Saturday 26 November 2011, 5:30pm at Emirates Stadium, London
Barclays Premier League
Arsenal
Arsenal
1
Vermaelen 82'
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
o.g. Vermaelen 65'
Thomas Vermaelen scored at both ends and denied Fulham a famous victory at The Emirates by equalising for Arsenal in the dying stages.

82' Goal

Thomas Vermaelen
Assist by Theo Walcott

28' Yellow Card

André Santos Card was given for a handball

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Gervinho
Off:Aaron Ramsey

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Vassiriki Abou Diaby
Off:Per Mertesacker

76' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Marouane Chamakh
Off:Andrey Arshavin

65' Own-goal

Thomas Vermaelen

28' Yellow Card

Bobby Zamora

45'+1 Yellow Card

Dickson Etuhu Card was given for a foul

76' Yellow Card

Philippe Senderos Card was given for a foul

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Pajtim Kasami
Off:Bryan Ruiz

79' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Andrew Johnson
Off:Bobby Zamora

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Martin Jol’s message to his Team prior to Saturday’s clash with Arsenal in North London was clear - remain defensively solid and attack with confidence and belief. Fulham certainly delivered at the Emirates and were just eight minutes away from a historic win before Arsenal rescued a point late on through Thomas Vermaelen.

There was certainly an abundance of attacking flair in Fulham’s starting line-up, with summer signing Bryan Ruiz named in Jol’s team to take on the Gunners. Whilst there were fine performances all over the pitch, it was Mousa Dembele who earned the Man of the Match award after another fine attacking display from the Belgium international.

Whilst Arsenal enjoyed a strong start to the first half, creating several chances on goal, it was Fulham who went into the break in the ascendancy, with Dembele and Hangeland going agonisingly close to earning Jol’s team a first half lead.

After just four minutes of play Arsenal created their first opportunity of the match. Arshavin, playing wide left, raced on to Van Persie’s through ball and fired past Schwarzer. Fortunately the Russian international was marginally offside as Van Persie released his pass behind Fulham's defence.

Fulham then had Mark Schwarzer to thank a few minutes later with the goalkeeper denying Ramsey’s close range flick with a stunning fingertip save. Fulham did well to stem the flow of pressure through the middle of the park and the home side's attacks became somewhat predictable down the flanks.

After soaking up Arsenal’s early drive, Fulham produced their first moment of real danger after 21 minutes when Ruiz and Zamora linked up well in the final third. After receiving the ball from Ruiz on the edge of Arsenal’s area, Zamora turned Mertesacker before firing a powerful drive over Szczesny’s cross bar.

Walcott was asking serious questions down Fulham's left flank four minutes later, bursting past Riise into the area before delivering a square pass to Van Persie, who blasted the ball high over Schwarzer’s cross bar. Moments later Schwarzer was again perfectly positioned to parry a Walcott drive around the near post.

15 minutes before the break Zamora talked his way into Mike Dean’s book following a foul by Santos on Ruiz which also earned the Arsenal player a booking.  Santos’ foul on Ruiz highlighted the attacking threat Ruiz posed when in possession as his influence in the final third grew as the first half wore on.

Fulham had two efforts on goal in the 33rd minute that commenced with a through ball from Ruiz to Dembele. The Belgium's drive towards goal took a deflection and from the resulting corner Hangeland headed just wide of goal.

During the final stages of the first half Fulham enjoyed a fine spell of possession and were certainly the team in the ascendancy. Three minutes before half time Jol's side almost took the lead twice in the space of a minute. First Dembele tested Szczesny to the limit with a fierce drive from the left hand side of the area before Hangeland again headed just wide from Murphy’s cross.

As expected Arsenal looked to move up a gear at the start of the second half but Fulham’s defence remained well organised and resolute. After ten minutes play Jol's team took the attacking initiative and put the Gunners under a sustained spell of pressure.

Mousa Dembele was at the heart of several attacking phases, the first earning Fulham a corner after the Belgium skipped past a host of Arsenal defenders. Murphy’s delivery, in front of Fulham’s 3,000 travelling fans, eventually worked its way back to the midfielder, whose second delivery almost found Dempsey on the far post.

