Parker laments the VAR decision that got away as Arsenal inflict another telling blow on Fulham
Scott Parker admitted the late equaliser conceded by Fulham at Emirates Stadium was hard to take - and said the goal should not have stood.
The Whites got the rub of the green with two VAR decisions in Sunday's lunchtime game - one which ruled out an Arsenal opener from Dani Ceballos and another which upheld the penalty won by Mario Lemina.
But they were denied the hat-trick after Eddie Nketiah's leveller deep into injury time, even though Rob Holding was in an offside position and arguably distracting Alphonse Areola in the Fulham goal.
The dropped points have left the Whites with just five games to overturn a six point deficit on teams who have games in hand. It is not looking good, to say the least.
"I've just seen it back," said the Fulham boss. "He [Rob Holding] looks offside to me, he's standing in an offside position.
"As a consequence of where my keeper is, he's two yards away from the goalline and he's in an offside position - that's what's disappointing. We defended superbly, we limited them to few chances. The longer the game was going on, I felt we had done well but the big factor is that late decision and the rules on it.
"We were so close today, so it's been painful. As disappointed as I am now and the team are, we'll wake up tomorrow and we will fight again and keep going. You see a team with effort, desire, with spirit and with that we've got a fighting chance."
Parker added: "I'm disappointed and gutted and the overriding factor is the team have worked tirelessly today, given everything, come to a place like this against a very good side and manged to get our nose in front."
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said his side should have won and played well considering the exertions of a midweek trip to Slavia Prague in the Europa League quarter-final.
"We started really well, controlling the game and creating chances," he said, "scoring a goal that was disallowed, in a very disappointing way, we kept going and didn't allow any shots on target and suddenly we concede a penalty and the game changes completely.
"We took risks in the right way, we could have scored three or four, we totally deserved to win the match but put ourselves in a difficult position.
"We have to just focus on the boys playing away in Europe and arriving here with the desire to go all the way to the 97th, 98th minute."