Premier League

January 2, 2012



2 - 1


Premier League

17:30 +00:00, January 2, 2012

Craven Cottage, England

Referee: Lee Probert

  • 94'

    FULL TIME Wenger mutters to himself as he trudges off the field and his side have shot themselves in the foot yet again - Djourou's dismissal turned the game and Fulham score two in the last five minutes to win it.

  • 93'

    A super goal from Zamora - excellent technique to watch the dropping ball, catch it sweetly and find the net.

  • 92'

    A splendid finish from Zamora as a cross is nodded into the air by Squillaci, and the big man volleys into the near post to win it for Fulham!

  • 92'

    GOAL Zamora wins it for Fulham!

  • 92'

    Dembele's turn to have a pop - this one is wider than Riise a moment ago.

  • 91'

    Riise has his first pop of the night but though the power is there, the direction is not.

  • 90'

    Three minutes of added time....

  • 89'

    A rare break from Arsenal but Rosicky hits a half-hearted cross slash shot that sails wide of the target. Wenger not happy.

  • 88'

    Dembele finds Ruiz with a fantastic pass but the flag goes up - wrongly as it turns out! He was a yard on! He did miscontrol though.

  • 87'

    Its all Fulham now and Arsenal are penned in on their own box. Some respite though as Frei is flagged offside.

  • 86'

    Fulham can smell victory here, Arsenal wobbling. They had so many chances in the first half, too.

  • 85'

    It has been coming and Arsenal only have themselves to blame, Senderos is free at the back post after Szczesny failed to claim the ball, he heads across goal and Sidwell nods in from close range.

  • 85'

    GOAL Sidwell equalises!

  • 83'

    Zamora is flagged offside as Sidwell threw a ball over the top.

  • 82'

    Squillaci has gone into right back for Arsenal and Van Persie is up top on his own.

  • 81'

    Squillaci replaces Aaron Ramsey as Arsenal try to shore things up.

  • 81'

    Zamora does well to scamper away from Ramsey and cross, the ball cannons off Dempsey and Arsenal have a goal kick.

  • 80'

    Kelly takes the free kick, extremely badly. Hits the wall and goes behind for a corner.

  • 78'

    Fulham argue the foul was in the box but it wasn't, it was just outside. Djourou makes the long walk to the tunnel and Fulham have a free kick right on the edge.

  • 77'

    Djourou is off! He hauls down Zamora as Dempsey played him in, gets a second yellow and has to trudge off.

  • 76'

    Ruiz is penalised for a nudge when Dempsey was behind him in space.

  • 75'

    Fulham's best chance of the game as the ball spills through to Ruiz at the back post but he has hit his effort right at Szczesny from 14 yards out. Should have scored. Good stop.

  • 74'

    Gervinho heads off and Benayoun is on.

  • 73'

    Frei looks lively, keen to take players on whenever he gets the ball. He wins a free kick on the left.

  • 72'

    Fulham suffering from the Arsenal syndrome, trying to unpick the lock from the edge of the box.

  • 71'

    Gervinho has picked up where Walcott left off, he cuts in and gets into the area but slices his shot horribly wide.

  • 69'

    Danny Murphy heads off and Kerim Frei jogs on. Arsenal did get the free kick in the end, rightly so.

  • 68'

    Confusion here, the referee has given handball but he isn't sure whose free kick it is. He says a Fulham free kick, linesman says Arsenal.

  • 67'

    Fulham are sure to equalise if Arsenal keep sitting this deep and surrendering initiative like this.

  • 66'

    What a chance for Dempsey! Ruiz does brilliantly to stand up a ball at the back post, Dempsey leans on Mertesacker to win the header, but he glances inches wide of the post.

  • 65'

    Arsenal change, as the dreadful Walcott slopes off and Rosicky comes on.

  • 64'

    So close for Senderos! Szczesny came for Murphy's free kick but gets nowhere near it, and Senderos's flick drops the wrong side of the post for Fulham.

  • 63'

    First card of the game for Djourou, as he charges in on Riise.

  • 62'

    Riise persisting with his long throws but Mertesacker stands firm.

  • 61'

    Riise barges over Walcott but unbelievably no foul is given, and Dembele then squirts a shot wide of the post.

  • 60'

    Coquelin does well to block two attempted Zamora crosses.

  • 59'

    Sidwell has a pop on goal but it was always a little too high and Szczesny watches it over the bar.

