Last Updated: 24/08/13 2:40pm
A week that started badly for Arsenal has ended well with a solid display in Fenerbahce followed up by today's comfortable 3-1 success at Fulham. Arsenal always had the greater edge in the final third of the field and although the home side refused to give up, the result was never really in doubt once the Gunners had taken the lead.
The Gunners have a throw deep in Fulham territory and will be happy to keep the ball down there in-front of their own fans.
Karagounis takes the resulting free kick himself and there is some alarm in a crowded Arsenal box before the flag goes up for offside.
Mertesacker has to head clear as Karagounis gets in a dangerous cross, before the Greek international is felled by Monreal.
Hughes again comes to Fulham's rescue with a last-ditch block to stop Walcott's cross and the corner is cleared.
It's Arsenal doing all the pressing in the closing stages, much to the frustration of the home fans.
Stockdale punches clear a Walcott free-kick. The ball drops to Wilshere 16 yards out and his fierce shot is blocked by Hughes before the keeper saves from Mertesacker.
GOAL! Berbatov spins in the box and although his shot is parried, Bent is on hand to turn it in from close range.
Credit to Fulham who are still coming forward but that third goal has scuppered their chances which were slim at 2-0.
Cazorla and Podolski try to play a one-two on the edge of the box, but Hughes gets in a vital header.
Great work from Giroud and an exquisite finish from Podolski for his second of the match ... game over you would have to say now.
GOAL! Arsenal strike on the break with Giroud jinking into the box before laying the ball back for Podolski who finds the far corner with a crisp low shot.
Good move by Fulham sees parker slide a great ball down the wing for Sascha Riether who pulls the ball back but Berbatov gets in the way of Kasami on the edge of the box and the shot goes well wide.
Arsenal are happy to keep possession whenever possible and certainly the Fulham push they must have expected has not materialised.
Still the rain falls but it's not as bad as in the first period and the pitch is coping much better with it now.
Stockdale does well to deal with an awkward backpass and it looks as though a second Fulham change is in the offing.
Bent has arrived on a season-long loan from Aston Villa and has scored against Arsenal for four different clubs ... Fulham fans will hope he can make that five today.
Arsenal counter with Walcott heading the ball back for Ramsey whose shot from 16 yards is blocked by Hughes and claims for handball are ignored.
More good work from Parker sees him shake off Ramsey and try to pick out the overlapping Riise, but Jenkinson blocks.
Riise does well to block a Walcott shot and the striker takes the corner himself and it's deep to Podolski who takes the ball down but blazes over on the turn.
You feel Fulham need to score soon if they are to give themselves hope of getting back into the game.
Parker shows a neat turn of pace and runs at the heart of the Arsenal defence, only to be halted by Sagna's strong tackle.
Promising position for Fulham but Taarabt takes the kick deep looking for Brede Hangeland and overhits it with the ball going out for a goalkick.
Taarabt is fouled by Ramsey and the advantage is played before Kasami is bundled over 30 yards from goal.
The visitors go straight on the attack but Fulham break it up and Taarabt's low shot from the edge of the box is pushed away for a corner by Szczesny which is cleared.
Two clinical pieces of finishing have proved the difference between two fairly evenly-matched sides in a competitive London derby. Arsenal have carried the greater threat in the final third of the field and appear to be in control.
We will have a minimum of one minute added time and it's Arsenal who leave the field two goals to the good.
Fulham boss Martin Jol looks far from pleased as you would expect, but his side have played well overall.
Great surge downfield by Walcott takes him to the edge of the box before he lays it wide to the unmarked Podolski who appears to be caught in two minds who drills a low cross-cum-shot wide of the far post with Ramsey unable to get a touch.
Great time for the Gunners to score - it will have seriously dented Fulham's confidence and has left them with a mounatin to climb.
Berbatov tries to skip into the box but Mertesacker stops him as Fulham look to respond as half-time approaches.
Great finish by Podolski who made it look so easy, but you have to say the goal came against the run of play with Fulham enjoying their best spell.
GOAL! Another swift break by Arsenal with Walcott's angled shot parried but the ball falls to Podolski who sidefoots the ball into the roof of the net from 18-yards.
Riise brings down Walcott in full flight but again referee Webb deems a talking to sufficient - just one booking so far in tricky conditions.
The Gunners then break swiftly and the ball comes to Gibbs in the box but he screws his shot wide ... the lull is over!
Riise twice gets in dangerous crosses and Arsenal live dangerously but eventually clear their lines.
Riise tries to pick out Berbatov on the edge of the box, but Sagna sees the danger and intercepts. He is caught late by the striker who is spoken to, but no more than that.
Taarabt then slides a pass through to Berbatov who lays it off to Parker whose first-time shot is just too high.
Taarabt breaks forward and screws hos shot wide from 20 yards when perhaps a pass would have been the better option.
The home fans would appear to be in good spirits as they are exerting some good pressure in difficult conditions.
Pajtim Kasami takes it but his shot goes through the Arsenal wall but keeper Szczesny makes the save to his left.
