LONDON (AP) – Arsenal substitute Eddie Nketiah’s equalizer in the final moment crushed Fulham’s hopes of aand denied the team a massive boost as it tries to avoid relegation in a 1-1 draw on Sunday. Nketiah scored in the seventh and , tapping in a rebound at the near post. Fulham’s players and managers couldn’t believe it since they only had to hang on for a few more seconds after going up 1-0 with a penalty in the 59th minute.
“We showed manyagainst the best, and it is small things that mean we don’t win the game,” Fulham defender Joachim Andersen said. “It is just hard now.”
Andersen said, “The way we defended was unbelievable. And then we concede a silly goal in the end.”
Fulham forward Josh Maja’s emphatic spot-kick sent Arsenal goalkeeper Mat Ryan theinto the roof of the net. It came after Arsenal defender Gabriel fouled Mario Lemina.
A Fulham victory would have given manager Scott Parker’s side a massive amount of belief going into the last five. His team , with 27 points, as the London team tried to dig out of the drop zone. Arsenal stayed in ninth place with 46 points.
“We would’ve liked three points, but when I was called on, I wanted to make an impact,” Nketiah said. “I’m delighted to get a goal and salvage a point for the team.”
The visitors looked like they would hang on after the penalty, defending resolutely as Arsenal pressed forward for an equalizer. Fulham center-backoff the line in the 71st, and goalkeeper Alphonse Areola palmed away a close-range shot from forwarding Gabriel Martinelli in the 90th.
The Gunners wasted their dominance in the match’s opening stages, with Martinelli. The Brazilian had only the goalkeeper to minute, but he lifted the ball over Areola and went wide of the far post.
Martinelli missed again in the seventh when midfielder Emile Smith Rowe cut to the byline and fed him the ball. The forward fired his shot on the spin, but he couldn’t generate power, and Fulham could clear the ball. The visitors gradually started winning balls off Arsenal and started pushing forward. Fulham manager Parker shouted to Adarabioyo: “Keep looking for Cav on the top line,” to forward Ivan Cavaleiro. But the closest Fulham came in the first deflected an Arsenal defender and squeezed just wide of the post in the 21st.
Arsenalscored just before halftime with some excellent linkup play capped by a fine cross from right-back Hector Bellerin and a powerful header from Dani Ceballos in the 40th. But the goal was disallowed after a VAR check showed that Bukayo Saka’s foot was just offside in the buildup.