Arsenal faced disappointment as they conceded a late equalizer against Fulham, even though Marco Silva’s side was reduced to 10 men.
Last season, Arsenal held the top position in the Premier League table for a remarkable 248 days during the campaign. Despite their strong performance, they were narrowly edged out by Manchester City in the title race due to dropping points in crucial moments. This marked the longest duration in history that a club held the top position without ultimately becoming champions.
This season, Arsenal aimed to learn from their previous mistakes and compete closely with Manchester City once again for the title. The club invested over £200 million in players such as Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber, and Declan Rice in an attempt to outshine Pep Guardiola’s team.
Given these aspirations, Arsenal fans were undoubtedly surprised by the unpredictable turn of events in their match against Fulham on Saturday. Despite initially conceding an early goal due to errors by Bukayo Saka and Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal managed to secure a 2-1 lead through a Saka penalty and an Eddie Nketiah tap-in. However, the late equalizer was a setback in their pursuit of success.
Aaron Ramsdale was shook. 🥶
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And when Calvin Bassey was sent off late in the second half another Arsenal win appeared a formality. The Fulham defender cynically blocked Nketiah on the halfway line as Arsenal were racing through on the counter
But moments later, in the 87th minute, Joao Palhinha bundled home at a corner to see a stunned Emirates fall silent in shock.
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Arsenal fans’ overriding feeling will be one of frustration as the club failed to move above rivals Tottenham and into top spot in the Premier League, with sloppy errors undermining Arteta’s side.
But Fulham will be heartened by the result after enduring a difficult start to the season.
Speaking to theBBCPalhinha said: “I came from an injury and it was tough for me this last month because I miss all the pre-season with my team-mates. It is really good to be back and to help my team-mates and finish the game like this. Unfortunately we didn’t win but I think it is a good result. It is always tough to play against Arsenal.
“We came to try to win but the most important thing was the effort we showed until the end, even with 10 men.
“It was tough in the last 10 minutes. I go to the back line and we tried to give our all until the end to defend the spaces and it meant we could achieve a good result.
“The manager said we needed to give better value to the ball and we gave up a little bit of possession. We have the quality to do better with the ball. The effort was amazing from all the players and that is the soul of this team.”