Fulham gave a good account of themselves at The Emirates, but don't seem to be able to get that bit of luck to take them to the next level. Nasri gave Arsenal all the points with a couple of instances of dancing in the box, but it could so nearly have gone the other way. Not that you would have thought that from the first 20 minutes. Fulham were filth with no discernable game plan and Arsenal were just gliding past the mainly static white shirts. Even when Nasri scored, the writing had been on the wall for some time, and most of the Fulham fans were anticipating another drubbing.
However, for some reason, it just didn't happen. The first proper bit of football that Fulham played in the first half culminated in Kamara's well taken equaliser from Dempsey's deft flick and then, suddenly, Arsenal were rocking and uneasy. There were still no obvious tactics, but Fulham started making more chances and were probably unhappy that the half-time whistle came when it did.
Half time came, allowing us to be sold stuff through the big screens. Surprisingly Arsene Wenger read out the 'lucky number' winner on what i assume to be a pre-record VT - which raises some questions as to when the draw was actually made. Fulham fans weren't that noisy today, but crikey the Emirates is a quiet place at times. What you get from north London is the perfect distillation of modern football, with all its good and bad points.
Arsenal had played some good stuff in the game, but you could sense a soft underbelly of uncertainty within the team, and when the second half started Fulham tried to press the advantage. The game actually became quite good - one of those strange end to end game without many shots on goal.
The major tactical revolution for Fulham was playing a right winger on the right wing. Davies was tasked with sticking on the byline and suddenly Fulham had an 'out' ball and any crosses could be aimed at the trio of Kamara, Gera and Dempsey. Unfortunately Arsenal's centre halves managed to cope with that aerial threat, but other teams are likely to struggle a bit more. Davies was actually a bit of a revelation on the right and was possibly Fulham's best player in the second half.
Even Etuhu upped his game and started making some crunching tackles that have disappeared from his game recently. Suddenly Fulham were up for it, but were undone by a great bit of skill when Nasri ran into the box unhindered and scored a goal straight off Strictly Come Dancing. It was a bit of rough justice really though. Andy Johnson was busy without being dangerous, and Dempsey hit the deck in injury time in the penalty area which was definitely worth another look (not that MOTD has bothered showing it), but in the end the team had given themselves too much to do.
While the way the team played was very promising (most of the Fulham fans clapped the team off the pitch) shouldn't we be expecting more that 'promising' with almost half the season gone? A win against Sunderland next week would be very, very welcome.