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Fulham FC Results

Premier League - Saturday 31st December 2022, 3:00 PM
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Attendance: 24344
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)

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Match Report

Fulham (1) 2-1 (0) Southampton

Premier League Match Day 17 22/23 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 31st December 2022     KO: 15:00

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)

Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha
Fulham midfielder
Joao Palhinha
Joao Palhinha
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Fulham midfielder Joao Palhinha's late header saw Fulham edge Southampton 2-1 at Craven Cottage as Nathan Jones' side remained rooted to the foot of the Premier League.

The hosts led at the break through James Ward-Prowse's unfortunate own goal, only for the Southampton captain to make amends by deservedly bringing his team level with a stunning long-range free-kick.

However, just as it seemed as though Jones was about to earn his first point in charge of his new club, up popped Palhinha to inflict a "devastating" defeat on the visitors, who stay bottom, while the Cottagers move up to seventh place in the table.

On a day when the Fulham faithful - including one-time manager Roy Hodgson - paid tribute to both Pele (who played a friendly with Santos at Craven Cottage in 1973) and their former World Cup-winning full-back George Cohen, who sadly died just before Christmas, with a rousing minute's applause, their side left it late to earn all three points against a dogged Saints outfit.

Match Stats Fulham Southampton
Goals (1) 2 1 (0)
Scorers Ward-Prowse og 32 Ward-Prowse 56
Scorers Palhinha 88 -
Goal attempts 8 9
On target 2 3
Shooting Accuracy 25% 33%
Possession 63% 37%
Passes 568 330
Passes Success 69% 53%
Crosses 12 9
Crosses Success 17% 22%
Corners 4 4
Tackles 20 22
Tackles Success 55% 73%
Saves 2 1
Fouls 8 13
Offsides 1 0
Yellows 0 1
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
In fact, the visitors were unfortunate to find themselves trailing at half-time after first spurning a great opportunity to take the lead, only for Bernd Leno to deny Che Adams in a one-on-one, before then falling behind in bizarre circumstances.

Willian's clever, floated corner from the left found Andreas Pereira unmarked on the edge of the box, although his wild strike was going nowhere near the goal - until deflected into his own net by the outstretched leg of Ward-Prowse.

The Saints captain made up for that, however, by levelling matters 11 minutes after the break in now customary style as Fulham gave away a free-kick some 30 yards from goal, with predictable consequences.

Everyone in the ground knew what was about to happen, including Leno, who dived full length to his left but was still left clutching at thin air as the midfielder's beautifully struck set play sailed into the top right-hand corner.

Both sides had chances to win it thereafter, but it was the hosts who took the points when Kenny Tete flicked on a corner for Palhinha to nod in at the far post and there was even time for top-scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic to see his injury-time penalty saved by Gavin Bazunu.

Fulham boss Marco Silva:
"It's a big three points for us from a tough match," he said. "We expected a tough match, we know their capacity, they have good players who can punish you.

"But we have finished an amazing 2022 for us. A year that has been special for us and our fans. I believe we deserved the three points, even if it wasn't our best performance. It was our moment to have a late goal to decide the game."

Fulham will start the year in the top eight, but Silva played down any raised expectations.

"We have to be realistic and I am," he added. "We are an ambitious club, but we know our reality. We have to keep our feet on the ground. It's realistic to fight to remain in the Premier League.

"We have 25 points which is a good achievement from ourselves. We showed we are growing as a team and a club as well."

Southampton boss Nathan Jones:
"To have that level of performance and to come out with nothing is very frustrating," he said.

"We showed at times we can be a good team, but we can't keep conceding goals if we want to pick up points. Today was a much-improved performance level.

"We have to defend our box and there's lessons to be learned. There's a good side in there, but at the minute we're not giving ourselves a chance.

"There's a naivety to our defending which is costing us games. I'm really pleased with the level of performance but absolutely devastated at the manner we conceded."

Opta stats
Fulham have 25 points from their 17 Premier League games so far this season (W7 D4 L6), the fewest number of matches they've taken to gain as many points since 2009-10 (also 17).

Fulham have won consecutive Premier League matches for the second time this season, last doing so on more occasions in a single campaign in 2011-12 (3).

Southampton are winless in their last 12 final league games of the calendar year (D6 L6), since beating Huddersfield 4-1 in 2010.

35% of James Ward-Prowse's Premier League goals have been scored via a direct free kick (15/43) - the highest share of any player with 30+ goals in the competition's history.

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse became the fifth player to score an own goal and a direct free kick in a single Premier League game and the first since Gareth Bale for Spurs vs Liverpool in November 2012.

No team have conceded more own goals than Southampton (3) in the Premier League this season, while only Brighton and Liverpool (4 each) have benefited from more such goals than Fulham in 2022-23 (3).

Fulham travel to Leicester City on Tuesday (7.45pm), while Southampton host fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest on Wednesday (7.30pm) in a huge relegation six pointer.

Fulham: Leno, Robinson, Diop, Ream, Tete, Willian, De Cordova-Reid (James 62), Reed (Cairney 62), Palhinha, Pereira (Adarabioyo 98), Mitrovic

Unused substitutes: Duffy, Vinícius, Harris, Chalobah, Wilson, Rodak

Ward-Prowse og 32 (Own Goal. Pereira, volley one towards goal which deflected off Ward-Prowse.)
Palhinha 88 (header from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kenny Tete with a headed pass following a corner.)

Southampton: Bazunu, Lyanco, Salisu (Lavia 90), Bella-Kotchap, Elyounoussi (Mara 90), Ward-Prowse, Maitland-Niles (Armstrong 90), Walker-Peters, Aribo (Armstrong 67), Adams, Edozie (Perraud 77)

Unused substitutes: Diallo, Finnigan, Caballero, Caleta-Car

Ward-Prowse 56 (from a free kick with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.)

Booked: Elyounoussi (70,f),

Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)

Attendance: 24,344

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