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Fulham beat Southampton - Match Report Prem Md13

last updated Wednesday 14th August 2019, 10:09 AM

Match Report

Fulham (2) 3-2 (1) Southampton

Premier League Match Day 13 1819 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 24th November 2018    KO: 15:00

Referee: Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Fulham Striker
Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic
His Wiki page
It is early days in the miracle stakes, but a first win in three months, a slide arrested, evidence of team character and a comeback all in one lurching 90 minutes surely amounts to a revelation in Fulham.

The benefit of having a managerial career lasting 32 years is that Claudio Ranieri had seen and been through enough footballing scenarios to transmit a veneer of calm as Fulham scampered through the last exchanges of a helter-skelter game knowing the chance of an accident, a scramble, was well within reason. He kept his cool and offered a controlled round of applause at the end of it all.

As any good Italian man of football should, Ranieri quickly turned his attention to the bare facts of Fulham’s goals against column.

His newly inherited team did let in two, but the good news to offset that is that a group who also have been goal shy recently scored three – and very neatly worked goals they were too, of the sort that brought them to the Premier League with a reputation for aesthetic football.

Andre Schurrle
Fulham Striker
Andre Schurrle
Andre Schurrle
His Wiki page
That familiar feeling of a goal sloppily conceded was averted early on when Sergio Rico pulled off an impressive double save to repel Stuart Armstrong and Manolo Gabbiadini.

Southampton pressed and pushed, evidently keen to target the vulnerabilities that have dogged Fulham’s defence on the assumption that there was only so much Ranieri could achieve trying to fix it over a matter of days.

Southampton’s hunger to pounce on any Fulham uncertainty delivered the lead. Nathan Redmond chased down the ball and hooked it back into the danger area.

When Maxime Le Marchand only half-cleared, the energetic Armstrong surged on to steer the ball past Rico.

It helped that Charlie Austin bumped Jean Michaël Seri out the way – a sign in a way of how the goal crystalised how Southampton’s players began with much heartier levels of determination than their hosts.

Match Stats Fulham Southampton
Goals (2) 3 2 (1)
Scorers Mitrovic 33 Armstrong 18
Schürrle 43 Armstrong 53
Mitrovic 63
Goal attempts 10 19
On target 5 8
Shooting Accuracy 50% 42%
Possession 37% 63%
Passes 367 598
Passes Success 72% 80%
Crosses 11 33
Crosses Success 45% 21%
Corners 2 5
Tackles 19 18
Tackles Success 37% 67%
Saves 6 2
Fouls 10 6
Offsides 4 1
Yellows 2 3
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
“If we want better results, we must battle hard,” Ranieri noted in his opening programme notes.

They did.

Fulham needed a spark of inspiration, needed to show they believed in themselves. Ryan Sessegnon took the initative with a long range dipping shot.

Then they took collective responsibility to lift themselves as a team, with a sweet passing move, sweeping the ball via seven different players taking the scenic route to goal.

They eased their way encouragingly through midfield and the move took off as the ball zipped from Sessegnon to Cairney to Le Marchand.

The Frenchman’s cross landed invitingly for Aleksandar Mitrovic to score by guiding his header into the far corner of the net. Craven Cottage erupted.

Sessegnon’s influence grew, and he demonstrated an excellent mix of technique and efficiency to carve Southampton open and help Fulham to take the lead. He zipped his way past Cédric Soares and angled a pass for André Schürrle to gobble up the chance with delight.

When referee Michael Oliver blew the half-time whistle it signalled the first time Fulham had led a match since 1 September.

They threatened to improve their lot early in the second half on the counter-attack, only for McCarthy to keep out Mitrovic.

It was one of those moments on which a game’s pendulum swings.

The next meaningful attack fell to Southampton.

The most alert person on the pitch when Soares tried an intuitive backheel was Armstrong, who had time to sprint onto the ball and lash an equaliser past Rico.

With the wind sucked out of their sails, how much character could Fulham muster?

The answer was delivered with a sudden gust in the form of another well-worked goal.

Christie’s floated cross was glanced on by Sessegnon for Mitrovic to wallop the ball past McCarthy.

Southampton rallied. Rico beat away from Pierre Emile Højbjerg and kept out a stoppage-time effort from Michael Obafemi.

The loss piled pressure on Mark Hughes, and Southampton’s fans sang about getting sacked in the morning to their own man in the dugout.

New manager bounce can be a wonderful thing.

The evidence, in the shape of Ranieri here, was unmistakable.

Fulham: Rico, Christie, Odoi, Mawson, Le Marchand, Chambers, Seri (Johansen 68), Schürrle (Kamara 74), Cairney, R Sessegnon, Mitrovic (Ayite 86)

Unused substitutes: Bettinelli, Ream, Bryan, Kebano

Mitrovic 33 (header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Maxime Le Marchand with a cross.)
Schurrle 43 (right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ryan Sessegnon with a cross.)
Mitrovic 63 (right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ryan Sessegnon with a headed pass.)

Booked: Mawson (45+1,f), Johansen (90+3,f)

Southampton: McCarthy, Cédric Soares, Yoshida, Hoedt, Targett, Lemina, Hojbjerg, Gabbiadini, Armstrong (Obafemi 81), Redmond, Austin (Elyounoussi 68)

Unused substitutes: Gunn, Vestergaard, Stephens, Davis, Ward-Prowse

Armstrong 18 (right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.)
Armstrong 53 (right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Cédric Soares.)

Booked: Hojbjerg (68,f), Hoedt (73,d), Obafemi (90+3,arg)

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Attendance: 24,603

Source Amy Lawrence at The Guardian
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