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Fulham draw at Bristol City - Match Report Cham MD 37

last updated Tuesday 02nd March 2021, 2:45 PM

Match Report

Bristol City (0) 1-1 (0) Fulham

Championship Match Day 37 at Ashton Gate

Saturday 7th March 2020    KO: 12:30

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney
Fulham midfielder
Tom Cairney
Tom Cairney
His Wiki page
Fulham captain Tom Cairney scored a late trademark goal from distance to ensure Fulham rescued a point against fellow promotion-chasers Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Nahki Wells put Bristol City in front after 71 minutes with an opportunistic header after the ball had pinballed around the Fulham penalty area from a Callum O'Dowda corner.

Fulham responded well to going behind and drew level with six minutes remaining when Cairney bent an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner from outside the box.

The result does not particularly suit either side as Fulham remain four points adrift of Leeds, who play Huddersfield on Saturday, in second while Bristol City sit just outside the play-off places.

There was a party atmosphere at Ashton Gate before kick-off as City had designated this match as their 125th year anniversary game with the players wearing a special commemorative kit and a bumper crowd making the most of reduced match ticket prices.

Fulham keeper Marek Rodak
Fulham keeper
Marek Rodak
Marek Rodak
His Wiki page
into another good stop down to his left shortly after the restart.

Considering the occasion, former City player Bobby Decordova-Reid was always likely to be in the thick of the action and he had the two clearest chances of the opening 45 minutes, first when flashing a header wide of the far post on the half-hour mark and then by drawing a flying stop from Niki Maenpaa in stoppage time.

Although Fulham controlled much of the play with 57 per cent possession and looked the more threatening side, it was the hosts who went in front through Wells. Filip Benkovic, brought on as a first-half substitute for the injured Nathan Baker, headed the ball across goal for Wells to nod home clinically inside the six-yard-box.

In response to going behind, Scott Parker brought on Anthony Knockaert and switched his formation from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3 for the final stages. His tactical tinkering paid off immediately as Cairney struck a sweet equaliser after the ball had dropped into his path following a tackle on Harry Arter.

Match Stats Bristol City Fulham
Goals (0) 1 1 (0)
Scorers Wells 70 Cairney 84
Goal attempts 14 19
On target 8 5
Shooting Accuracy 57% 26%
Possession 43% 57%
Passes 325 423
Passes Success 72% 79%
Crosses 18 34
Crosses Success 33% 18%
Corners 3 7
Tackles 21 16
Tackles Success 38% 50%
Saves 0 0
Fouls 4 7
Offsides 0 4
Yellows 2 2
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
From that point on, Fulham looked the most likely to win it with Tomas Kalas making a goal-saving challenge to deny Decordova-Reid again and Maenpaa fortunate to escape conceding a penalty deep into stoppage time for a challenge on Cairney.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Fulham's attackers with Aleksandar Mitrovic unable to exert his usual influence and Bobby Decordova-Reid frequently denied by his former team-mates with six efforts on goal failing to find the back of the net.

Given the profligacy of their frontmen, it was always likely Fulham would require a moment of inspiration elsewhere to cancel out Nahki Wells' opener and just as he has done on countless occasions before, it was Tom Cairney who provided it with a super strike from distance.

Cairney ranked top amongst Fulham's players for touches (104), successful passes (61) and key passes (three) demonstrating his all-round influence on his side throughout the contest.

Fulham host fellow promotion-chasers Brentford at Craven Cottage in their next game on Friday night, live on Sky Sports Football, while Bristol City visit Blackburn on Saturday.

Bristol City: Maenpaa, Pedro Pereira, Kalas, Baker (Benkovic 23), Dasilva, Paterson (Diedhiou 64), Smith, Massengo, O'Dowda, Weimann, Wells (Eliasson 90)

Unused substitutes: Wollacott, Hunt, Williams, Palmer

Wells 70 (header from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pedro Pereira with a headed pass following a corner.)

Booked: Pereira (60,f), Benkovic (75,f),

Fulham: Rodak, Christie, Hector, Ream (Knockaert 82), Odoi, De Cordova-Reid (Johansen 90), Arter, Cairney, Kamara, Mitrovic, Cavaleiro (Kebano 66)

Unused substitutes: Bettinelli, Sa Sessegnon, McDonald, O'Riley

Cairney 84 ( left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.)

Booked: Arter (41,d), Odoi (48,d),

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Attendance: N/K

Source SkySports
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