EPL: Havertz Stars As Chelsea Tighten Grip On Fourth Place

Chelsea's German midfielder Kai Havertz celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge in London on May 1, 2021. Justin Setterfield / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s German midfielder Kai Havertz celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge in London on May 1, 2021. Justin Setterfield / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea cemented their grip on fourth place in the Premier League as Kai Havertz struck twice to seal a 2-0 win over struggling Fulham on Saturday.

Thomas Tuchel’s side warmed up for Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid with a ruthless display at Stamford Bridge.

Havertz netted in each half to lift Chelsea six points clear of fifth-placed West Ham in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish.

West Ham have a game in hand at Burnley on Monday, but Chelsea are looking up not down after they closed the gap on third-placed Leicester to just two points with four games left.

“We were spot on. It was what we demanded from ourselves. We showed the pride we are capable of, to do it in between two big games,” Tuchel said.

“We knew Fulham gives everyone a hard time. I’m beyond happy. There was no lack of concentration.”

Havertz’s seventh and eighth goals of an underwhelming first season at Chelsea were a welcome sign the German playmaker is finally emerging from his funk.

Since arriving from Bayer Leverkusen, Havertz has endured a bout of coronavirus and a host of diffident performances that raised doubts about his desire.

But the 21-year-old thrived in the false nine role against Fulham in an indication he could still have a part to play in Chelsea’s bid for a memorable end to the season.

“For sure, this is what we want if someone gets his chance. He scored two decisive goals and he was involved along with Timo Werner,” Tuchel said.

Just as significant as Havertz’s improvement, Chelsea remained rock solid at the back and have kept 17 clean sheets in 23 games under Tuchel.

Chelsea's German midfielder Kai Havertz (R) shoots to score the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge in London on May 1, 2021. Justin Setterfield / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s German midfielder Kai Havertz (R) shoots to score the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge in London on May 1, 2021. Justin Setterfield / POOL / AFP

 

The German coach’s only worry was the sight of the influential Mason Mount being treated for a back injury which he played through before being taken off in the closing stages.

“I hope really that Mason is not a big thing and hopefully he can fully recover for Real Madrid,” Tuchel said.

Chelsea have been revitalised by Tuchel since he replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.

The former Paris Saint-Germain boss arrived with Chelsea languishing in ninth place, but he has led them back into the top four and earned an FA Cup final date with Leicester in May.

The icing on the cake for Tuchel would be reaching the Champions League final, with Chelsea hosting Real on Wednesday as they look to capitalise on the 1-1 first-leg draw in Madrid.

Third-bottom Fulham sit nine points from safety with four games remaining and look set for relegation to the Championship.

Havertz hits his stride

It was 42 years since Fulham last won at Stamford Bridge, but they almost snatched a shock lead when Antonee Robinson’s 20-yard rocket was tipped over by Edouard Mendy.

Chelsea responded to that threat with a superbly crafted opener in the 10th minute.

Thiago Silva’s long pass was beautifully controlled by Mount and the midfielder slipped a pin-point ball through to Havertz, who slotted a composed finish into the far corner.

Fulham weren’t out of the hunt and Ademola Lookman’s low drive was pushed away at full stretch by Mendy.

Hakim Ziyech’s shot was well saved by Fulham keeper Alphonse Areola before Mendy alertly parried Ola Aina’s strike after it took a wicked deflection off Reece James.

But Havertz was beginning to hit his stride at last and he doubled Chelsea’s lead in the 49th minute.

Ben Chilwell’s long pass picked out Havertz and he glided away from two defenders to find Werner.

Werner played a deft pass through to Havertz and he capped the flowing move with a clinical finish.

For all his critics in an uneven season, the much-maligned Werner is the first player to register double figures for both goals and assists in his debut season for Chelsea since Eden Hazard in 2012-13.

