Fulham steals three points from Arsenal

Published January 02, 2012

| Sports Network

Arsenal led for much of Monday's London 1, following two late goals at Craven Cottage.

Laurent Koscielny put the visitors in front in the first half, but Fulham battled back after the sending off of Johan Djourou to steal three points thanks to goals from Steve Sidwell and Bobby Zamora inside the final five minutes.

Arsenal grabbed the lead in the 21st minute as Koscielny made his way into the box to connect on a deflected cross. The French defender guided his header just past the outstretched finger tips of Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale for his first goal of the season.

The Gunners came close to doubling their advantage moments later after a goal- mouth scramble, but Stockdale produced a fine save to the keep Fulham's deficit to just one goal.

Fulham nearly equalized midway through the second half when a cross from Bryan Ruiz found Clint Dempsey, but the American's header was just inches wide of the post.

Arsenal was reduced to 10 men in the 78th minute as Djourou received a second yellow card for bringing down Bobby Zamora when the English striker appeared to be in on goal.

The Cottagers capitalized on the extra man down the stretch.

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny failed to punch a corner kick to safety and it was headed back in front of goal where it was met by Sidwell. The English midfielder drifted into the box and stuffed his header into the back of the net to equalize for the Cottagers in the 85th minute.

But Fulham was not done there, as a ball delivered into the box in second-half stoppage time was not cleared by the Arsenal defense. It fell to an unmarked Zamora and he punished the sloppy defending by volleying a low shot past Szczesny at the near post.

The loss keeps Arsenal out of the top four as Chelsea defeated Wolverhampton on Monday to pull ahead of the Gunners in the table. Arsenal will settle for fifth place with 36 points.

Fulham, meanwhile, improves to 23 points, tied with Aston Villa for 12th place.

Chelsea 2, Wolverhampton 1

Wolverhampton, England - Chelsea bounced back from Saturday's disappointing home loss to Aston Villa with a dramatic 2-1 win over Wolverhampton at Molineux on Monday, snapping a four-game winless run in league play for the Blues.

Ramires put the visitors in front in the 54th minute, collecting a corner kick with his back to goal before turning an firing a shot into the upper corner from close range.

The Blues remained in front until the 84th minute when Stephen Ward smashed a one-time effort past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

But Frank Lampard helped Chelsea avoid more dropped points, sliding in front of goal in the 89th minute to redirect a low cross from Ashley Cole into the back of the next.

Despite a run of sub par results, Chelsea claims a spot in fourth-place with the win, jumping ahead of Arsenal with 37 points. Wolverhampton remains two points above the relegation zone with 17 points.

Norwich City 2, QPR 1

London, England - Norwich City piled on the misery for manager Neil Warnock and QPR as the Canaries came away from Loftus Road with a 2-1 win on Monday.

Joey Barton put the home side in front with a goal in the 11th minute, but the midfielder was then issued a straight red card in the 36th minute to see QPR go down to 10 men.

Norwich took advantage, as Anthony Pilkington drew the Canaries level in the 42nd minute before Steve Morison notched the winner seven minutes from time.

QPR is now winless in its last eight Premier League contests and has managed just two points over that stretch. Norwich improves to 25 points on the season.

Stoke City 2, Blackburn 1

Blackburn, England - Steve Kean could not produce the magic that his young Rovers side showed at Old Trafford two days earlier, as the under fire Blackburn boss saw his team fall to Stoke City, 2-1, at Ewood Park on Monday.

Peter Crouch bagged a first-half brace with goals in the 17th and 45th minutes, leaving the home side with a mountain to climb for the second half.

David Goodwillie struck for Blackburn in the 70th minute in an attempt to mount a comeback, but a late equalizer never materialized.

Blackburn remains second from bottom with 14 points on the season while Stoke City improves to 29 points with a three-game unbeaten streak.

Swansea City 2, Aston Villa 0

Birmingham, England - Aston Villa failed to build upon Saturday's impressive road win over Chelsea, as the Villains fell to Swansea City, 2-0, at the Liberty Stadium on Monday.

Nathan Dyer helped Swansea to a dream start by scoring after just five minutes, and Wayne Routledge wrapped up the victory with a goal two minutes into the second half.

Swansea is unbeaten in its last three Premiership games, improving to 23 points on the season, while QPR has slipped into a battle against relegation with just 17 points through 20 games, sitting two points above the drop zone.

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