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Fulham beat Middlesbrough - Match Report Cham Md 27

last updated Monday 15th January 2018, 4:37 PM

Match Report

Middlesbrough (0) 0-1 (0) Fulham

Championship Match Day 27 1718 Riverside Stadium

Saturday 13th January 2018     KO: 15:00pm

Referee: Geoff Eltringham (County Durham)

Fulham midfielder Oliver Norwood
Fulham midfielder
Oliver Norwood
Oliver Norwood
His Wiki page
Oliver Norwood struck a dramatic late penalty to earn Fulham a 1-0 win at Championship play-off rivals Middlesbrough.

The energetic midfielder won and converted the spot-kick deep into stoppage time to make Boro, who had hit the bar through Britt Assombalonga seconds earlier, pay for a few wasted chances.

The victory lifted Fulham a point above Middlesbrough, who also had their own strong calls for a penalty waved away earlier in the second half, and a point shy of the top six.

Fulham have steadily climbed the table since November and a run of four wins from five unbeaten matches building up to the Riverside trip had raised hope and expectations.

But, even though they asked full-backs Ryan Sessegnon and Ryan Fredericks to push on regularly, they struggled to gain an advantage in the final third initially.

Middlesbrough, who surprisingly only had leading scorer Assombalonga on the bench in favour of starting with the same team that defeated Sunderland in the FA Cup, looked more confident without really causing goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli any trouble.

Match Stats Middlesbrough Fulham
Goals (0)0 1 (0)
Scorers - Norwood pen 90+5
Goal attempts 9 12
On target 0 2
Shooting Accuracy 0% 17%
Possession 37% 63%
Passes 321 574
Pass Success 67% 83%
Crosses 18 8
Crosses Success 17% 12%
Corners 5 1
Tackles 15 15
Tackles Success 80% 40%
Saves 1 0
Fouls 13 12
Offsides 3 1
Yellows 4 3
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
Assombalonga's replacement Rudy Gestede was guilty of wasting Middlesbrough's best two chances of the opening period.

Even though he led the line reasonably well and worked hard, his finishing was disappointing.

Gestede should have scored in the fifth minute, or at least forced Bettinelli into a save. When he was fed the ball in behind the Fulham defence, he only had the keeper to beat but stumbled and the chance was gone.

Middlesbrough, with Adama Traore shining until he wasted his final delivery, should have done more with the possession they enjoyed. The only occasion Bettinelli had a save to make was from a header from Gestede, who was flagged offside.

And with half-time approaching Gestede had his second fantastic chance when he was played in behind the defence once more. With Bettinelli running straight for him and in a more central position, the Benin striker lifted his finish over the goalkeeper but saw his effort trickle wide and to safety.

The only occasion Fulham had threatened during that period was seconds earlier when Sessegnon's run to the byline and excellent cross ended with Darren Randolph holding a header from Aboubakar Kamara.

Neither manager changed anything at the break and Middlesbrough continued to show more going forward. Stewart Downing fired an effort from distance over while Martin Braithwaite's strong claims for a penalty after a shove from Tomas Kalas fell on deaf ears.

After Assombalonga was introduced for Gestede, Braithwaite should have scored after cleverly beating Dennis Odoi but could only find the side-netting with his finish.

Fulham could also have scored when Tomas Kalas did the same after the hosts did not react to a corner.

After Assombalonga had hit the bar at one end, the breakthrough finally came at the other when Norwood was tripped by Grant Leadbitter and got up to convert the penalty.

Middlesbrough: Randolph, Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend, Howson, Leadbitter, Downing, Traoré (Johnson 82), Gestede (Assombalonga 63), Braithwaite (Clayton 82)

Unused substitutes: Konstantopoulos, Christie, Bamford, Fletcher

Booked: Friend (37,f), Howson (55,f), Clayton (90+1,f), Leadbitter (90+5,d)

Fulham Bettinelli, Fredericks, Odoi, Ream, R Sessegnon, Norwood, McDonald, Johansen, Ojo (Kalas 52), Kamara (Fonte 58), Piazon (Kebano 85)

Unused substitutes: Button, Cairney, Tayo Edun, Steven Sessegnon

Norwood 90+5 (converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner. Norwood draws a foul in the penalty area from Leadbitter )

Booked: Johansen (13,f), Fredericks (57,f), Odoi (60,f)

Referee: James Linington (Newport)

Attendance: 23,850

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