Premier League: Arsenal 3 Fulham 3
By Football News
Arsene Wenger's men squandered a two-goal lead for the second time in a week as Mikel Arteta had a last-minute penalty saved by Mark Schwarzer at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal shot into the lead through Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski efforts but were pegged back by Dimitar Berbatov and Alex Kacaniklic headers before half-time.
Berbatov's penalty gave Fulham the lead before Giroud drew the hosts level with his second header.
Neither side was able to provide a final twist to a wildly oscillating London derby until Arteta saw his penalty kept out.
It was Theo Walcott who proved the spark behind Arsenal taking an 11th-minute lead - winning then taking the corner that Giroud powerfully headed beyond Schwarzer at the near post.
As Kieran Richardson hobbled off clutching his hamstring, Fulham's cumbersome start was further punished as Podolski doubled Arsenal's lead.
Arteta fortuitously found his way to the by-line and his cut back was slammed home by the German.
That lead was short lived though, with Arsenal made to pay for giving Berbatov an abundance of space in the six-yard box as he nodded home Bryan Ruiz's inviting corner.
Berbatov, who had been the inspiration for the visitors, then turned provider five minutes before the interval.
The Bulgarian was released down the right after some smart Fulham build-up and his first-time cross was met by Kacaniklic – Richardson's replacement – who stooped to head an angled effort past Vito Mannone.
Walcott looked the most likely to help Arsenal re-establish their lead after the break, firstly sending in a cross that narrowly evaded Giroud before drifting in from the right to send a curling effort just wide.
However, it was Fulham who made the breakthrough courtesy of a well-taken Berbatov penalty after Arteta hauled down Ruiz.
Fulham could, and should, have extended their lead but Kacaniklic could only fire straight at Mannone before Giroud drew the home side level.
The Frenchman hit the post after some bizarre defending from Brede Hangeland but made no mistake after Walcott clipped the ball back into the area, heading home with power similar to his first.
Substitute Andrey Arshavin earned Arsenal a debatable penalty as his cross hit Chris Baird on the arm late on, but Schwarzer was equal to Arteta's effort to rescue a point for Fulham.