 

AFP

Liverpool Suffer Sixth Consecutive Home Defeat, Slump Against Fulham

Liverpool’s Guinean midfielder Naby Keita (centre right) reacts to their defeat on the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Fulham at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on March 7, 2021. Fulham won the game 1-0. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

Mario Lemina condemned troubled Liverpool to a sixth successive home defeat as Fulham earned a shock 1-0 win that left the champions’ top four bid in turmoil on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are four points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, who can extend that lead to seven if they beat Everton on Monday.

That would leave Liverpool with a tough task to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top four finish.

They could still make it by winning the Champions League, but glory in Europe’s elite club competition is hard to envisage given Liverpool’s steep decline.

In a sign of how far they have fallen, even third-bottom Fulham easily out-played Liverpool to secure three points at Anfield for the first time in nine years.

Without an Anfield victory since before Christmas, Liverpool are a pale shadow of the team that romped to their first English title for 30 years last season.

They have been destabilised by horrific injury problems in defence, but it was still jarring to see the toothless Reds surrender so tamely once again.

Klopp insists his stars will remain loyal even if Liverpool miss out on a Champions League place, but on the evidence of their latest embarrassment, the Reds boss might need to make significant changes to catch champions-elect Manchester City next term.

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (R) reacts to their defeat on the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Fulham at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on March 7, 2021. Fulham won the game 1-0. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

With one eye on defending their 2-0 lead in Wednesday’s Champions League last 16 second leg against Leipzig, Klopp made seven changes and fielded a youthful defence featuring Neco Williams, Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips.

The selection of Rhys Williams alongside Phillips meant injury-hit Liverpool were fielding their 19th different starting centre-back partnership in 28 league matches.

– Impotent Liverpool –
Unsurprisingly, Liverpool showed a lack of organisation and cohesion at the back, with Josh Maja sneaking behind the two inexperienced central defenders to scoop his volley over the bar.

Ademola Lookman got behind Neco Williams moments later, cutting into the Liverpool area before dragging his shot wide.

Fulham were causing Liverpool’s makeshift defence all manner of problems and Maja was narrowly off-target from Lookman’s pass.

READ ALSO: Bundesliga Club Schalke Sack Coach Christian Gross In Major Clear Out

Ivan Cavaleiro raced onto a long ball and beats Phillips, only to shoot over from a good position.

Diogo Jota made his first start since December after injury and Xherdan Shaqiri was up front as they replaced Sadio Mane and the injured Roberto Firmino.

Shaqiri curled a free-kick just over, but Liverpool were impotent in attack and Fulham’s impressive display was rewarded in first half stoppage-time.

Bereft of confidence and growing more timid by the minute, Liverpool conceded in woeful fashion.

When Andrew Robertson could only head clear to the edge of the area, Mohamed Salah was easily brushed off the ball by Lemina, who drilled a fine finish into the far corner of Alisson Becker’s goal.

It was sweet moment for the Gabon international after his accidental handball saw Maja’s equaliser against Tottenham harshly ruled out in midweek.

Salah’s half-hearted effort was hardly the response Klopp was looking for after the Egyptian showed his frustration when he was substituted against Chelsea on Thursday.

Jota’s stinging volley from Neco Williams’ cross forced a fine Alphonse Areola save early in the second half.

Just after that chance, a plane flew over Anfield bearing the slogan “Unity is strength. Let’s go Reds. YNWA”.

Although Mane came off the bench to loop a header onto the woodwork and Shaqiri went with a curler, Liverpool rarely looked like response to that call to arms.

AFP

Fulham Draws 1-1 At Burnley, Now 6 Points From Safety In EPL

Fulham’s Nigerian defender Ola Aina (2L) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Fulham at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on February 17, 2021. (Photo by CARL RECINE / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Fulham missed the opportunity to close to within four points of Premier League survival as Burnley came back from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.

Scott Parker’s men had breathed new life into the relegation battle with a highly impressive 2-0 win at Everton on Sunday for their first win in 13 league games.

Another victory would have had Newcastle looking over their shoulder and the visitors went in front at Turf Moor with a hint of fortune four minutes into the second-half.

