Arsenal held to 2-2 draw by Fulham in Premier League after conceding in opening minute #Arsenal #held #draw #Fulham #Premier #League #conceding #opening #minute

LONDON (AP) — Joao Palhinha scored in the 87th minute to give 10-man Fulham a 2-2 draw at Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday.

Arsenal gifted Fulham the lead after just 57 seconds after a defensive howler but came back to lead 2-1 thanks to second-half goals from Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah. But the hosts couldn’t see out the win as Palhinha was left unmarked to slot home a corner for the late equalizer. That was despite Fulham going a man down when Calvin Bassey was shown a second yellow card in the 83rd.

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus came on for his first appearance of the season after a knee injury but the Gunners couldn’t find a winner through nine minutes of injury time. It was Arsenal’s first dropped points of the campaign after opening with two wins, and the setback was largely self-inflicted.

Fulham took an early lead when Saka misplayed a back pass, sending Andreas Pereira through on goal with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale stranded well outside his area. As Ramsdale backpedaled toward goal, Pereira calmly slotted the ball past him into the open net.

Arsenal missed a handful of decent chances to equalize in the first half, with Gabriel Martinelli drawing three saves from Bernd Leno alone. Kai Havertz had the best chance in the 11th minute when Saka met a cross at the far post and poked the ball across goal toward the German, who lunged in but only managed to poke it wide of the net.

Arsenal gifted Fulham another chance when Ben White let the ball drop to Raul Jimenez, who nearly scored with a spectacular overhead kick that sailed just wide of the post.

Jimenez returned to the Emirates for the first time since 2020 when a head collision while playing for Wolverhampton left him with a fractured skull that sidelined him for nearly a year.

Arsenal struggled to create quality chances in a second half played in the middle of a thunder storm that lit up the sky above Emirates Stadium, until substitute Fabio Vieira helped turn the game around. The Portuguese midfielder first earned a penalty when he was brought down in the area, and Saka calmly converted from the spot.

Nketiah then put Arsenal ahead minutes later by poking home a low cross from Vieira. Fulham complained that play went on despite Bassey staying down after a challenge on Saka in the area moments earlier and Fulham manager Marco Silva was booked for his protests.

Arsenal looked set to see out the win when Bassey was sent off, but more sloppy defending from a corner allowed Fulham to equalize.

Vieira nearly capped his impactful cameo by netting the winner deep into injury time, but Leno tipped his curling shot over the bar.


AP soccer:

#Arsenal #held #draw #Fulham #Premier #League #conceding #opening #minute

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