Some of the early pace has gone out of the game but Fulham will be happy with how they have repsonded to going a goal down.
Riise is forced to concede another corner but this time Fulham get it away without too many problems.
Good work by Giroud on the edge of the box sees him lay the ball back for Santi Cazorla whose shot from 25 yards is well saved.
Fulham almost hit back with Taarabt's shot parried by Szczesny who dies superbly to get up and save Duff's fierce follow-up shot.
A goal that had more than an element of luck about it but Arsenal will claim they didn't get much against Villa last week.
GOAL! Ramsey's shot is partially blocked but falls kindly into the path of Giroud who slips the ball past keeper Stockdale.
Gibbs puts over a superb cross that looks asthough it will fall for Walcott, but Riise gets in a superb covering tackle.
Good pressure by Arsenal with Giroud having a shot blocked before the hosts finally clear the danger.
Walcott whips in a dangerous corner that is headed behind and the second one is headed goalwards and headed almost off the line by Hughes.
Rosicky cleverly lifts the ball over the Arsenal defence and Walcott beats the offside trap but hsi shot is blocked by advancing keeper Stockdale.
The rain seems to be getting heavier if anything and referee Howard Webb may have some big decisions to make in terms of mis-timed tackles as players struggle to keep their feet.
Riise takes a huge run-up to strike the resulting free-kick and his low shot skids well wide of Wojciech Szczesny's goal.
Fulham break quickly through Dimitar Berbatov who lays it off to Adel Taarabt. He is fouled by Jenkinson who escapes a booking.
Arsenal build patiently in the Fulham half with Podolski's shot deflected out for a corner which is cleared.
Steve Sidwell stops Tomas Rosicky's attempts to drive forward with a strong tackle in the centre circle.
Parker's first touch sees him give the ball away to Aaron Ramsey and it's a fast start on what looks like a greasy surface.
Theo Walcott tries to jink his way into the Fulham box, but Jogn Arne Riise manages to get in a block.
Fulham get us under way in the second London derby of the season ... the first of many I should add.
A long distance e-mail from Khalid Mohamed in Australia who says: "Absolutely excited for this match. The early kick-off means it's perfect time for us down here in Australia. As for the game, I think it's about time Podolski got a start. Ramsey was immense for us against Fenerbache midweek, hopefully he can replicate some of that good form and Arsenal can get the win."
Robbie says: "I've been impressed with Sagna when he has had to fill in at centre half and I'm not worried about what he faces today. It's also good to see Ramsey gaining in confidence and it will be a great lift to have Cazorla back. We usually struggle to break Fulham down, but I think we will hit them for three today so it's Fulham 1 Arsenal 3 for me!"
Fulham look good value at 7/2 to upset Arsenal at Craven Cottage, but the Gunners, buoyed by their midweek Champions League win in Turkey, are odds-on to take all three points. Olivier Giroud, who netted the opener in the 3-1 defeat against Aston Villa last week, is a 9/2 shot to net the first goal, while Fulham's Dimitar Berbatov is Price Boosted from 7/1 to 9/1 to break the deadlock. Interestingly, new Fulham signing Darren Bent has a great scoring record against Arsenal with six in his last eight games and he's 12/5 to score in 90 minutes.
Scott Parker makes his Fulham debut in the Barclays Premier League clash with Arsenal at Craven Cottage. Former Tottenham midfielder Parker replaces Derek Boateng, with two changes behind him - David Stockdale in goal in place of Maarten Stekelenburg (shoulder) and John Arne Riise at left-back instead of Kieran Richardson. Arsenal, seeking to make amends for the opening day loss to Aston Villa, make two changes from the side which beat Fenerbahce 3-0 in Istanbul on Wednesday, with Carl Jenkinson replacing Laurent Koscielny and Lukas Podolski in for Jack Wilshere.
Teams - Fulham: Stockdale, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Duff, Parker, Sidwell, Taarabt, Kasami, Berbatov. Subs: Ruiz, Kacaniklic, Karagounis, Briggs, Boateng, Etheridge, Bent. Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Rosicky, Ramsey, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Wilshere, Monreal, Fabianski, Sanogo, Frimpong, Gnabry, Zelalem. Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)
First opinion of the day comes from Arsenal fan Lee Graves who says: "I believe after a good result in the play-off that we are going to shine today with goals from Giroud and Cazorla leading us to victory and a man of the match performance from Jack Wilshere. If we lose today it's not the end of the world but then Wenger will need to buy some world class players QUICK to get our season up and running and hopefully get us in the title race for the end of the season."
Good morning - just! - and welcome to our coverage of today's Premier League clash between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage. Martin Jol's side got their season off to a very satisfactory start with a 1-0 success at Sunderland a week ago, but Arsenal crashed 3-1 at home to Aston Villa and were booed off. A failure to make summer signings has heaped the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger, although some of it was lifted in midweek when they won 3-0 in Turkey against Fenerbahce to all but secure their place in the Champions League group stages. As always, we welcome your views on the game so send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll publish the best ones.