Joachim Andersen attempted an audacious backheel volley from Ademola Lookman’s corner and the ball ricocheted off Ola Aina’s chest and into the net, with Robbie Brady unable to clear at the back post.

The lead lasted just three minutes as Burnley also got lucky when Ashley Barnes’s miscontrol wrongfooted Alphonse Areola and allowed the striker an easier finish.

A point narrows Newcastle’s advantage over the bottom three to six points, while Burnley remain eight points clear of the drop zone and edge up to 15th.

Manchester City are in action later on Wednesday when they travel to Everton aiming to extend their lead at the top of the table to 10 points.

Away-Day Specialists Leicester See Off Struggling Fulham

Leicester City’s English defender James Justin (L) scores his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Leicester City at Craven Cottage in London on February 3, 2021. (Photo by PETER CZIBORRA / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Leicester beat struggling Fulham 2-0 to improve their stunning Premier League away record on Wednesday, climbing back to third in the table.

Defeat at home to Leeds at the weekend ended a seven-match unbeaten run in the league but the Foxes rediscovered their mojo at Craven Cottage.

 

Fulham’s English defender Tosin Adarabioyo (L) vies for the ball against Leicester City’s Nigerian striker Kelechi Iheanacho (R) during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Leicester City at Craven Cottage in London on February 3, 2021. (Photo by Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP) 

Kelechi Iheanacho opened the scoring for Brendan Rodgers’ men and James Justin doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time.

Leicester now have eight wins out of 11 on the road, in contrast to their mixed form at the King Power Stadium, where they have suffered five defeats.

The victory lifted the 2016 champions to 42 points after 22 matches — five points behind leaders Manchester City, who beat Burnley 2-0 on Wednesday.

But their stay in third may not last long, with rejuvenated Liverpool hosting Brighton later in the evening.

Leicester, without injured talisman Jamie Vardy, took the lead in the 17th minute when Iheanacho headed home a James Maddison cross from deep.

They almost doubled their lead minutes later when Fulham failed to clear but Caglar Soyuncu’s shot was straight at goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

 

Leicester City’s English defender James Justin (C) takes the ball past Fulham’s French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola (L) during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Leicester City at Craven Cottage in London on February 3, 2021. (Photo by PETER CZIBORRA / POOL / AFP)

 

Fulham, who had not produced an effort on target in the entire first half, could have been level shortly before the break but Kasper Schmeichel tipped over a thumping header from Tosin Adarabioyo from close range.

The home side were made to pay for their profligacy in the 44th minute when Justin finished off a delightful move.

The impressive Maddison burst into the box and fed the fast-arriving Justin, who rounded the goalkeeper and squeezed the ball in from a tight angle.

Harvey Barnes nearly scored a third as Leicester threatened to overwhelm Fulham but his left-footed shot was saved by Areola.

 

Leicester City’s English defender James Justin (R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Leicester City at Craven Cottage in London on February 3, 2021. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / POOL / AFP) 

 

Disciplined Leicester largely kept Fulham at arm’s length in the second half, denying the home side clear-cut chances.

Bobby De Cordova-Reid had a chance to reduce the deficit with about 10 minutes to go but Justin deflected his shot into the side netting.

The result leaves Fulham third from bottom of the table, seven points from safety.

EPL: Mount Lifts Chelsea Over Fulham

Chelsea's English midfielder Mason Mount celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage in London on January 16, 2021. Clive Rose / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s English midfielder Mason Mount celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage in London on January 16, 2021. Clive Rose / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea eased the pressure on Frank Lampard as Mason Mount’s strike 13 minutes from time broke the resistance of 10-man Fulham to earn a 1-0 win in the West London derby on Saturday.

The Blues were languishing down in 10th at kick-off after a run of one win in six league games left Lampard fighting for his job.

But the former England midfielder was handed a gift by Antonee Robinson’s reckless challenge just before half-time that earned the American a straight red card.

