Brede Hangeland felt Fulham showed spirit and quality in equal measure as they overcame an early setback as well as the contentious award of a late penalty to take a point from an action-packed London derby with Arsenal.
Martin Jol’s side were punished for some lax defending as Oliver Giroud and Lukas Podolski put the Gunners two goals ahead with barely half of the game gone, but Hangeland felt Fulham were unfortunate to be facing such a deficit so early.
We started well but somehow found ourselves two goals behind. I still can’t believe that because we played ever so well in the first half. We deserved to come back, showed a lot of character and quality to get in the lead. At 3-3, it looks like a good result and then to concede that penalty in the last second was a big blow. Luckily, we have a really good keeper and he saved the day for us.
I think they had two shots on goal and two goals. It was just one of those things – you just have to get on with it. To be fair, I thought we kept playing and kept doing the things we agreed to do and scored two terrific goals to come back and a really good goal from Berba in the second half. I think the team showed the character and the quality and the type of performance we were able to produce.
The Fulham captain also queried Dowd’s decision to point to the spot after Andrei Arshavin’s cross struck Sascha Riether on the hand in the last minute of stoppage time. The German full back was barely two yards away from the Arsenal substitute and couldn’t move his hand away from the path of the Russian’s cross. Dowd indicated that he felt Riether had moved his arm towards the ball to block it – a judgement that mystified Hangeland.
I think it’s weird that that’s a penalty. Obviously, Sascha would never handball that on purpose. He would rather let the cross come in. I just can’t believe that, but luckily what I think is justice prevailed.