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MATCH REPORT ~ Fulham lose to Burnley ~ Prem MD35 20/21

last updated Monday 10th May 2021, 10:36 PM



Match Report

Fulham (0) 0-2 (2) Burnley

Premier League Match Day 35 at Craven Cottage

Monday 10th May 2021    KO: 20:00

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Live on Sky Sports



Fulham Coach Scott Parker
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Fulham boss Scott Parker's belief that Fulham could pull off the seemingly improbable was certainly admirable. Sadly it proved misplaced.

With four games to save themselves, Fulham fell at the first hurdle, losing to Burnley, the one outcome that guaranteed that this Premier League stay would also be just one season, just like Fulham’s last.

Needing a victory to keep their paper-thin hopes alive, Fulham came up against a Burnley side who showed their greater experience, efficiently made the most of less possession, held their nerve and handled this high-stakes meeting between the sides third and fourth bottom better than Fulham.

They also possessed the sort of cutting edge the Cottagers have been so sorely lacking this season plus the defensive resilience Fulham really needed to display last night.

Chris Wood continued his prolific recent form, scoring his eighth in eight games, after Ashley Westwood had poked Sean Dyche’s side ahead.

And with that, the relegation picture was complete. Southampton, Brighton and Newcastle along with Burnley can now breathe easy.

As for Fulham, all those questions and conversations that Parker had been putting off about what next for Fulham can be dealt with now their fate is confirmed.

His future will be chief among them.

Match Stats Fulham Burnley
Goals (0) 0 2 (2)
Scorers - Westwood 35
Scorers - Wood 44
Goal attempts 21 14
On target 3 5
Shooting Accuracy 14% 36%
Possession 68% 31%
Passes Success 75% 48%
Corners 8 4
Tackles Success 50% 53%
Saves 3 3
Fouls 11 10
Offsides 0 0
Yellows 4 1
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
Kicking off nine points off safety and behind fourth-bottom Burnley, a draw would keep Fulham mathematically alive.

In reality, though, only victory would do.

For this occasion of such huge importance occasion Parker turned to Aleksandar Mitrovic, restoring him to his starting team. Once upon a time that would have made perfect nothing but perfect sense.

This season, the Serbian’s struggles merely sum up a big reason why Fulham are where they are. Only ten teams had conceded less than Fulham’s 45 goals at kick-off but 18 had scored more than their 25.

Mitrovic had netted just once for Fulham since his only other Premier League goals during his disrupted season, a double at Leeds in September.

Fulham needed a hero. It was time for the man who has performed that role so often to deliver again.

Parker’s side started with the intensity and intent of a side who knew full well what was at stake, as he promised ahead of kick-off.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa stung Nick Pope’s palms before James Tarkowski’s brilliant last-ditch intervention denied Ademola Lookman a tap-in.

Lookman then headed over the Antonee Robinson cross that followed Tarkowski’s clearance.

Ben Mee headed straight at Alphonse Areola in response for Burnley, who had also had a few encouraging moments in Fulham territory.

Mitrovic had made a sloppy start much to the growing frustration of the few of a Fulham persuasion inside Craven Cottage, giving the ball away and also conceding a needless free-kick that led to Mee’s chance. His teammates looked a little sharper and Ivan Cavaleiro was next to test Pope.

There was little let-up in the action, with Fulham then having two quick fire let offs.

Wood met Charlie Taylor’s cross which Tosin Adarabioyo blocked, chesting the ball just past the post.

Wood then met Tarkowski’s knockdown with a stooping header just yards out but Areola flew across his goal to keep it out with a sprawling save.

When Burnley next attacked there was no escape for Fulham. Vydra beat Andersen to a long pass and then skipped around the defender. Areola got a touch on the striker’s cutback but it was only one that sent the ball perfectly into the path of Ashley Westwood who slid Burnley into the lead.

Making it to half-time at worst a goal down was imperative for Fulham. They failed. Wood benefitted from a lucky ricochet when his attempted flick did not quite work out. But there was nothing fortunate about his finish when Josh Brownhill played it back into his path, Wood smashing a swerving volley into Areola’s top corner.

Knowing they had a rearguard they could rely on, Burnley seemed happy to hold what they had and the onus was on Fulham even more than at kick-off.

Parker waited just nine minutes to make his first attacking change to try and force the issue, bringing on striker Josh Maja for right-back Kenny Tete.

Soon after there were some fresh signs of life from Fulham. Mitrovic headed straight at Pope and then into the side-netting.

Fulham were hoping for a penalty when Taylor slid in from behind on Cavaleiro but he got enough of the ball in the opinion of referee David Coote.

Then it was Burnley appealing when Vydra latched onto Ben Mee’s pass and tried to head past Areola who, well outside his box, appeared to pull his arm in as he stop the ball going any further.

Again Coote and his officials were not interested.

But the sense this was not going to be Fulham’s night was summed up in a flurry of action with 20 minutes left. Anguissa crashed a side-footer against the underside of the bar and then collided with Mitrovic as they both went for the rebound. Lookman then fired into the side-netting.

Fulham: Areola, Tete (Maja 54), Andersen, Adarabioyo (Loftus-Cheek 74), Robinson, Lookman, Lemina, Anguissa, De Cordova-Reid (Onomah 66), Cavaleiro, Mitrovic.

Unused substitutes: Rodak, Hector, Ream, Bryan, Aina, Carvalho.

Booked: Anguissa (40,f), Lemina (83,f)

Burnley : Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, McNeil, Westwood, Cork, Brownhill, Vydra (Rodriguez 67), Wood (Barnes 86).

Unused substitutes: Peacock-Farrell, Norris, Dunne, Bardsley, Gudmundsson, Stephens, Pieters.

Goals:
Westwood 35 (A long ball forward is brought down in the box by Vydra, who again squeezes past Tete on the byline but this time does keep the ball in play and feeds Westwood, who bundles home from 12 yards. Poor defending from
Fulham, and great work from Vydra.)
Wood 44 (Burnley double their lead, and plunge the Cottagers further towards the drop. It won't give them any consolation that it was a quality strike from Wood, but it was nonetheless. He plays a one-two with Brownhill, who gets a little bit of height off the grass with his return and duly watches the striker catch it beautifully to find the top corner from 20 yards.)

Referee: Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

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Source Adrian Kajumba at Mail on Line
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