By Chris Harris
Eddie Nketiah scored a last-gasp equaliser to rescue a point against relegation-threatened Fulham.
Josh Maja's penalty looked set to condemn us to a shock defeat, but goalkeeper Mat Ryan came forward to flick on a 97th-minute corner and Nketiah scored from close range after Dani Ceballos' shot was parried.
It was no less than we deserved after dominating a game that also saw us lose the in-form Alex Lacazette to a second-half injury.
Lacazette was prominent as we made a positive start.
Just 33 seconds had elapsed when Gabriel Martinelli raced onto the Frenchman's lofted ball over the Fulham defence and lifted his shot over Alphonse Areola, but it dropped just wide.
Martinelli then forced a sprawling save from Areola with a shot on the turn after Emile Smith Rowe charged into the box and cut the ball back from the byline.
Maja almost got lucky with a shot that deflected off Rob Holding and trickled inches wide with Ryan wrong-footed, but aside from that we dominated possession and territory for most of the first half.
Our superiority looked like being rewarded when Ceballos soared to meet Hector Bellerin's cross to score what he thought was his first Premier League goal.
But a VAR check spotted that the toe of Bukayo Saka's right boot was beyond the last defender during the build-up, and the goal was ruled out.
Lacazette fired a low shot just wide early in the second half and Saka hit the post from an acute angle. A goal seemed on the cards, but surprisingly it came at the other end.
Gabriel was penalised for a trip on Mario Lemina inside the box and, after another lengthy VAR check, Maja smashed a penalty into the roof of the net.
Mikel Arteta responded with a double change, bringing on Thomas Partey and Nicolas Pepe. Lacazette took the armband as Bellerin departed but within moments he was off too after pulling up with an injury.
Pepe looked to have scored the equaliser with a downward header after Martinelli went past Areola and clipped in a cross, but the Fulham goalkeeper got back to make a fine instinctive save.
Martinelli forced another good save from Areola, but his opposite number's decision to come forward for the final seconds paid dividends with a flick-on that helped set up Nketiah's late, late strike.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
Arteta made five changes to the side that lined up against Slavia Prague on Thursday.
Ryan was handed his first Premier League start at Emirates Stadium and Bellerin, Gabriel, Mohamed Elneny and Martinelli also came in.
Bernd Leno, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, Partey and Pepe dropped to the bench, and Bellerin took the captain's armband with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang recovering from malaria.
David Luiz, Martin Odegaard and Kieran Tierney all missed out through injury.
We're back in action on Friday when Everton visit Emirates Stadium in the Premier League.
Then we'll have six days to prepare for the first leg of our Europa League semi-final against Villarreal.
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.