Arsenal 1-1 Fulham: Player ratings as late Eddie Nketiah strike rescues Gunners

18 April 2021 05:47

Arsenal had young striker Eddie Nketiah to thank as he popped up with an equaliser to spare his side's blushes in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Fulham.

The first half was played almost entirely at Arsenal's tempo. The Gunners dominated possession but found clear-cut chances hard to come by as Fulham sat deep and tried to absorb pressure. Dani Ceballos thought he had headed Arsenal ahead just before the break, only for VAR to intervene and rule it out for a narrow offside because Bukayo Saka is selfish and has toes.

The second half began with the same theme, but it was Fulham who drew first blood after Josh Maja stepped up to fire home a penalty awarded by VAR for a Gabriel foul on Mario Lemina. Arsenal pushed for an equaliser and saw a Nicolas Pepe header cleared off the line, but they had to wait until the last minute for Nketiah to pop up at the back post to tap home an equaliser.


1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Ryan was given the nod ahead of Bernd Leno | IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Mat Ryan (GK) - 6/10 - Not the busiest afternoon for Ryan, but there were a few nervy moments, including watching a Maja shot trickle agonisingly wide.

Hector Bellerin (RB) - 5/10 - Found it hard to deal with Lookman in defence and struggled to cope with Fulham's low block in attack. Didn't find any space, although he was unlucky not to get a solid assist for Ceballos' header.

Rob Holding (CB) - 6/10 - Did everything he needed to do at the back but clearly got bored with a lack of action and tried to channel his inner Pirlo with some long-range passes.most of which were very bad.

Gabriel (CB) - 6/10 - Kept Maja quiet for most of the game and was vital in keeping Arsenal moving forward with some excellent passing. A little sloppy for the penalty decision but unlucky to see it go against him.

Granit Xhaka (LB) - 7/10 -
Definitely not a left-back and missed a few opportunities for an overlap, but did incredibly well with his marking and passing. Very composed for a player tasked with such a different job.

2. Midfielders

Ceballos thought he had scored his first goal of the season | Julian Finney/Getty Images

Dani Ceballos (DM) - 8/10 - Outstanding as a defensive midfielder. Made plenty of tackles and hoovered up possession well, but probably needed to show more in attack.

Mohamed Elneny (DM) - 4/10 - Despite not facing much pressure, Elneny seemed to make the wrong decision time and time again. Bellerin could be seen screaming at him to make a forward pass, but Elneny would turn backwards. Allowed Fulham to settle too easily.

Bukayo Saka (RM) - 7/10 - Found space hard to come by behind Fulham's deep defence, but looked like the only player in red who actually wanted to make something happen. Completed Arsenal's only take-on in the first 45.

Emile Smith Rowe (AM) - 6/10 - Impressed with his movement but there was no end product at all. Couldn't find that defence-splitting pass that was needed.

Gabriel Martinelli (LM) - 6/10 - Found himself too isolated out wide, particularly with Xhaka not overlapping. Saw a lot of the ball but had too much work to do every time.

3. Forward

Lacazette left the game with an injury | Pool/Getty Images

Alexandre Lacazette (ST) - 5/10 - Forced to drop a little too deep to try and find the ball, but left Arsenal without that focal point in attack at times. Left the game early with an injury.

4. Substitutes

Thomas Partey - 6/10

Nicolas Pepe - 6/10

Eddie Nketiah - 7/10


5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Areola had an excellent game | Pool/Getty Images

Alphonse Areola (GK) - 7/10 - Had to be alert to a handful of decent Arsenal shots. Made an excellent save to deny Pepe but wasn't really tested apart from that.

Ola Aina (RB) - 6/10 - Backed himself up against Martinelli, and while he didn't always come out on top, Aina did more than enough to keep the Brazilian quiet.

Joachim Andersen (CB) - 7/10 - Happy to sit back and absorb Arsenal's pressure. Pulled off some excellent challenges to keep his side in this game and showed why he is being linked with some big teams.

Tosin Adarabioyo (CB) - 7/10 - An excellent display from Adarabioyo. Looked calm and composed with every decision and made it impossible for Arsenal's forwards to find space.

Antonee Robinson (LB) - 7/10 - Enjoyed his battle with Saka, who made sure Robinson had to work hard all afternoon. Was a regular in attack as Fulham specifically targeted Bellerin.

6. Midfielders

Lookman was Fulham's danger man | Pool/Getty Images

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (DM) - 6/10 - Looked a bit shaky defensively but enjoyed his rare forays forwards. Looked like Fulham's most progressive player yet again.

Mario Lemina (DM) - 7/10 - Looked fairly comfortable doing the dirty work for Zambo Anguissa. Divided Twitter with his theatrics for the penalty, but at this point in the season, Scott Parker won't care.

Bobby Reid (RM) - 5/10 - Played in a weird secondary wing-back role that meant he just hovered between defence and attack. Didn't do much wrong, but didn't do much at all.

Ivan Cavaleiro (AM) - 4/10 - Did nothing. Did literally nothing.

Ademola Lookman (LM) - 6/10 - Easily Fulham's most dangerous forward, Lookman enjoyed threatening Bellerin. Withdrawn with 20 minutes to go, perhaps to protect his fitness after a recent hamstring injury.

7. Forward

Maja made no mistake from the spot | Julian Finney/Getty Images

Josh Maja (ST) - 6/10 - Found himself to be a little isolated in attack but made the most of his opportunity from the penalty spot.

8. Substitutes

Harrison Reed - 6/10

Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 6/10

Joe Bryan - N/A

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Source: 90min