Arsenal claimed their first win in five matches but they needed a massive slice of luck.
Steve Marlet's own goal as he swung a boot trying to clear Thierry Henry's corner was a present the Gunners were not going to spurn.
However, it was unfortunate for Fulham who have yet to claim a single point from the North Londoners during Jean Tigana's reign.
Fulham had the better of both halves even though the Gunners went ahead before the break.
Steve Finnan could have put the home side ahead after 40 seconds but although he evaded the last defender, his back post header from Steed Malbranque's cross flew over the bar.
Nine minutes later Fulham were denied a clear penalty when Luis Boa Morte cleverly chipped Rami Shaaban inside the box but was barged over by Sol Campbell. TV replays seemed to suggest it should have been a penalty.
Arsenal's main thrust came from the incisive runs in to the box from Freddie Ljungberg. In the 13th minute his pass released Henry but Edwin Van der Sar was quickly off his line to deflect the ball away.
David Seaman may not have been in top form with recent free kicks but he was alert enough to fist over Malbranque's inswinger after a foul on Rufus Brevett.
Almost immediately Marlet crossed the ball after a fine three-man move only to see Gilberto Sliva block his effort just as Malbranque was about to pull the trigger.
Ljungberg then made another timely run beyond the last Fulham player only to find Van der Sar as sharp as ever as he smothered the chance.
The Swede faired no better in the 37th minute after the visitors had taken the lead despite a fine move from Sylvain Wiltord.
The Frenchman's turn, drag back and flick over the top was read perfectly by Ljungberg but the Dutch keeper was again on hand to deny a goal.
In the second half Fulham still had the better of the chances. Twice just past the hour the luckless Marlet missed out on flying headers by and inches - and in the 79th minute Seaman tipped over a thumping header from Sylvain Legwinski as he met Junichi Inamoto's corner and Fulham were left to curse their luck