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Fulham draw with Watford - Match Report Prem Md06

last updated Saturday 22nd September 2018, 9:42 PM

Match Report

Fulham (0) 1-1 (1) Watford

Premier League Match Day 06 1819 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 22nd September 2018    KO: 12:30

Referee: Martin Atkinson(West Yorkshire)

Aleksandar Mitrovic
Fulham Striker
Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic
His Wiki page
Keeping faith with the tried and tested has its merits, but following Javi Gracia’s sixth successive identical Premier League team selection, Watford ended their lunchtime engagement looking weary and not a little battered.

They might even have conceded a last-minute winner when the Fulham goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic forced a save from Ben Foster and nodded the resultant corner against the crossbar.

In the relief of escaping a second successive defeat, Gracia’s team were also left to rue a first half after which they might have been out of sight.

Fulham should also have been down to 10 men; Timothy Fosu-Mensah’s rash and high challenge on Troy Deeney did not receive the red card it deserved from Martin Atkinson.

Watford’s captain now appears likely to be Gracia’s first enforced change of the season, having left Craven Cottage with his right leg in a protective boot and revealed he will require an X-ray after Fosu-Mensah’s 32nd-minute tackle.

Match Stats Fulham Watford
Goals (0)1 1 (0)
Scorers Mitrovic 78 Gray 2
Goal attempts 15 11
On target 3 6
Shooting Accuracy 20% 55%
Possession 61% 39%
Passes 526 338
Passes Success 76% 65%
Crosses 27 26
Crosses Success 22% 8%
Corners 8 8
Tackles 14 11
Tackles Success 64% 45%
Saves 5 2
Fouls 11 9
Offsides 5 6
Yellows 2 1
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
“I may have a broken bone or two but we crack on,” Deeney said. He had still completed the 90 minutes. “I am a tough, ugly boy so it will be all right.”

Gracia was sporting, saying that he preferred to “respect the referee’s decision” rather than rail against officialdom, while for his part, Fosu-Mensah later made a social media apology to Deeney and to fans for his first-half performance.

Fosu-Mensah was hardly alone in being guilty.

Watford scored within 90 seconds of the kick-off when Andre Gray slotted home after Will Hughes had been the beneficiary of lax play from Jean Michaël Seri.

Slavisa Jokanovic’s reintroduction of Fosu-Mensah and Calum Chambers into his defence had paid

With one win from their five previous matches, Jokanovic has struggled to blend a squad on which more than £100m has been lavished.

His team conceded even earlier than last week, when it took Leroy Sané 97 seconds to score for Manchester City.

With £20m central defender Alfie Mawson enduring a crisis, Watford were presented with repeated chances to extend their lead.

Mawson looked to have fouled Hughes, excellent in the first half, for a Watford penalty but Atkinson waved away claims.

The break gave Jokanovic opportunity to regroup and rethink.
Two of his starting XI, Mawson and Kevin McDonald, were given the hook, as Denis Odoi and Floyd Ayité were introduced.

“I made two changes,” said Jokanovic “I would have made four if I could.”

If Fulham are going to survive life back in the Premier League, their second half showed a route to security.

Odoi and Ayité excelled and Seri was at last able to exert midfield influence, especially after the 64th-minute introduction of André-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

Meanwhile, André Schürrle, Fulham’s main attacking threat in the first half, presented constant problems for Watford.

The German was key to Mitrovic’s equaliser, sending Luciano Vietto down the left before the striker bundled home from close range.

Having surrendered their 100% record by losing to Manchester United last week, and drawn here, fantastical talk of Watford being this season’s Leicester 2015-2016 should now be set aside.

Jokanovic, who led the Hertfordshire club to promotion three years ago but never got to manage Watford in the Premier League, had looked to be receiving another lesson in top-flight football.

Instead, the Serb’s decisive changes and the attacking quality he can call on had Gracia’s team rocking on their heels.

“We didn’t change anything,” said Gracia. “We kept on creating chances but we made a defensive mistake and they scored a goal.

I am not disappointed with the result. I am happy with the work we have done today.”

Fulham : Bettinelli, Fosu-Mensah, Mawson (Odoi 45), Chambers, R Sessegnon, Johansen (Anguissa 64), McDonald (Ayite 45), Seri, Vietto, Mitrovic, Schurrle

Unused substitutes: Rico, Le Marchand, Christie, Kamara

Mitrovic 78 (right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luciano Vietto.)

Booked: Mawson (30,f), Fosu-Mensah (32,f),

Watford: Foster, Janmaat, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas, Doucoure, Capoue, Hughes (Femenía 70), Pereyra (Sema 90), Gray (Success 80), Deeney

Unused substitutes: H Gomes, Mariappa, Masina, Chalobah

Gray 2 (right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Will Hughes.)

Booked: Holebas (58,f),

Referee: Martin Atkinson(West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 23,418

Source John Brewin at The Guardian
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