London: An inspired show of goalkeeping from Edwin van der Sar helped Fulham to a 0-0 draw with Arsenal in the English Premier league on Sunday. Arsenal bombarded the visitors goal throughout the match without managing to find the back of the net, which leaves their grip on first place in the league standings under serious threat. Arsenal registered a resounding 5-1 Champions' League victory over Inter in midweek, but their attention returned to the English Premier league on Sunday for the visit of Fulham. The league leaders started in the same vein of form in which they finished Tuesday's game and Freddie Ljungberg's 16th minute shot from a brilliant Dennis Bergkamp pass was a taste of things to come. Arsene Wenger's side would dominate the whole of the first half and Robert Pires created another chance in the 30th minute after a burst up the left wing. 'Keeper saves the day Thierry Henry, looking to boost his credentials for the 'World Player of the Year' award, struck his shot well, but goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar denied the Frenchman an 11th league goal of the season. Ljungberg had another opportunity to open the scoring minutes before the break, but his long shot was held by van der Sar and, despite facing relentless pressure, Fulham carried their clean sheet to half-time. Bergkamp forced another fine stop from in form Van der Sar at the start of the second half after Henry had forced his way into the penalty area and picked out his Dutch teammate. The onslaught continued with Bergkamp effortlessly controlling Ashley Cole's cross field ball in the 62nd minute, only for van der Sar to block the resulting shot. Ljungberg picked up the rebound and made space for another effort, but his soft left footer was comfortably saved by man of the match Van der Sar. Near victory Fulham have never beaten Arsenal at Highbury with only one draw to show for 16 previous league visits. They almost stole the lead in the 67th minute when Steed Malbranque pulled away from Kolo Toure and met Sean Davis' cross, only to head wide of the target. When a fine passing move resulted in Bergkamp volleying wide of the target in the 71st minute, it seemed inevitable that the game would finish scoreless. Arsenal remain unbeaten in the league after 14 games, while Fulham move up into fourth place in the standings on the back of this 0-0 draw.
Topics : Football