Chelsea still struggled to make the extra man advantage count, but Mount’s precise low finish moved the visitors up to seventh and within three points of the top four.

READ ALSO: Rooney Loses First Game In Charge Of Derby

A first defeat in six games rounded off a disappointing day for Fulham after victories earlier on Saturday for relegation rivals Brighton and West Brom.

Scott Parker’s men remain third from bottom and are now four points from safety.

Lampard responded to Chelsea’s poor run by leaving big-money signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz on the bench.

Olivier Giroud was selected ahead of Werner up front and forced French international teammate Alphonse Areola into a smart save as the visitors started brightly.

Mount has maintained Lampard’s faith despite a club record fee being splashed out to bring in Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen and the English international was inches away from rewarding his manager with a thunderous shot that came back off the crossbar.

Fulham were posing a threat themselves on the break and should have gone in front after a brilliant team move.

Robinson’s low cross was turned back across goal by Kenny Tete, but Ivan Cavaleiro’s mishit shot spooned wide.

Moments later, Fulham had a mountain to climb when Robinson dived in on Cesar Azpilicueta and was shown a straight red card.

The hosts were forced to sit deep and doggedly defend wave after wave of Chelsea attack after the break.

Lampard’s men looked most dangerous from set-pieces, though, as Thiago Silva headed wide a golden chance from a corner.

In search of a goal, Lampard first turned to Tammy Abraham from the bench and he headed a huge chance straight at Areola with his first touch.

Christian Pulisic then failed to connect with Hakim Ziyech’s inviting cross seconds later.

A moment of madness from Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy nearly gifted the Cottagers a shock lead at the other end.

Mendy diverted Azpilicueta’s backpass as he raced from his goal into the path of Cavaleiro, who should have done better than fire straight into Silva’s chest with an empty net to aim for.

Werner was finally introduced 17 minutes from time, but it was Lampard’s trusted lieutenant Mount who made the breakthrough as he pounced after Areola flapped at Ben Chilwell’s cross.

Deep into stoppage time, Werner then wasted a great chance to end his 10-game drought without a Premier League goal as he skewed well wide when one-on-one with Areola.

Spurs VS Fulham Premier League Match Postponed Over COVID-19 Cases

Fulham’s English midfielder Harrison Reed lays on the pitch behind the wall formed by his teammates to stop a free kick during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Southampton at Craven Cottage in London on December 26, 2020. (Photo by Adam Davy / POOL / AFP)

 

Tottenham’s Premier League home match against Fulham was postponed three hours before the scheduled kick-off on Wednesday after a coronavirus outbreak at the visiting club.

Fulham returned a number of positive test results on Tuesday and, after more came in on Wednesday, the Premier League decided to call the match off. Kick-off was due to be at 1800 GMT.

It is the third top-flight game to be wiped out by the virus, following Newcastle’s match with Aston Villa earlier this month and Monday’s game between Everton and Manchester City.

Fulham asked for the game to be called off after more of their players felt unwell, which the Premier League board sanctioned on Wednesday.

The entire Cottagers squad will now be re-tested.

The league said in a statement: “Fulham FC’s match at Tottenham Hotspur, due to be played at 6:00 pm this evening, has been postponed following a Premier League Board meeting this afternoon.

“Fulham lodged a request with the Premier League Board to rearrange the fixture following a significant rise in positive Covid-19 cases, as well as a number of players showing symptoms today.

Despite the rising number of cases across the English top-flight, the Premier League said it intended to continue playing.

“With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the Premier League continues to have full confidence in its Covid-19 protocols and being able to continue to play our fixtures as scheduled,” the statement said.

“The League wishes those with Covid-19 a safe and speedy recovery and will rearrange the postponed fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham in due course.”

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho had suggested he was getting impatient at the uncertainty over the fixture.

Mourinho posted a video — filmed at 1402 GMT, as indicated on a clock on a TV screen — from the lounge where his staff were waiting for news with a message saying, “We still don’t know if we play. Best league in the world”.

