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West Ham United
May 22, 2011
• Craven Cottage, London
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 25674
S. Sidwell 26'
B. Zamora 56'
R. van Persie 29'
T. Walcott 89'
Fulltime at Craven Cottage! The match has finished 2-2. After a fairly unspectacular first half, both sides played some good, entertaining football. Arsenal will be disappointed they couldn't end the season with a win, but even a win wouldn't have been a consolation for the Gunners' poor season.
90' + 2'
Arshavin goes close again!! The ball found it's way out to Eboue on the left, but instead of going for goal himsefl, he played back to Arshavin who was more central, but the Russian's shot was just a bit too high. Decent attempt though.
GOAL!!!!! Arsenal equalise!!! Walcott managed to get inside Briggs at left-back before shooting across goal, and although Schwarzer got a hand to the shot, the bal found it's way into the net via the post. 2-2 at Craven Cottage!!
Chamakh nearly gets his head on a ball from deep by Wilshere, but the Moroccan, who has been very poor today can't quite reach it.
As it stands, Arsenal will finish fourth in the Premier League, meaning they will have to qualify for the Champions League.
Chance for Vermaelen! Nasri chipped a ball into the area from deep, but the Belgian, who had Hangeland for company can't direct the header goalwards with the back of his head.
Dickson Etuhu does well to tackle Walcott as he looked to charge into the Fulham penalty area. The rest of the match will probably follow the pattern of Arsenal attack, Fulham clear.
Arshaving goes close! The little Russian got the ball after an Arsenal corner wasn't cleared properly and was allowed the chance to shoot after the Fulham defence let him advance on them, he took the ball past them and shot, but it went just wide of the far post.
Arsenal are yet to make anything of their numerical advantage, and their substitutions have made very little impact so far.
Yellow CardSteve Sidwell
Red CardZoltán Gera
Zoltan Gera is sent off!! The Hungarian went in two-footed on Vermaelen and Mr. Atkinson didn't hesitate to give him a straight red.
Considering the amount of attacking players Arsenal have on the pitch, they seem very toothless in attack, such a contrast to Fulham who look threatening.
Fulham are looking very dangerous every time they attack. This time it is Davies who goes close. Davies started the move as he picked out Zamora on the right wing. Zamora waited for support and played a ball towards the area, but Johnson let it go, a move that confused the Arsenal defence and Davies arrived late, poking a ball goalwards from just outside the box, but it sailed just wide.
When asked to, Fulham are defending pretty well, but Arsenal are not posing as much as a threat as they should be. Their midfield have been fairly ineffectual so far.
Wenger means business here. Making three changes all at once. Off goes Ramsey, Gibbs and Diaby, with Arshavin, Walcott and Eboue replacing them.
So close to an equaliser! A van Persie cross from the left wasn't held by Schwarzer, but Chamakh couldn't get enough on the attempt after Schwarzer dropped it. Briggs cleared. Very close there.
GOAL!!!!! Fulham take the lead once again! A great bit of skill on the edge of the area by Dempsey created space for them before the American picked out Greening on the left. The former Manchester United player did well to get a good cross in on his left foot and Bobby Zamora met the cross with his head, beating Vermaelen in the process. Good all-round goal.
Yellow CardJonathan Greening
Arsenal win a free-kick on the right-side of the penalty area. Good position for one.
Good attack by Fulham! Dempsey put ina good cross from the left, but Vermaelen got to the ball ahead of Zamora and the ball looped over the goal for a corner.
Great save by Schwarzer! Nasri had a free-kick just outside the Fulham box, but the Australian managed to stop the ball finding it's way into the top corner.
Penalty shouts there for Fulham as the ball ricocheted up off Johnson and appeared to brush the right arm of Djourou, but even replays are inconclusive.
Yellow CardRobin van Persie
Arsenal will be hoping that the link-up play between their midfielders is much better in this second half. Wilshere and Ramsey both found it very difficult to find the forward players in the first half, particuarly Nasri.
And we're back underway at Craven Cottage!
Halftime at Craven Cottage. Not a great match here yet. The match started off well but got a bit messy as it went on. The scoreline is fairly even, with Fulham coming the closest to a second.
The match is becoming a bit scrappy here with both sides giving away needless fouls. Hopefully the teams will start playing football again in the second half.
Fulham are continuously looking for that ball over the top of the Arsenal defence after it caused several problems earlier in the half. This time Zamora can't get on the end of it, but he and Johnson have caused some headaches so far.
Kieran Gibbs currently undergoing treatment for an injury. Looks as though he will be alright.
How did Fulham not score there?! The hosts had a throw down the left and found it's way to Murphy who, thanks to several ricochets, ended up through on goal in the area. He poked the ball past the 'keeper and before he could walk the ball over the line Vermaelen saved the day and the ball trickled past the post. So close!
Arsenal very much on the front-foot now as Nasri and Gibbs combine well down the left before the Englishman crosses, but Hangeland manages to clear momentarily.
GoalRobin van Persie
GOAL!!! Arsenal equalise! And it was a very good goal too! Diaby played a clever one-two with Chamakh just inside the Fulham half before Diaby played a ball beyond the hosts' defence and van Persie controlled the pass brilliantly before stroking the ball past the on-rushing Schawarzer.
GOAL!!!!!!!!! Fulham take the lead!!! Great play by Zamora who was free down the right and instead of going for goal from just a few yards out, he cut the ball back into a better area where Steve Sidwell was, leaving the former Chelsea man with a simple finish from 7 yards out.
Decent chance Fulham! A simple long-ball over the top almost worked out for Fulham as Johnson again looked to get behind the Arsenal defence, but his shot was easily saved by Szczesny as it was from a tight angle.
Fulham were almost through there as Zamora played a ball for Johnson to run onto, but Vermaelen's strength trumped Johnson's pace and the Belgian won a free-kick.
Great save by Schwarzer!!! Sagna played a left footed cross from the right, and it looked like it had beaten everyone, but Gibbs ghosted in from the left wing and headed across goal, but the big Australian got down to his left to make a great stop.
The free-kick came to nothing as the ball was smashed into the wall before finding it's way back to the Fulham defence.
Fulham have a free-kick in a dangerous area.
The match has a good feel to it so far. Neither side has much to play for therefore they don't look under pressure or tense. Hopefully the makings to a good match.
Arsenal use van Persie's ability in the air to good use there as the Dutchman flicks the ball on to Nasri who then crossed from a good position. But it was too far ahead for Wilshere.
Chance for Arsenal! Nasri really should've done better. Wilshere put the ball into the box from just outside the Fulham area, but Nasri's header was poor after coming off the top of his head and looped into Schwarzer's hands. He should have made the 'keeper work considering he was completely unmarked.
The Fulham midfield working very hard so far, and to good effect as they crowd out Jack Wilshere in the centre-circle before launching an attack, however it comes to nothing.
Fulham have started on the front-foot here. Looking to get Zamora involved from the off.
And we're underway at Craven Cottage!
Arsenal's side for the match is: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Djourou, Gibbs, Diaby, Wilshere, Nasri, Ramsey, Chamakh, Van Persie Subs: Lehmann, Walcott, Denilson, Squillaci, Arshavin, Eboue, Miquel
The Fulham match for today is: Schwarzer, Hangeland, Senderos, Hughes, Briggs, Sidwell, Murphy, Dempsey, Greening, Johnson, Zamora SUBS: Stockdale, Salcido, Gera, Etuhu, Davies, Gudjohnsen, Kakuta
Welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of Fulham versus Arsenal.
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