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Fulham 1-1 Brentford Cham 45 1617 - GetWestLondon

last updated Monday 01st May 2017, 10:48 AM

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Ryan O'Donovan at GetWestLondon

Fulham (1) 1-1 (1) Brentford

It was as you were for Fulham after Stefan Johansen recovered from a knock at Huddersfield to make the starting XI for the west London derby, while injury hit Brentford made three changes for the tie.

- Aluko charged forward looking for the pass which was defended well by Brentford, but he allowed their defence no time to reset and won it immediately before feed Sessegnon, whose cross was met by Cairney to put it into the net.

Brentford got back on level terms, however, in the 34th when Nico Yennaris was played in on the edge of the box by Konstantin Kerschbaumer, with the number eight sticking the ball into the top corner of Marcus Bettinelli's goal.

Fulham had the chance to retake the lead on the stroke of half time when they were awarded a penalty after Yoann Barbet took out Stefan Johansen in the box, but their penalty woes continued after Cairney's spot kick was saved by David Bentley.

Bentley was on hand in the second half to deny Fulham from retaking the lead, making a number of strong saves to frustrate the home side for the second 45.

In the end, it mattered little as Leeds' draw with Norwich pretty much ensured a play-off spot for Fulham - here's what we took from the last west London derby of the season.

Penalty woes continue
Scoring the last two penalties in a row was a bit of anomaly and Fulham were brought back to reality with another missed penalty - the ninth of the season.

It's been frustrating for Fulham from the spot this season, if they had put away half of those misses they would have comfortably been in a play-off spot right now and you can only imagine how it feels for the players.

This starts to become a psychological thing too - the players know how many they've missed and it starts to eat away at them every time they get a penalty.

'Will I miss it?'

'Will he guess right?'

You have to wonder, if any of the play-off games goes to penalties, how much of an effect will this have on the players

Fulham lacked a focal point

Once again, Fulham's need for a striker was highlighted as they struggled to put the ball past an inspired Bentley in the Brentford goal.

Floyd Ayite, for his pace and ability to cause teams problems down the flanks, is not the out and out striker a top team needs and that was clear with his squandered chances.

His one-on-one took a horrible bobble as he struck it, but he should put away at least one of the free headers he had in the first half, while he's struggled to make an impact in the second when Brentford sat on the 18-yard box and forced Fulham to knock it side to side without really going anywhere.

A striker is a must next season, whatever league the side find themselves in.

Jota didn't get much of a look in
There was a lot of talk before the game of what Jota could do, and for good reason, he has been in great form since his return from Spain for Brentford.

But Fulham did a job on him yesterday, with the attack minded Ryan Sessegnon and Scott Malone making sure the Spaniard did more defensive work than he did attacking.

It looked like Jota didn't enjoy the defensive work too much and Fulham got a lot of success down the left in the first half as a result of them overloading that left hand flank and targeting Jota.

As games go it was a quiet one from Jota and Fulham will be happy their game plan worked against him.

It's play-off time!
That draw and Leeds' draw pretty much secures a play-off place, and despite it being cause for celebration the job only really starts now.

The target for Fulham was always getting into the play-offs and they've done that, now it's time to reset the targets and go all out for promotion to the Premier League.

Confidence has to be high in that dressing room having hauled themselves into the top six and they will be believing they can go out and beat anybody, especially after smashing Huddersfield last week.

While it remains to be seen who they will play, the roar from the Craven Cottage crowd yesterday when the final result from Elland Road came through shows what this means to everyone at the club and the players will only take heart from it.

It's going to be a good few weeks.

Bettinelli 7: Did what he had to do well - nothing could be done about the Brentford goal which was inch perfect in his top corner. Looked commanding but had a few problems with kicking from ground.

Fredericks 6: Caused problems down the right and did his defensive duties well when Brentford would attack on the counter.

Malone 7: Did well down the left once again, with him and Sessegnon causing Jota to track back time and time again. His crosses were once again spot on and it must be frustrating for him that more often than not, there is no one on the end of them.

Kalas 7: Was strong at the back with Ream and did well to deny Brentford on the counter. Himself and Ream were able to marshal Vibe relatively well during the 90 minutes.

Ream 7: Some good reading of the game saw him deny Vibe after the Dane looked to be through on goal.

McDonald 6: Did well anchoring the midfield and cutting off Brentford's midfielders when they cut inside from the wings.

Cairney 7: Scored Fulham's first goal and was in good form in the middle of the park. Missed the penalty but it was a good save from Bentley to deny him.

Johansen 6: The engine in the Fulham midfield once again, although he didn't have the same effect on this game as he has done in recent weeks. Despite being a doubt for this game he was once again up and down the pitch for the entire game.

Ayite 6: Missed an absolute sitter in the first half but in his defence the ball did bobble. Wasn't effective enough with his head in the six yard box and should've put at least one headed chance away.

Aluko 7: Gave both Field and Canos an absolutely torrid time with his skill on the ball. but was a lot quieter in the second half as Fulham went looking for a winner.

Sessegnon 7: Set up the first goal and was keen and alert to see Ayite in behind the Brentford line from time to time. His through ball for Ayite's fluff in the first half. Faded in the second half and was replaced with half an hour remaining.

Piazon 6: Didn't have much of an impact on the game when he came on as Fulham struggled to put away chances and get that much needed second goal.

Kebano 6: Was brought on to add another dimension to the game but that didn't come off the hosts.

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