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Fulham FC Results

Premier League - Saturday 26th December 2020, 3:00 PM
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Referee: Darren England (Barnsley)

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De Cordova-Reid (f)
Anguissa (f)
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Match Report

Fulham (0) 0-0 (0) Southampton

Premier League Match Day 15 2021 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 26th December 2020     KO: 15:00

Referee: Darren England (Barnsley)

Live on Sky Sports

Match Stats Fulham Southampton
Goals (0) 0 0 (0)
Scorers - -
Goal attempts 10 3
On target 1 2
Shooting Accuracy 10% 67%
Possession 47% 53%
Passes Success 72% 72%
Corners 6 3
Tackles Success 58% 50%
Saves 2 1
Fouls 15 12
Yellows 2 0
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
Southampton and Ralph Hasenhuttl suffered a double dose of frustration as they were held to a goalless draw at Fulham.

Twice Hasenhuttl was on the pitch in the second half, sprinting on to celebrate what he thought were the goals that would earn his side a hard-fought win to lift them back up to third.

But twice he was forced to trudge back to his dugout disappointed as Shane Long and then Theo Walcott had their efforts ruled out for offside leaving the south coast side forced to settle for a point.

In truth, defeat would have been harsh on Fulham who showed again how much harder they have become to beat, grinding out a fourth draw in a row.

They too missed out on the chance to make a major move in the table and climb out of the bottom three.

Still, there would have been enough to encourage absent boss Scott Parker in the way his side more than matched one of the division's more impressive teams this term.

Unlike their last Premier League campaign, relegation is far from a certainty for Fulham who look set to put up much more of a fight this time around.

For the first time in a long time, Hasenhuttl had to make significant changes to what had become his preferred line-up.

Of the four alterations from the side edged out by Manchester City last week, three were enforced.

Oriol Romeu's suspension opened the door for summer signing Ibrahima Diallo to make his full debut while injuries to Danny Ings and Jannik Vestegaard – out for up to four weeks with a knee problem - left Southampton without two of their key men at both ends of the pitch.

Manager Parker was the big absence for Fulham, missing due to a member of his household contracting Covid-19.

Fulham hope to have him back in charge for their trip to Parker's former club Tottenham on Wednesday.

One half of partnership standing in for Parker was another man facing his old team, Stuart Gray, who had a short-lived stint as Southampton manager in 2001.

Gray and fellow coach Matt Wells inspired a start out of Fulham in which they managed to do something few do early on in games, match Southampton's intensity and pin the south coast side back.

The approach almost brought reward when a sweeping move from right to left carried the ball to Ademola Lookman's left foot but Kyle Walker-Peters did enough to take the edge of his attempt and Alex McCarthy gathered. Midway through the half they had another good chance.

Fulham worked the ball out brilliantly from a goal-kick, Ola Aina, Ivan Cavaleiro and Ruben Loftus-Cheek combining down the right.

As Loftus-Cheek raided forward, he spotted Lookman free coming in from the other side and found him with a ball across the box.

Lookman dummied to shoot, sending Walker-Peters sprawling, and cut the ball back for Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa but he kicked the ball against his standing foot and the opportunity came and went.

Southampton had managed to wrestle some control of the game off Fulham by that point though had to wait until the 27th minute before they threatened, through a reliable source.

Fulham made the mistake of giving away a free-kick in the edge of their box to give James Ward-Prowse the sort of shooting chance he relishes.

The Southampton captain bent a trademark effort over the wall and arcing towards the top corner, but a combination of the post and Areloa's outstretched right hand denied Ward-Prowse yet another free-kick goal.

To compound the near miss, the spin on the ball as it came back out, meant it just evaded Che Adams as he moved in to convert the rebound.

Hasenhuttl insisted it made no sense to dwell on players they were without but it was hard not to.

They were lacking their familiar fluidity and looked less secure without Vestegaard and Romeu in the spine of their team.

That much was evident again 10 minutes into the second half when Cavaleiro found a gaping hole in Southampton's defence to move into but could only head Antonee Robinson's cross over.

Again, Southampton took their time to warm up, not giving Areola anything to worry about until the 67th minute when Shane Long, in for Ings, fired in a rising volley the Frenchman tipped over.

His opposite number McCarthy was then breathing a huge sigh of relief when Jan Bednarek's intervention sent Lookman's attempt flying in the opposite direction he was going.

Fortunately for Southampton, Bednarek's touch took the ball wide rather than in.

While both teams waited for the resulting corner, the VAR officials took their time checking a handball appeal against Aina from Ryan Bertrand's cross.

The length of the delay would have worried Fulham but resulted in referee Darren England waving play on.

Fulham were grateful for the officials again with 15 minutes to go when Long's goal was ruled out for offside, cutting Hasenhuttl's pitch invasion celebration short.

And it was the same again 10 minutes later when Theo Walcott brilliantly converted Adams's cross a check by VAR Jon Moss confirming the latter was offside.

Fulham looked the most likely winners in the final minutes but a share of the spoils seemed about right.

Fulham: Areola, De Cordova-Reid (Mitrovic 83), Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson, Anguissa, Reed, Loftus-Cheek, Cavaleiro, Lookman (Kebano 90)

Unused substitutes: Hector, Odoi, Cairney, Rodák, Ream, Bryan, Kamara

Booked: De Cordova-Reid (38,f), Anguissa (75,f)

Southampton: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Stephens, Bertrand, Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Diallo, Armstrong (Djenepo 90), Long (N’Lundulu 90), Adams

Unused substitutes: Obafemi, Valery, Smallbone, Salisu, Tella, Vokins, Forster

Referee: Darren England (Barnsley)

Attendance: 0

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