Salah Rescues Liverpool In Fulham Draw

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (L) scores their first goal from the penalty spot past Fulham’s French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola (C) during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Liverpool at Craven Cottage in London on December 13, 2020. AFP

 

Mohamed Salah spared Liverpool’s blushes as the Egyptian’s late penalty rescued a 1-1 draw against struggling Fulham on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were punished for a sloppy first-half display at Craven Cottage when Bobby Decordova-Reid gave Fulham a shock lead.

But Salah rescued the Premier League champions after Aboubakar Kamara handled with 11 minutes left.

Liverpool remain in second place and sit behind leaders Tottenham on goal difference.

Crystal Palace’s late equaliser in their 1-1 draw against Tottenham just before Liverpool kicked off had given the Reds a chance to go top if they won in west London.

Instead, they will have to wait until Wednesday’s summit meeting with Tottenham at Anfield for their next chance to knock Jose Mourinho’s team out of pole position.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last eight league games, but they were far from their fluent best and are winless in their past five away league matches.

Adding to Klopp’s concerns, Joel Matip suffered a back injury that saw him join the long list of Liverpool injuries which already included his fellow centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

Klopp’s pre-match admission that Diogo Jota will be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a knee injury leaves the Reds boss relying on Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane to lead the attack throughout the hectic Christmas and New Year period.

Fulham have just two wins in their last 11 games in all competitions, but this spirited effort showed Scott Parker’s fourth-bottom side are capable of avoiding relegation.

Klopp had warned his players not to underestimate Fulham as they look ahead to the Tottenham game, but their erratic performance suggested they hadn’t been listening closely.

With coronavirus restrictions eased in London, it was the first time Fulham had been able to have fans in their stadium since last season’s promotion.

 Salah to the rescue

Ivan Cavaleiro almost gave those 2,000 supporters the perfect welcome back when his stinging strike was parried away by Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker in the fourth minute.

Cavaleiro threatened again when his well-timed run beat the Liverpool offside trap, but his low shot was superbly saved by Alisson.

Liverpool had a penalty scare when Fabinho’s sliding challenge on Cavaleiro went to a VAR review, but referee Andre Marriner opted not to award a spot-kick after consulting the pitchside monitor.

Fulham were frustrated by that decision but they kept up the pressure and Ademola Lookman’s 20-yard drive forced another good save from Alisson.

Even Alisson had no answer when Fulham finally got the goal their dominance deserved in the 25th minute.

Salah surrendered possession after a shove on the Egyptian went unpunished on the edge of the Liverpool area.

Lookman clipped the ball through to Decordova-Reid and the winger smashed an unstoppable strike past Alisson into the far corner.

Mane should have done better than head wastefully over from Curtis Jones’ cross before Salah swivelled to fire just wide from close-range.

Matip’s back injury forced the Liverpool defender off at half-time, with Japan forward Takumi Minamino sent on and midfielder Jordan Henderson moving to centre-back.

Cavaleiro got through Liverpool’s reshuffled rearguard with ease after a mistake by Andrew Robertson, forcing Alisson to save his prodded effort.

With Fulham defending deeper as the half wore on, Henderson was able to get forward and he drew a fine save from Alphonse Areola after running onto Firmino’s pass.

Liverpool dominated the closing stages and equalised in the 79th minute when Kamara blocked Georginio Wijnaldum’s free-kick with his arm.

Salah’s penalty wasn’t well struck, but it still crept under Areola’s weak attempted save for his 13th goal of the season.

AFP

Man City Into Top Four As Fans Return To Premier League

Manchester City’s Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson (L) and Manchester City’s Portuguese defender Ruben Dias (C) gesture at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Fulham at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, on December 5, 2020. (Photo by Alex Livesey / POOL / AFP)

 

Manchester City climbed into the Premier League’s top four on Saturday, easing past Fulham 2-0 as fans prepared to return to the English top-flight for the first time in nine months.

