Mikel Arteta missed from the penalty spot with the last kick of an eventful 3-3 draw at the Emirates stadium on Saturday.
That squandered opportunity could have nicked the points for Arsenal but after 23 minutes, the Gunners did not seem like needing any last-gasp chance to win today.
Like they did on Tuesday at Schalke, Arsenal raced into a mesmerizing 2-0 lead in front of their own crowd and looked poised to ease the pressure mounting from their recent worrying form. First, Giroud managed to head Walcott’s out-swinging corner kick into the net and as Fulham crumbled at the back, Podolski sneaked in to double Arsenal’s lead.
But the Cottagers suddenly found their first corner-kick of the game and from that, Berbatov’s free header pulled a goal back for them. As expected, that goal unsettled the nerves of an Arsenal side struggling with belief and so it was not much of a surprise when Mannone was sorrily beaten with another header which came from Kacaniklic this time on the stroke of half-time.
It was 2-2 at the break and the open affair that the second-half produced would go along with the scoreline.
Both sides traded punches while Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain were introduced to help Arsenal’s fight. Then, with an attacking attempt from Fulham seemingly stopped, Arteta was caught dallying on the ball in his own area and the Spaniard fouled Brian Luiz in desperation only to give away a penalty-kick.
Berbatov stepped up and coolly made Arsenal pay as Martin Jol’s men took a 3-2 lead. But the Gunners’ response to that dismay was surprisingly swift and the fashion of their equalizer summed up the story.
Giroud was first sent through on goal, but his strike could only find the woodwork. The big frontman did not drop his head though. If anything, he raised it even more as Walcott won the ball back and returned it to the Frenchman to head it home.
3-3, but neither side settled for a draw. And then in the dying minutes of injury time, Arshavin’s attempted cross was adjudged to have been handled by a Fulham defender. Sadly, Arteta who had fluffed his lines all day, would do so one more time from the penalty spot as Schwarzer saved his lowly struck effort.
It was a squandering sort of day.