Arsenal FC – our record against the Cottagers

October 6, 2018

Our first game against Fulham was on February 6th, 1904 when Fulham, then in the First Division of the Southern League, passed through all seven Preliminary Qualifying Rounds to make their debut in the First Round of the FA Cup. The eighth game was one too many as Woolwich Arsenal won 1-0. This was the one and only time the two clubs have met in any Cup competition.

Fulham gained professional status on 12 December 1898, the same year that they were admitted into the Southern League’s Second Division. They were the second club from London to turn professional, following Arsenal in 1891- then named Royal Arsenal.

While Fulham have never beaten Arsenal in away games (they have lost 22 tied 5 and been outscored 67 to 23), their home record is a tad better having won 8 tied 5 and lost 14 and were outscored 13 to 38. Their last away win was on Jan 2nd 2012 when they won 2-1.

Photo by Bentley Archive/Popperfoto/Getty Images

Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images

London Club Trivia

Chelsea beat Clapton Orient in the first Football League derby between two London clubs – in November 1905.

The first derby in the top flight, between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge (November 1907), was watched by an estimated 55,000.

As Highbury Stadium was built in 1913 on land owned by the Church Commissioners, Arsenal agreed not to play on Christmas Day or Good Friday, until they bought the freehold in 1925. The last Christmas Day game there was against Chelsea in 1954.

When Spurs were relegated in 1934-35, a year after finishing third, they lost both games to League Champions Arsenal – by 5-1 at Highbury and 6-0 at White Hart Lane; still their joint record home defeat.

If you think fixture congestion is bad these days, in 1905-06 Chelsea had to play a League game and FA Cup qualifying round tie on the same day. Prioritising the League, they sent their reserves to meet Crystal Palace in the Cup and lost 7-1; still the heaviest Cup defeat by any League club against non-League opposition.

For the 1989-90 season London had a record number of clubs – eight – in the top division, meaning 56 derby matches. Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham finished in the top five while Charlton and Millwall were both relegated, the remaining three teams were, Crystal Palace, Wimbledon and Queens Park Rangers.

Arsenal have finished as highest placed London club 58 times, more than everyone else put together. It includes a run of nine successive seasons from 1996-2004; the longest sequence since they were the capital’s only representatives more than 110 years ago.

Steve Bould scored the quickest-ever own goal in the top flight in the Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal fixture on Saturday February 17th 1990. The Arsenal defender put one past his goalkeeper John Lukic after just 15 seconds.

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