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Match Report ~ Fulham edged out at West Ham ~ Prem MD08 20/21

last updated Saturday 07th November 2020, 11:04 PM

Match Report

West Ham United (0) 1-0 (0) Fulham

Premier League Match Day 08 2021 at London Stadium

Saturday 7th November 2020    KO: 20:00

Referee: Robert Jones (Wirral)

Live on BT Sport Box Office

Ademola Lookman possibly took the worst spot-kick in Premier League history as he tried and failed to dispatch a Panenka penalty deep into stoppage time, ensuring the curse continues for Fulham.

Seventeen Premier League London derbies without a win, and this one will hurt in particular.

Match Stats West Ham Fulham
Goals (0) 1 0 (0)
Scorers Soucek 90+1  
Goal attempts 16 13
On target 7 3
Shooting Accuracy 44% 23%
Possession 52% 48%
Passes 432 379
Passes Success 87% 83%
Crosses 31 19
Crosses Success 32% 37%
Corners 9 5
Tackles 14 12
Tackles Success 50% 58%
Saves 3 6
Fouls 10 9
Offsides 3 2
Yellows 2 2
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
Late drama saw West Ham take the lead through Tomas Soucek after four minutes of stoppage time had been announced. Then Fulham had their chance to snatch a vital point.

Said Benrahma had tripped Tom Cairney in the box as Scott Parker’s side desperately tried to salvage a draw. Referee Robert Jones consulted his pitch-side monitor and pointed to the spot.

But remarkably, Lookman tried the Panenka, and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, having dived, readjusted and caught the ball. The previously silent London Stadium was filled with cheers from those of a West Ham persuasion.

Lookman was understandably crushed at full time. West Ham, on the other hand, were ecstatic with his gift.

For the first time since the season’s opening day, West Ham were odds-on favourites to win a game of Premier League football. That was down to their hellish run of fixtures, which involved them facing Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, Leicester, Wolves and Arsenal consecutively.

Perhaps David Moyes sensed this was an opportunity for them to take the game to an opponent from the get-go as they started relentlessly. The bubbles at the London Stadium had barely popped when Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was tested three times and the woodwork hit.

First, Areola denied a thunderous shot by Arthur Masuaku followed by Aaron Cresswell’s rebound from 20 yards. Then a left-footed volley by Jarrod Bowen, which was deflected on its way to goal, was pushed over by the man on loan from Paris-Saint-Germain.

From the following corner, Fulham were marking zonally and Sebastien Haller sensed his chance. He barged into the six-yard box and met the cross, sending a header crashing off the crossbar.

All of that came inside the opening seven minutes. It remained 0-0 and, though they were dominating up top, West Ham had to stay alert at the back.

Moyes would have warned his defence about Fulham’s fondness for crosses – no Premier League club have produced more than Parker’s side this season. Sure enough, the visitors did not shy away from trying that tactic.

Aleksandar Mitrovic was the man the Fulham wingers were trying to find, and he was due a goal.

Mitrovic had not scored with any of his last 44 non-penalty shots with his right or left foot, since a goal against Huddersfield in 2018. That became 45 when a 25-yard free-kick hit the West Ham wall, then 46 when Harrison Reed swung in a ball which Mitrovic could not divert goalward.

It had been an entertaining 25 minutes, and Mitrovic came close again when Cairney’s cross found him in the box. The Serbian got his angles all wrong and his header was off-target.

Next it was Bowen’s turn to pretend he had the head of a 50 pence piece as, with all of the goal to aim at, he nodded a shot well wide. Moyes’ reaction showed he expected better.

Lookman, the ex-Everton winger on loan at Fulham from RB Leipzig, was looking lively. One piece of skill in the middle of the park saw him send Declan Rice to the local Stratford shopping centre, and he was growing in confidence on the left wing. Later he would be crushed, of course.

Since hitting the crossbar, Haller had been anonymous. In the absence of Michail Antonio, who remains sidelined after tearing his hamstring, this was another chance for the Frenchman to impress.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan was here to see how his record purchase performed, too, but he had not seen much from him in the first half.

After the break, Reed tried to clear the ball but managed only to kick Soucek in the chest. It led to a free-kick, centre of goal, 20 yards out, and Rice and Cresswell stood over it.

The latter used his left foot and struck the crossbar, with Areola getting a fingertip to it.

Fulham’s goalkeeper has a World Cup winner’s medal at home, with him part of the French squad crowned world champions in 2018, though he did not play. He was looking every bit a world-beater here, however.

There were some handbags between Mitrovic and Angelo Ogbonna, a scuffle which saw the Fulham striker booked. Ogbonna soon followed him in the book after a high boot on Cairney.

Moyes turned to Benrahma, their new forward signed from Brentford on deadline day, and Manuel Lanzini, whose substitute appearance against Tottenham previously proved a masterstroke. The game was in the balance with 15 minutes to go.

Parker arrived here with fond memories. Not of this stadium, of course, but of Upton Park and wearing claret and blue. As a consistently tidy midfielder, Parker was named Hammer of the Year in three of the four seasons he spent with West Ham.

Now his loyalty is to Fulham, and he was trying to break their unwanted record of having not won any of their last 16 Premier League London derbies. With Mitrovic not in the scoring mood, No 17 could not be avoided.

But Mitrovic's low-key performance is not what will be remembered after this. It will be of Lookman's penalty.

Soucek had taken advantage of some slack Fulham defending to score shortly after the four minutes of stoppage time was announced.

But Lookman could not hit back. His Panenka, with the last kick of the match, was crushing for Fulham and their relegation race.

West Ham United: Fabianski, Balbuena, Ogbonna (Diop 63), Cresswell, Coufal, Rice, Soucek, Masuaku; Bowen (Lanzini 72), Haller, Fornals (Benrahma 72)

Unused substitutes: Randolph, Yarmolenko, Fredericks, Snodgrass

Soucek 90+1 (It's a long ball into the box from Balbuena, and Andersen's header clear is terrible. Aina needs to give him a shout, as he was in a better position to clear! Benrahma picks it up, and squares for Soucek 14 yards out, and he slots it bottom right corner!)

Booked: Ogbonna (56,f), Diop (90+8, d)

Fulham: Areola, Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson, Reed, Anguissa (Cavaleiro 90+3), De Cordova-Reid (Loftus-Cheek 82), Cairney, Lookman, Mitrovic

Unused substitutes: Ream, Hector, Kebano, Bryan, Rodak

Booked: Mitrovic (55,f), Loftus-Cheek (88,not retreating)

Referee: Robert Jones (Wirral)

Attendance: 0

Source Kieran Gill for Mailonline
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