud (Monreal 72')

Unused substitutes: Fabianski, Frimpong, Gnabry, Zelalem

Manager: Arsène Wenger

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 2 6
2 Manchester City 1 3
3 Manchester United 1 3
4 West Ham United 1 3
5 Aston Villa 2 3
6 Liverpool 1 3
7 Southampton 1 3
8 Tottenham Hotspur 1 3
9 Arsenal 2 3
10 Fulham 2 3
11 Everton 1 1
12 Norwich City 1 1
13 Crystal Palace 1 0
14 Stoke City 1 0
15 Sunderland 1 0
16 West Bromwich Albion 1 0
17 Cardiff City 1 0
18 Hull City 1 0
19 Swansea City 1 0
20 Newcastle United 1 0
Total Shots
Shots On Target
Passing Accuracy
Sending Offs
Fulham (4-4-1-1)
  • 13David Stockdale
  • 27Sascha Riether
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 3John Arne Riise
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 28Scott Parker
  • 7Steve Sidwell
  • 19Adel Taarabt
  • 8Pajtim Kasami
  • 9Dimitar Berbatov
  • 38Neil Etheridge
  • 17Matthew Briggs
  • 11Alexander Kacaniklic
  • 14Giorgos Karagounis
  • 23Derek Boateng
  • 10Bryan Ruiz
  • 39Darren Bent
  • Martin Jol
Arsenal (4-2-3-1)
  • 1Wojciech Szczesny
  • 25Carl Jenkinson
  • 3Bacary Sagna
  • 4Per Mertesacker
  • 28Kieran Gibbs
  • 7Tomas Rosicky
  • 16Aaron Ramsey
  • 14Theo Walcott
  • 19Santiago Cazorla
  • 9Lukas Podolski
  • 12Olivier Giroud
  • 21Lukasz Fabianski
  • 17Nacho Monreal
  • 10Jack Wilshere
  • 26Emmanuel Frimpong
  • 44Serge Gnabry
  • 58Gedion Zelalem
  • 22Yaya Sanogo
  • Arsène Wenger
Total shots
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
Minutes played by player
Assists from open play
Successful aerial duels
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
Pass forwards
Successful dribbles
Sum of all a players ball events
Accurate passes
Key passes
Player intercepts a pass
Goalkeeper saves
Goalkeeper catches a cross
  • That's it at Craven Cottage, and it ends Fulham 1 Arsenal 3.
  • 93 Berba creates some space deep, but his shot arrows over the bar.
  • 92 Kaca does well on the right flank, tricking Gibbs before crossing. Again, the visitors clear.
  • 90 Great save from Stockdale who does well to save from Walcott's close range effort.
  • 89 Arsenal are just keeping the ball now, seeing this game out.
  • 85 Karagounis almost finds the head of Berbatov with a clever cross from the right. Arsenal clear.
  • 83 Great skill from Riether who beats Sanogo and then Cazorla before releasing Berbatov. Wilshere then wins the ball back for the Gunners.
  • 82 Good play from Kasami on the right. His cross is cleared by Mertesacker though.
  • 81 Cazorla jinks through, but Parker does just enough to deny the Spain international a strike at goal.
  • 80 Podolski off, Yaya Sanogo on.
  • 79 Wilshere is booked for a foul on Karagounis.
  • 76 GOAL! And it's Darren Bent with his first goal for the Whites, finishing coolly from close range. Great skill from Berba prior to the goal.
  • 75 Jol makes his last change with Giorgos Karagounis on for Steve Sidwell.
  • 72 Parker is shown a yellow card for a late foul on Cazorla.
  • 71 Olivier Giroud off, Nacho Monreal on.
  • 68 Arsenal make their first change with Tomas Rosicky being replaced by Jack Wilshere.
  • 67 Podolski grabs his second and Arsenal's third with a controlled angled finish.
  • 66 Parker and Riether combine again. This time it's Bent that takes the ball from the right-back, but his cross is blocked by Per Mertesacker.
  • 65 Fantastic pass from Parker who finds Riether in the right channel. The German pulls the ball back, but Kasami fires wide.
  • 62 Composed play from Aaron Hughes who snuffs out Giroud.
  • 61 Adel Taarabt is replaced by Alexander Kacaniklic.
  • 58 Darren Bent comes on to make his Fulham debut, replacing Damien Duff.
  • 56 Gibbs whips in a cross from the left, Walcott's header hangs in the air. Ramsey follows up with a strike, but Riether makes the block.
  • 53 Slick move from Arsenal as Cazorla feeds the ball through to Walcott. Riise makes an excellent sliding tackle to keep the England winger out.
  • 50 Brilliant run from Parker who drives towards the Arsenal goal. Bacary Sagna makes an important intervention and sees the ball to safety.
  • 48 Taarabt's set-piece is just too high for Hangeland.
  • 48 Jenkinson brings Kasami down. Free-kick to Fulham.
  • 46 Great start by the Whites. Kasami breaks with a powerful run and Taarabt then forces Szczesny into a fine low save.
  • 46 And we're back underway at Craven Cottage. Come on Fulham!
  • Half-time: Fulham have impressed in patches, but it's Arsenal that are in front courtesy of goals from Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.
  • 45 Walcott breaks with pace and finds Podolski on the left of the box. The German's low cross evades his teammates at the far post.
  • 40 Against the run of play Podolski lashes in Arsenal's second after Stockdale saved well from Walcott.
  • 38 The ball then falls for Riise, but the Norwegian's strike flashes across goal. Fulham are on top.
  • 37 Taarabt does well to create space for Riise, but his cross is cleared by Jenkinson.
  • 34 Ramsey is on thin ice now, the Welshman brings Kasami down following the Swiss youngster's clever run.
  • 31 Taarabt is causing Arsenal problems right now. Another clever run pushes the visiting defence back before firing a curled shot at Szczesny.
  • 29 Great play from Berbatov and Taarabt. The ball breaks free and Parker just can't keep his shot down. Good chance.
  • 28 Taarabt runs from deep and the Arsenal defence back off. His strike sails wide of the goal though.
  • 27 Good play from Duff who almost plays Berbatov in with a clever through ball.
  • 26' Kasami's free-kick hits the Arsenal wall, moving Szczesny into a low save.
  • 25 Cazorla fouls Taarabt on the edge of the box.
  • 24 Scott Parker is starting to get on the ball more now, our new no.28 is looking to dictate Fulham's play.
  • 21 Walcott finds space on the right and his shot is well blocked by John Arne Riise.
  • 20 Aaron Ramsey picks up the game's first booking for a foul on Kasami.
  • 19 Santi Cazorla fizzes a strike at goal. Stockdale holds the ball with conviction.
  • 18 Jenkinson crosses, Brede Hangeland clears with a powerful header.
  • 15 Wojciech Szczesny makes a fine double save - denying Adel Taarabt and then Damien Duff. Great response from the Whites.
  • 13 Olivier Giroud opens the scoring, finishing smartly from close range.
  • 9 Tomas Rosicky finds Theo Walcott. Stockdale races out and smothers the ball.
  • 6 Good play from Pajtim Kasami who plays in Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian finds Adel Taarabt, who is brought down by Carl Jenkinson.
  • 4 Lukas Podolski shoots at goal, Scott Parker makes the block.
  • 1 And we're underway at Craven Cottage. COYW!
  • New signings Adel Taarabt and Scott Parker both receive great ovations from the fans!
  • It's showtime! Brede leads the boys out in the drizzle here at Craven Cottage.