Robin van Persie struck a brilliant second-half winner as Arsenal beat Fulham 1-0 in the Barclays Premier League match at Craven Cottage.

Andrew Johnson, Clint Dempsey and substitute Zoltan Gera had all tested young goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

However, it was Arsenal who got the crucial breakthrough on 51 minutes through a fine finish from Dutch striker van Persie.

Fulham knocked the ball about well and could have gone ahead when Johnson's bullet header was brilliantly palmed away by Mannone - who also kept out the rebound from Dempsey at point-blank range.

Gera shot across goal, which Mannone got a hand to, after being played in by Johnson.

Fulham continued where they had left off following the restart, as Bobby Zamora flashed a 20-yard drive wide.

Out of nothing, Arsenal snatched the lead when Paul Konchesky's upfield pass was cut out and fed to Cesc Fabregas.

The Spain midfielder waited, before splitting the centre-backs on the edge of the area, where van Persie arrived on cue to kill the ball with his left foot, before guiding a fine low strike into the far corner.

Fulham tried to rally, breaking quickly through Zamora down the right, and his centre was glanced goalwards by Johnson - only for Mannone to produce another stunning save.

Dempsey's drive deflected off a defender and onto the post before Gallas denied Zamora. Mannone turned away another effort from Johnson after 77 minutes before the Italian kept out Zamora's header.

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