By the hour mark the game was wide open with both teams attacking at will and Fulham had Chris Baird to thank for a superb goal line clearance to deny Van Persie’s fierce drive. Minutes later at the other Dembele tested Szczesny with a 25-yard drive.

Fulham then stunned the Emirates when Vermaelen inadvertently passed the ball into his own net when under pressure from Zamora and Riise. Fulham’s travelling supporters went wild as they sensed a famous win.

Fulham’s lead was all down to Riise's movement and desire and Murphy's vision, with the left back racing forward into the area for Murphy to find with a perfectly weighted pass. At full sprint Riise controlled the ball with his chest before Vermaelen’s interception steered the ball past Szczesny from 12 yards.

As expected Arsenal poured forward searching for an equaliser and Fulham again had Mark Schwarzer to thank with the keeper making a wonderful save to deny Djourou’s header.

However Schwarzer could do nothing to stop Vermaelen atoning for his earlier error with a close range header to bring Arsenal level with eight minutes remaining. The defender found the net from another teasing Walcott cross. 

Fulham were forced to defend deep during the final stages of the game but held out to earn themselves a hard fought point from arguably one of the toughest away games of the season.  

By the close of play on Saturday evening Fulham's result in North London saw them residing in 15th place in the Barclays Premier League. Next week Jol's team will travel to Holland for a UEFA Europa League clash against FC Twente before returning to SW6 a week on Monday for a League encounter at the Cottage against Liverpool.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 26 November 2011
Kick-off: 5:30pm

Venue: Emirates Stadium, London
Attendance: 60,043

Referee: Mike Dean

Arsenal

Line-up: Szczesny; Djourou, Mertesacker (Abou Diaby 69'), Vermaelen, André Santos; Song, Arteta; Walcott, Ramsey (Gervinho 68'), Arshavin (Chamakh 76'); van Persie

Unused substitutes: Fabianski, Koscielny, Frimpong, Benayoun

Manager: Arsène Wenger

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Baird, Senderos, Hangeland, John Arne Riise; Ruiz (Kasami 75'), Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey; Dembélé; Zamora (Andrew Johnson 79')

Unused substitutes: Etheridge, Hughes, Briggs, Gecov, Frei

Manager: Martin Jol

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester City 12 34
2 Manchester United 13 30
3 Tottenham Hotspur 12 28
4 Newcastle United 13 26
5 Chelsea 13 25
6 Arsenal 13 23
7 Liverpool 12 22
8 Everton 12 16
9 Norwich City 13 16
10 Aston Villa 12 15
11 Queens Park Rangers 13 15
12 Stoke City 13 15
13 West Bromwich Albion 13 14
14 Swansea City 12 13
15 Fulham 13 12
16 Sunderland 13 11
17 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 11
18 Bolton Wanderers 13 9
19 Wigan Athletic 13 9
20 Blackburn Rovers 13 7
Goals
1
1
Total Shots
20
10
Shots On Target
9
2
Passing Accuracy
87%
86%
Fouls
10
9
Corners
13
4
Offsides
3
2
Bookings
1
3
Sending Offs
0
0
Arsenal (4-2-3-1)
  • 13Wojciech Szczesny
  • 20Johan Djourou
  • 4Per Mertesacker
  • 5Thomas Vermaelen
  • 11André Santos
  • 17Alexandre Song
  • 8Mikel Arteta
  • 14Theo Walcott
  • 16Aaron Ramsey
  • 23Andrey Arshavin
  • 10Robin van Persie
Substitutes
  • 21Lukasz Fabianski
  • 6Laurent Koscielny
  • 2Vassiriki Abou Diaby
  • 26Emmanuel Frimpong
  • 30Yossi Benayoun
  • 27Gervinho
  • 29Marouane Chamakh
Manager
  • Arsène Wenger
Fulham (4-4-1-1)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 6Chris Baird
  • 14Philippe Senderos
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 3John Arne Riise
  • 11Bryan Ruiz
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 30Moussa Dembélé
  • 25Bobby Zamora
Substitutes
  • 38Neil Etheridge
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 28Matthew Briggs
  • 10Pajtim Kasami
  • 15Marcel Gecov
  • 21Kerim Frei
  • 8Andrew Johnson
Manager
  • Martin Jol
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