Arsenal 2 Fulham 1: Wenger praises Djourou's part in putting Arsenal top of the table

Samir Nasri's goals may have caught the eye but manager Arsene Wenger also paid tribute to Johan Djourou for helping Arsenal go top of the Barclays Premier League with a nervy win over Fulham.

Nasri scored both Gunners goals with flashes of genius at the Emirates Stadium but Djourou helped ensure his side conceded only one after replacing the concussed Laurent Koscielny with almost an hour still to play.

Arsenal had wasted a succession of chances to score more than Nasri's sublime opener when Koscielny was hurt in a sickening clash of heads with centre-back partner Sebastien Squillaci.

Fulham took full advantage of the carnage to equalise through Diomansy Kamara and gave as good as they got for the remainder of the game. That they failed to score again owed a lot to Switzerland defender Djourou, who is still being eased back into the first team after spending a year out with a serious knee injury.

Manager Wenger said: "He is doing very well, Johan.

"You know, he has been out for a year. As you have noticed, I rotate him a little bit because we do not want to lose him.

"A guy who has been out a year, you cannot play him three games per week.

"But, from the start of the season, he is as well going from strength to strength.

"In the difficult period of our team – when we had to defend in the air – he was dominant.

"And he has not only shown dominance, but personality as well.

"That's why I'm happy. He came here as a midfielder and we transformed him into a centre-back, and I believe he can be a very good centre-back."

Djourou has been in and out of the side this season, with Koscielny and Squillaci appearing to be Wenger's preferred pairing in the absence of the injured Thomas Vermaelen.

But Djourou, 23, will almost certainly start Wednesday night's crucial Champions League game with Partizan Belgrade if Koscielny fails cognitive tests.

Fulham manager Mark Hughes, also singled out excellent displays from Simon Davies, Dickson Etuhu and Kamara for his side.

"I thought there were some really good performances," he said. "Simon Davies did really well, he gave us a good option on the right – probably his best game for us for a number of weeks.

"Dickson Etuhu was obviously very strong in those midfield areas, and 'Joe' Kamara obviously took his goal really well and could've had another one."