Arsenal were not the best team for most of the 90 minutes last night but they still came out winners in the end. Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone was the hero as the Gunners secured an untypically scrappy victory at Fulham. The Italian made stunning one-handed saves from two Andrew Johnson headers and also parried Zoltan Gera’s drive.
Arsenal won it when Cesc Fabregas clipped a pass for Robin van Persie to take a touch and fire home. Roy Hodgson’s side will wonder how they failed to take anything from the game as they dominated for long periods, but the difference between the two teams was Mannone, the 21-year-old from Desio, making only his 3rd Premiership start. From the start Fulham were the better team but Mannone, keeping his place in the side with Manuel Almunia still struggling with a virus, enjoyed the performance of his career.