  • 58'

    Pressure building a little on Arsenal here. Koscielny concedes a throw.

  • 57'

    RVP goes to ground in the Fulham box but he was never going to get a penalty for that. He didn't make much fuss either.

  • 56'

    Song wastes another good slice of Arsenal possession on the edge of the box. Looking for the perfect pass.

  • 55'

    Seems like Arsenal are playing with less attacking intent this half and sitting on thier lead. Dangerous.

  • 54'

    RVP intercepts a pass and finds Walcott but his attempted shot is blocked and Dempsey helps to clear.

  • 53'

    Fulham still making all the running - Arsenal yet to properly get into the half as yet.

  • 52'

    Walcott starts the second half like he ended the first, with a truly terrible cross when he had all the time in the world.

  • 51'

    Coquelin is back on and calmly dealing with a long cross, nodding back to Szczesny on the dive.

  • 50'

    Coquelin got a bang to his head with that Sidwell chance. He wanders off in a daze for a spot of treatment.

  • 49'

    More possession from Fulham and a lovely move down the left as Dempsey takes a long ball delicately, he lays off to Riise to cross and Sidwell nods over.

  • 48'

    Cracking play from Dembele and Dempsey and the latter releases Riise but he can't collect the ball as he had acres of space to run into down the left.

  • 47'

    ALmost exclusively Fulham possession at the start of the second half and it ends with a Ruiz shot that Szczesny saves comfortably.

  • 46'

    We begin again...


    Walcott trots out as we prepare to restart - he was nigh on useless in that first game. Here comes Wenger running across the turf to get to the bench. Riise fakes a trip on him and they share a giggle.


    And here is a decent stat for you, Arsenal have already had nine shots on target against Fulham - they have only had more in three full matches this season.


    If you missed any of this afternoon's action then our Premier League wrap will set you right.


    Koscielny celebrates his opening goal

  • 45'

    HALF TIME Senderos nods over as he meets the corner and that is half time, Koscielny's header separates the teams.

  • 44'

    Koscielny gets his head to a long ball and Fulham have a corner.

  • 43'

    What a hit from Ramsey - a fierce effort that Stockdale is right behind.

  • 42'

    Great skill from Gervinho to get away from two players but Van Persie goes too early and is a yard offside when the ball is played through.

  • 41'

    Van Persie crosses but Gervinho and Walcott are no match for Senderos and Hangeland.

  • 40'

    A bizarre passage of play as Riise and Djourou wrestle on the floor before a Sidwell tackle takes the ball back out wide. Riise turns in an excellent cross but Zamora glances a header wide.

  • 39'

    Another Walcott waste, as Arsenal break well and Gervinho finds him on the edge of the box. Extra shooting lessons required. And crossing lessons too.

  • 38'

    Fulham doing their best to rally the troops before the break.

  • 37'

    Another disappointing involvement from Walcott, cutting inside and blasting a shot over.

  • 36'

    Dempsey can't get into the game at the moment - his pass for Zamora is cut out before he drags a shot well wide.

  • 35'

    Senderos slides in well as Gervinho threatened to fly off down the wing. Seven years he had at Arsenal.

  • 34'

    Another sight of goal for Van Persie, who brings the ball inside on his right before dribbling a shot towards goal.

  • 33'

    Superb work from Song as Ruiz gets into the area and prepares to shoot but the midfielder slides in and even wins the goal kick to boot.

  • 32'

    Lovely work from Coquelin down the left and a good cross and Van Persie flicks it into Stockdale's arms.

  • 31'

    So nearly a fantastic goal from Ruiz as he cuts inside, beats Song and flashes a shot a foot wide of the post.

  • 30'

    Ramsey wins a free kick, Song keeps it alive and squares for Walcott on the box edge but he dribbles a shot into Stockdale's arms.

  • 29'

    Pressure on the edge of the box from Arsenal as they try and walk their way through. RVP finally has a shot but it is blocked. Walcott was screaming for it.

  • 28'

    Another pitiful cross from Walcott as he has a clear chance to cross. Van Persie was lurking too.

  • 27'

    Gervinho and Walcott have switched flanks. Not sure of the wisdom of that. Kelly is quicker than Riise.

  • 26'

    Superb ball into the box from Zamora and Djourou scrambles to get a touch on it to prevent Dembele getting there.

  • 25'

    A better pass from Ramsey and Walcott was in - Coquelin started the move with a great tackle on Ruiz.

