By Joe Brewin

Thomas Vermaelen says Arsenal cannot blame a busy week for their failure to beat Fulham at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Arsène Wenger’s side were forced to battle hard for their share of spoils against the Cottagers as the vice-captain’s late header rescued a point having inadvertently opened the scoring for Fulham.

“It's been a tough week,” Vermaelen told Arsenal Player. “We've had a few tough games where we've had to work hard and it's not easy to play a third game in a week.

“I think sometimes you could see that in the game, players were tired. That's the way football is though, it's really busy but it's not an excuse.

“We wanted to win this game because we were on a good run and we wanted to win especially at home.

“A draw is of course better than a defeat but if I speak for myself I am quite disappointed today because we didn't get the three points. But we didn't manage to do that.”

The defender emerged as Arsenal’s hero but he was at a loss to explain how he converted the own goal that gave Fulham the lead.

“I have no idea how that happened,” admitted Vermaelen. “I think it was [John Arne] Riise who wanted to shoot, but I wanted to tackle him. Unfortunately the ball went in.

“But it was a perfect cross [for my Arsenal goal] and I think it was an easy header to score.”

You can watch the full interview with Thomas on Arsenal Player.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
28 Nov 2011