Arsenal 0 v Fulham 1

August 23, 2008 | Filed Under: UK Box, UK Box Update 
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In the 21st minute, Jimmy Bullard’s corner was met flush on the volley by the onrushing Hangeland and the ball crashed into the bottom left-hand corner. Arsenal were ruffled, with even their most seasoned performers suffering.

Robin van Persie had missed a gilt-edged early chance, smashing wide from 10 yards after a neat set-up from Samir Nasri, and there was further frustration when Emmanuel Adebayor’s towering header in the 23rd minute smacked the right-hand post. However, there was little else to concern Mark Schwarzer in the Fulham goal and Wenger’s slumped shoulders and furrowed brow as he trooped off for half-time told their own story.

There was at least a renewed purpose and urgency to Arsenal’s football after the interval, but the cutting edge remained conspicuous by its absence. Instead, the most likely scorers were Fulham, with Bobby Zamora flashing over at the near post after a surging run down the left from South Korean forward Seol Ki-Hyeon.

Arsenal upped the tempo in the dying stages in a desperate bid to restore parity and Van Persie almost succeeded when his low drive zipped just wide. However, there was to be no dramatic rescue act and Wenger knows that unless he acts fast in the transfer market, this could be another season of broken dreams.

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