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Fulham 1-2 Swansea Prem 12 1314 Daily Mail

last updated Monday 25th November 2013, 11:22 AM
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Andrew Warshaw at Daily Mail

Fulham (0) 1 Swansea (0) 2

Fulham suffered yet more misery and the influence of new coach Rene Meulensteen cannot come soon enough.

The question is: will Martin Jol stay long enough to see his new right-hand man and Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant turn things around?

The two Dutchmen sat next to each other in the dugout but with each setback the pressure will surely increase on Fulham chairman Shahid Khan to put Meulensteen in sole charge.

'Jol out' reverberated around Craven Cottage as the manager, having seen his team slump to a fourth straight league defeat and go back into the bottom three, took the long walk, head bowed, across the pitch.

In addition to Jol, home fans rounded on Dimitar Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz for the poor showing. Only Maarten Stekelenburg, who pulled off a couple of wonder saves, and new skipper Scott Parker emerged with their heads held high.

'It's not the nicest period in my life,' said Jol. 'It's evident we needed the points and we worked on what to do for eight days. The crowd were with us in the first half and I can understand why they turned.

'Rene has come in with a different voice. It didn't pay off today but you can't change the world in a week.'

You could only feel sorry for Parker, who turned the clock back with a wondrous box-to-box performance.

Swansea began to impress as the first-half wore on and were denied a late first-half lead as a superb Maarten Stekelenburg save thwarted Nathan Dyer.

The Welsh side continued in the same vein when play resumed after the break and it was no surprise when they took the lead through an Aaron Hughes own goal.

Scott Parker, named Fulham captain for the first time, managed to draw parity somewhat fortuitously as a cross snuck in the top corner, but his side were unable to hold on for a point.

Shelvey showed impressive close control and even better finishing, rifling home from outside the box to earn Swansea victory, resulting in the fans rounding on Jol.

It was a far cry from the start of the match in which Fulham retained possession and attacked with renewed vigour.

Berbatov tried an audacious scissor-kick on the turn in the opening minutes, albeit from an offside position, and Pajtim Kasami, one of few bright sparks in their poor start, felt he should have had an early penalty.

Fulham continued to press for an early goal and centre-back Fernando Amorebieta impressively hooked an effort over his shoulder, which may have looked unnatural but was close to the returning Michel Vorm's goal.

Swansea soon began to grow into the encounter, although it took 25 minutes for their first chance of note as a Roland Lamah strike went just wide after deflecting off Hughes.

It was proving quite an open affair and one which Fulham should have gone up in when Parker floated a superb ball to the back post, where Bent nodded just wide.

The on-loan striker almost made immediate amends for that wasted chance when Chico Flores failed to deal with a ball forward, only his rasping half volley to come back off the post.

Berbatov was next to come close as Fulham enjoyed a period of pressure, heading a Bryan Ruiz corner just wide in the 34th minute.

Play soon swung the other way, with Lamah hitting wide and Wilfried Bony failing with a header before Alejandro Pozuelo robbed the ball off Derek Boateng and played through Dyer. The diminutive winger looked set to score a fierce low strike, only for Stekelenburg to make an wonderful save with his feet.

Swansea continued in the ascendancy after half-time and Bony showed excellent poise and control, before lashing across the face of goal.

The visitors pressed in number and took the lead when Pozuelo sent over a low cross from the right and, having just evaded Chico, Hughes was unable stop himself bundling into the Fulham goal.

It was nearly two soon after as Swansea broke forward, with Pozuelo again the creator but Dyer was denied by a late block.

That chance appeared to kick Fulham back into life, with Ashley Williams throwing his body in front of a goalbound Bent shot.

Parker set that chance up with a fine through ball and drew the Whites level from the resulting corner.

Taken short, the captain floated in a cross from just inside the box but the ball curled into the corner.

There was a large dollop of luck involved in Parker's 64th-minute equaliser, with Jol's side again counting their blessings soon after.

A fine Lamah back-heel put Bony through on goal, but Stekelenburg got down well to thwart the Ivorian frontman, who smashed into the side-netting shortly afterwards.

Shelvey saw a curled effort dealt with by Stekelenburg soon after, although the substitute soon found a way through.

With 10 minutes remaining, the former Liverpool man showed neat control, switched the ball onto his right foot and fired a sensational strike into the top corner.

It was a sucker punch for Fulham and one they were unable to respond to, despite ramping up the pressure in the closing stages.

It was no surprise, therefore, to hear 'Jol out' chanted by many, with only a late Steve Sidwell block preventing the scoreline getting even worse in stoppage time when Shelvey took the ball past Stekelenburg.

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