Arsenal drew 2-2 with their guest Fulham, who played in the last minutes with ten players in the third stage of the English Premier League on Saturday.
Arsenal, runners-up last season, have lost their first points of the season after winning two of the first two stages, over Nottingham Forest 2-1 and neighbors Crystal Palace 1-0 ahead of their upcoming clash next week with Manchester United.
And at the Emirates Stadium in north London, less than a minute passed as Brazilian midfielder Andreas Pereira took advantage of a defensive error, then Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale left his net and put Fulham ahead.
Fulham, who lost out to Serbian top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic a few days ago, held on to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal throughout the first half despite Arsenal’s repeated attempts.
Arsenal waited until the 70th minute to convert a penalty, which Bukayo Saka equalized, before substitute Eddie Nketiah added a second goal two minutes later, taking advantage of a cross from Portugal’s Fabio Vieira.
Fulham’s task was complicated when the referee sacked his Nigerian defender Calvin Bassi in the 83rd minute, but Fulham refused to lose and managed to equalize thanks to Portuguese midfielder João Paulinha, winning the ball from close range into the net (87).
Despite the referee counting down nine minutes of time lost, Arsenal were unable to find their way to the Fulham goal and score the winning goal.