Fulham vs. Arsenal: Premier League Live Score, Highlights, Recap
Premier League—Fulham vs. Arsenal
Fulham 1-3 Arsenal
Podolski 41', 68'
Fulham: Stockdale; Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise; Kasami, Parker, Taarabt (Kacaniklic 62'); Duff (Bent 59'), Sidwell (Karagounis 75'), Berbatov
Subs: Etheridge, Ruiz, Kacaniklic, Karagounis, Briggs, Boateng, Bent
Arsenal: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Ramsey, Cazorla, Rosicky (Wilshere 70'); Walcott, Podolski (Sanogo 82'), Giroud (Monreal 72')
Subs: Fabianski, Wilshere, Monreal, Sanogo, Frimpong, Gnabry, Zelalem
Arsenal earn their first victory of the new Premier League season with a convincing victory over a very quality Fulham side.
Arsene Wenger and the players will walk into a much more amiable atmosphere after the match than they did last weekend; despite Darren Bent's second half goal, there were no signs of capitulation or imminent disaster from a threadbare Gunners side.
All talk of of new signings aside, fans should be very encouraged by the team's performance. Now Arsenal must transfer this positive momentum to the midweek Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce and the North London Derby next weekend.
Just a few more seconds now.
90+2' Brilliant play from Santi Cazorla, playing a perfect through ball into Theo Walcott, who had almost the whole goal to aim at on the right side of the box but drilled his shot into the breast of Stockdale.
90+1' There will be four minutes of added time.
89' There is chaos in the box after a Fulham free-kick, and as the home fans vociferously appeal for handball, the line judge calls offside and the situation is diffused.
While it is fairly obvious what the result will be, the match is certainly not fizzling out and ambling to its logical conclusion, which is quite welcome.
86' Jack Wilshere turned on God Mode for about 30 seconds just now.
Sliding in to take the ball off Dimitar Berbatov's feet, he raced at full pace to recover the loose ball, played a one-two with Walcott and sped down the right wing with the ball before laying it off for Walcott in the box and nearly assisting a goal in so doing.
That is precisely why Arsene Wenger is trying so hard to preserve Wilshere's health.
84' There is a bit more belief about the Fulham faithful at Craven Cottage following Bent's goal, but Arsenal have not lost their defensive shape and are still showing a willingness to get forward at pace.
Sanogo makes a positive first contribution to the game, pressing Hangeland in his own box and forcing him to concede a throw-in.
82' Arsenal substitution
A new signing makes his debut for Arsenal! Yaya Sanogo replaces Lukas Podolski.
81' Ooh, terrible luck for Arsenal, as they come close three times in rapid succession after a whipping free-kick from the left wing.
Stockdale punched the ball away, Wilshere fizzed in an effort and Mertesacker feebly attempted one of his own when that was blocked.
Darren Bent nets a consolation goal, as he taps home the rebound from a saved strike by Dimitar Berbatov.
Carl Jenkinson went to sleep and failed to mark Bent on the back post, allowing him to simply place his boot on the ball from point-blank range. Still a long way back for Fulham.
76' Fulham substitution
Karagounis relieves Steve Sidwell, as Martin Jol makes his final change.
75' Debutante Scott Parker receives a yellow card for sliding in recklessly on Santi Cazorla.
Arsenal are still on the attack, and Fulham do not really look like they're a threat to spoil Wojciech Szczesny's clean sheet.
72' Arsenal substitution
Olivier Giroud makes way for Nacho Monreal, as Arsene Wenger seeks to shut down the game. Podolski will likely move to striker, Gibbs to the left wing, and Monreal to left back.
70' Arsenal substitution
Jack Wilshere comes on for Tomas Rosicky to add a bit of defensive mettle to the side.
Podolski seals it for Arsenal with his second of the game, and it's another lovely finish from the German.
Cazorla laid the ball off for him on the left side of the box, and he drilled it into the far corner, past Stockdale's helpless dive. It's as good as over now.
66' Another precious chance for Fulham goes wasted, as Berbatov and Kasami get in each other's way, and in the end the latter drills a shot that is horribly off the mark.
The Cottagers do not look like much of a scoring threat at the moment, and Arsenal are content to sit a bit deeper than they have and deny them space and time.
It will be interesting to see how Arsene Wenger uses the limited defensive options at his disposal from the bench.
63' Fulham substitution
Alexander Kacaniklic comes on for the mercurial Adel Taarabt.
62' Fulham attempting string some passes together in midfield, but there isn't much movement up front, and passing avenues are extremely difficult to find amidst a field of largely static yellow shirts.
59' Fulham substitution
Damien Duff yields for Darren Bent, who can certainly turn the tide of the game with one stroke of his goal-poaching right foot. It'll be interesting to see if and how he impacts the game.
58' Two outstanding opportunities for Arsenal barely go begging.
Gibbs' deep cross was just a couple inches too high for Walcott, and his wayward header found Ramsey, whose searing shot was only barely deflected wide of goal by Brede Hangeland.
The Gunners are quite clearly on the front foot now, and Fulham have to weather this period of pressure to have any chance of remaining competitive in this game.
55' Arsenal really in full flow now, as Cazorla and others find space in midfield to play dangerous through balls. The Spaniard's finds Theo Walcott, who is only barely felled by John Arne Riise, resulting in a corner that ultimately results in a goal kick.
54' Arsenal do extremely well to wriggle their way out of Fulham's suffocating pressing on the left wing, and after a couple players forgo possible shooting chances, Theo Walcott has a go and drags his shot wide.
A satisfying passage of play, despite the fact that it bore no fruit. It's simply enjoying to watch.
Fulham coming to life early on in the second half, Taarabt working to create something on the attack, if only he cared that much about def.— Thomas R Atzenhoffer (@socceratz) August 24, 2013
50' Fulham get a free-kick on the left side, which is completely wasted by Adel Taarabt as he tried to swing it into the box. Instead, he blasted the ball past everyone in the box, much like I would have done.
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