Vermaelen grabs Arsenal point

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Thomas Vermaelen scored at both ends as Arsenal dropped their first Barclays Premier League points since the start of October as they were frustrated by Fulham in an enthralling London derby.

The Belgian turned into his own net after John Arne Riise broke into the Arsenal box, but headed home eight minutes from time to salvage a point.

Chris Baird blocked Robin Van Persie’s effort, and Marc Schwarzer turned away Johan Djourou’s header but The Whites held out to claim a valuable point.

Arsenal were searching for their sixth league win in a row against a Fulham side who had never beaten the Gunners in the Barclays Premier League during their visits to north London.

The Gunners, like with many of their home outings, dominated possession early on, and Aaron Ramsey should have done better after receiving Theo Walcott’s cross, but shot over when well placed.

In the second period, Van Persie was denied by Baird’s clearance off the goal line, before the visitors took a shock lead when Vermaelen turned into his own net after John Arne Riise stole into the penalty area.

Djourou was denied by a brilliant save from Marc Schwarzer before The home side leveled with eight minutes remaining when Vermaelen made amends for his own-goal by heading home Walcott’s cross.

The introduction of Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh had turned the contest in the hosts’ favour and they could have been awarded penalty when Clint Dempsey handled, only for appeals to be waved away by Mike Dean.

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