Nketiah leveller strikes hammer-blow to Fulham survival hopes


ddie Nketiah’s 97th-minute equaliser dealt Fulham’s survival hopes a potentially fatal blow as Arsenal’s persistance earned a point at the Emirates.

The Gunners were on top throughout but Josh Maja’s penalty had the visitors on course for what would have been a massive three points until Nketiah bundled in from close range deep into stoppage time.

Mikel Arteta made five changes from Arsenal side which cruised into the semi-finals of the Europa League with a 4-0 win at Slavia Prague on Thursday but they never looked like hitting those heights here.

But there would be VAR controversy throughout, Dani Ceballos seeing a header ruled out after Bukayo Saka had been centimetres offside in the build-up.

Then Fulham would get their penalty as referee Craig Pawson pointed to the spot on the advice of his assistant, with VAR checking Gabriel Magalhaes’ foul on Mario Lemina and then a potential offside against Ola Aina in the move leading to the spot-kick.

With both decisions standing, it was left to Maja to hammer the ball home from 12 yards and give Fulham renewed optimism of avoiding the drop.

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Nketiah’s eventual leveller would stand after an offside check against Rob Holding in the build-up, with Parker exasperated on the touchline once again.

The hosts had started well, Alexandre Lacazette playing in Gabriel Martinelli with the recalled striker chipping his effort just wide.

He then forced a low save out of Alphonse Areloa after Emile Smith Rowe had forced a low ball across goal.

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