Fulham TV at The Emirates Stadium

Arsenal Flashback

Friday 17 January 2014 12:01

How could we possibly look past last season's pulsating contest at the Emirates? Relive that epic performance now.

10th November 2012 Arsenal 3-3 Fulham

Mikel Arteta missed a stoppage-time penalty as Fulham and Arsenal shared the points in a thrilling six-goal encounter at the Emirates.

Olivier Giroud's header and Lukas Podolski's close-range strike looked to have put the Gunners in control. But Dimitar Berbatov inspired a Fulham response, heading in and then turning provider for Alexander Kačaniklić's 40th-minute equaliser.

Berbatov's spot-kick gave the Whites a deserved 3-2 lead but Giroud levelled, before Mark Schwarzer saved Arteta's controversially awarded penalty. It was a dramatic climax to an exciting match, with referee Phil Dowd blowing the final whistle immediately after the Australian keeper's full-stretch save low to his left.

Had the penalty gone in Fulham would have felt very aggrieved, as the decision to award a spot-kick against Sascha Riether looked harsh, with the defender doing his best to withdraw his arm as Andrey Arshavin crossed.

Arsenal started brightly, in spite of a run of three defeats in their previous six matches, while Fulham were in confident mood having lost just once in their last seven outings.

Despite a bright start by Fulham, Arsenal took the lead when Giroud headed in from Theo Walcott's right-wing corner after 11 minutes.

The Gunners' attacking trio of Giroud, Walcott and Podolski was causing Fulham problems. And, midway through the half, with Fulham temporarily down to 10 men because of an injury to Kieran Richardson, Podolski doubled the lead, converting from six yards following Arteta's cutback.

Fulham, though, refused to be discouraged and continued to probe patiently. Much of their potency came via the mercurial Berbatov, who was central to our swift response, first capitalising on static Arsenal marking to nod in Bryan Ruiz's corner, then turning provider to cross for Kačaniklić to head beyond Vito Mannone from some way out.

Walcott, on his first Premier League start since the opening day of the season, began to emerge as a threat. But the away side were always dangerous and when Arteta dawdled on the edge of his area, he was robbed of possession by Ruiz, who was then bundled over by the Arsenal midfielder, with Dowd pointing to the spot. Berbatov coolly converted for his second of the match to give Fulham hope of a historic victory in north London.

Arsenal, though, responded almost instantly. After being played in by Santi Cazorla, Giroud's shot struck the post but bounced out to Walcott, who crossed for the Frenchman to score his second header of the match.

Both sides had chances to snatch victory, with Giroud going close to a hat-trick with a 30-yard effort that was saved by Schwarzer and Ashkan Dejagah failing to capitalise when in space inside the area before Arteta's penalty miss.

But a point apiece was ultimately a fair outcome from a game which both sides will feel they might have won.

From the archives: The Guardian, Monday 12th November 2012

"Fulham's Mark Schwarzer saves late penalty in dramatic draw at Arsenal" by Amy Lawrence.

This was a tussle so dizzyingly unpredictable, so helter skelter, so dramatically charged, it was hard to assess whether anybody's glass was half empty, half full, or just needed to be poured over one's head in an attempt to cool down.

Come the final whistle, Mikel Arteta lay flabbergasted on the turf. Fulham's players huddled around their goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Arsene Wenger looked bleak. Martin Jol thundered towards the referee, Phil Dowd, with a piquant word or two. That Arsenal had at one stage been 2-0 up, were pegged back to 3-2, then level at 3-3, and with the final twist awarded a stoppage-time penalty that was saved ... it was bedlam.

"I have so many mixed feelings," said Jol, encapsulating the overall condition of everyone within the Emirates Stadium. One of them, rightly, was pride in the way that his team had shown the combination of guts and guile. Fulham's creative top, with Dimitar Berbatov gliding into spaces and the outstanding Bryan Ruiz pulling strings with charisma, was at times irresistible. Certainly for Arsenal's shaky back line.

"We were very brave," added Jol. "In the end they had probably more problems with Ruiz than we had with Santi Cazorla."

Arsenal Manager Wenger said: "You cannot blame Arteta. The positives are that we can score goals. The negatives are to concede three goals at home.”