It was yet another frustrating afternoon at home for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who saw his side drop more points at the Emirates Stadium to relegation-threatened Fulham.
Gabriel’s clumsy trip of Mario Lemina inside the penalty area allowed Fulham striker Josh Maja the chance to give his side the lead from the spot – an opportunity he duly converted from 12 yards.
The hots proceeded to heap pressure on the visitors’ goal for the final half an hour, before the moment finally came in the sixth of seven additional minutes at the end of the game to eventually earn a share of the spoils.
Goalkeeper Mat Ryan came up for a late Arsenal corner, with the Australian international winning a header that he flicked into the path of Emile Smith Rowe, whose cross-turned-shot found Eddie Nketiah via Alphonso Areaola’s save, the England Under-21 record goalscorer making no mistake from close range.
Having been starved of competitive minutes recently, Nketiah could perhaps be forgiven for his jubilant celebrations in the aftermath of his goal.
The young striker was mobbed by relieved teammates after he went some way to sparing their blushes, preventing what would have been Fulham’s first win at Arsenal in 28 attempts.
Eagle-eyed members of the Arsenal faithful did spot Mikel Arteta frantically waving his players back to the centre circle in the hope that there was enough time to turn the tie completely on its head.
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Much to the Spaniard’s disappointment, there was not – Crag Pawson calling time on another dismal showing from the Gunners seconds after Nketiah’s strike had been given the all-clear from VAR.
Some Arsenal fans shared the frustrations of their manager, with one Reddit user claiming: “Eddie doing the “I can’t hear you” in a nearly empty stadium after a stoppage-time equaliser against a team in the relegation zone pretty well sums up the state of things right now.”
Another said: “I am far from the biggest fan of Arteta, but damn it if this group of players doesn’t have massive issues, in both quality and mentality…”