  • 24'

    As well as Stockdale did, there's no doubt Ramsey should have scored.

  • 23'

    Amazing stuff! Fulham survive thanks to two superb saves from Stockdale! First Walcott's cross finds Ramsey who fires a shot in from twelve yards, Stockdale parries that then diverts Song's follow up onto the post. Phenomenal stuff!

  • 22'

    A tidy finish from the defender, his first league goal this season, and Arsenal lead.

  • 21'

    Ramsey dinks in a ball that takes a deflection but Koscielny is unmarked and can take his time to plant a header into the far corner from seven yards out.

  • 21'

    GOAL Koscielny scores!

  • 19'

    A few replays of that Gervinho penalty claim shows that Arsenal can count themselves unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty.

  • 18'

    Song clips Dembele as he offloads the ball. Free kick wide left for Fulham.

  • 17'

    Riise powers up for another long throw - clearly a tactic to test Arsenal's aerial prowess. Mertesacker nods this one away.

  • 16'

    Can't quite believe we are goalless actually. Good game.

  • 15'

    Gervinho has not covered himself in glory early in this game - he keeps getting in the right positions but making poor decisions at the vital moment. He is one on one with Kelly again but chooses a poor ball into the box.

  • 14'

    Now Hangeland nods over from a Murphy free kick from the right. Good spell for Fulham.

  • 13'

    What a chance for Fulham - Hangeland with a fantastic ball down the left for Riise, who broke the offside trap, Zamora was in the middle unmarked but the cross was too far ahead of him. Poor.

  • 12'

    Walcott and Ramsey do well to hustle Sidwell out of posession, then Arsenal break and Van Persie feeds Gervinho, who cuts inside and goes to ground. He didn't claim a penalty but it looked a little suspicious.

  • 11'

    Sidwell snapping at Song's heels but referee Lee Probert whistled too early for a foul as Ramsey was about to charge into Fulham's half.

  • 10'

    But they nearly went behind there as Fulham broke - Dembele found Zamora and Szczesny gets down smartly to save well.

  • 9'

    Neat possession football from Arsenal, as usual.

  • 8'

    What a chance for Gervinho! Van Persie's corner heads all the way to the back post, he is completely free from four yards out be he can't hook the ball back on target or, at least, across goal.

  • 7'

    Walcott turns in a poor ball that Hangeland hoofs clear. Decent, open start to the game.

  • 6'

    Koscielny chagres forward and beats three players but his pass to Gervinho out wide is poor.

  • 5'

    First danger for Arsenal as Coquelin loses the ball and Ruiz crosses for Zamora who nearly gets into a good position. Eventually, Ruiz's shot is blocked and cleared.

  • 4'

    Riise apes Delap by chucking in a bomb from a throw in, as it is cleared to Murphy he volleys wildly over.

  • 3'

    Now Ramsey tests Stockdale with a shot from the edge of the box after a nice slot from Song.

  • 2'

    First chance of the game inside a minute as Walcott's cross finds Gervinho at the back post but he volleys over from 18 yards.

  • 1'

    "Thierry's coming home," sing Arsenal's fans...

  • 1'



    For those of you exasperated by the focus on Barton today, I can assure you that will be his first and last involvement in this live commentary, as our teams enter the arena.


    Slightly off topic but Joey Barton has already been on Twitter about his red card: "Well feel for the officials, they've been conned. Admitted to me at HT they never saw it. I was pulled back 1st, then kicked 2nd!"


    If you've missed anything on a dramatic afternoon of top flight action why not have a read of our Premier League wrap.


    Fulham are 15th at present but the omens aren't good for them - they haven't beaten Arsenal since August 2008.


    Chelsea's win has relegated Arsenal to fifth but they can reclaim the final Champions League slot with a win at Craven Cottage.


    For Fulham, Steve Sidwell and Bobby Zamora return, for Kerm Frei and Orlando Sa respectively.


    Elsewhere, Coquelin comes in for Vermaelen and Gervinho is in for Arshavin.


    Evening all and welcome to Fulham v Arsenal. The big team news for Arsenal is that Robin van Persie starts. Hardly a surprise is it?


    Thierry Henry won't be playing, but there is a lot of excitement over his return to Arsenal.


    Robin van Persie fell one goal short of the Premier League record for a calender year.


    Join us at 1730 GMT to see if Arsenal can continue their revival against Fulham.