Pep Guardiola’s team have had a patchy start to the season but are now just three points behind leaders Tottenham after a dominant display at the Etihad.

Earlier, Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his 11th Premier League goal of the season to rescue a point for Everton in a 1-1 draw against struggling Burnley.

There were no fans at either match but West Ham were preparing to welcome 2,000 supporters to the London Stadium for the visit of Manchester United, with the same number due at Chelsea’s match against Leeds.

City, who had won just four of their opening nine matches, are showing ominous signs they are returning to their best form after building on their 5-0 mauling of Burnley last week.

They made a superb start at the Etihad, with Raheem Sterling putting them ahead inside five minutes to end his recent goal drought.

The England forward, who had already had one shot saved by Alphonse Areola, raced through on goal from a measured Kevin De Bruyne pass and calmly side-footed into the far corner.

De Bruyne, in Guardiola’s 700th game as a manager, doubled the lead from the penalty spot after Sterling was brought down by Joachim Andersen.

The Belgian rattled the bar early in the second half as City continued to dominate possession but they could not add to their lead.

The result lifts City to fourth in the table on 18 points, ahead of Leicester on goal difference, while Fulham remain fourth from bottom.

Earlier, Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton trailed at Turf Moor after a fine strike by midfielder Robbie Brady before England forward Calvert-Lewin levelled on the stroke of half-time.

But neither side could find a winner in a contest in which goalkeepers Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope — rivals for the England number one shirt — caught the eye.

“We are not satisfied with the result but the performance was quite good,” Ancelotti told the BBC. “The start was terrible and Burnley are able to defend. We created some good chances.”

“(England manager) Gareth Southgate has to be pleased, both goalkeepers did really well,” he added.

– Singing warning –
Premier League chiefs on Saturday issued advice to supporters on coronavirus safety measures, including a warning for fans not to get carried away when their team scores a goal.

“Fans can celebrate but should remain socially distanced from people outside their social bubble,” said the advice.

“Hugging of other fans and high-fives should be avoided and fans are asked to be respectful to those around them, including avoiding excessive shouting or singing.”

London and Liverpool are among the areas to have been placed into the Tier-2 category based on Covid-19 rates, meaning up to 2,000 fans will be able to attend matches.

But clubs based in Tier-3 areas, such as Manchester and Birmingham, are still not allowed to open their gates.

Manchester United will be keen to bounce back from their disappointing 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain this week, which left their Champions League hopes hanging in the balance.

United, who have won eight consecutive league games away from home, face a tough task against in-form West Ham, who have beaten United at home for the past two seasons.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard goes toe to toe with Marcelo Bielsa in the late Saturday kick-off in the first league meeting between the bitter rivals for 16 years.

Leaders Tottenham and Liverpool, who are both on 21 points, are in action on Sunday.

Ademola Lookman Scores As Fulham Shock Leicester, Climb Out Of Relegation Zone

Fulham’s English striker Ademola Lookman (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Fulham at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on November 30, 2020. Michael Regan / POOL / AFP

 

Fulham climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone after finally solving their penalty woes in a shock 2-1 win at Leicester on Monday.

Scott Parker’s side won for just the second time in the league this season thanks to Ademola Lookman’s opener and Ivan Cavaleiro’s penalty.

Fulham had missed three of their four previous penalties this term, but Cavaleiro held his nerve to convert from the spot for the crucial second goal.

It was an emotional success for the Cottagers, with Lookman celebrating his goal by displaying one of Papa Bouba Diop’s Senegal shirts after Fulham’s former midfielder died aged 42 at the weekend.

Harvey Barnes scored for Leicester in the closing minutes, but Fulham held on and move one point above the bottom three.

 

Fulham’s Cameroonian midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (R) vies with Leicester City’s Northern Irish defender Jonny Evans (C) during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Fulham at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on November 30, 2020. Rui Vieira / POOL / AFP

 

It was only Fulham’s second away win in the past 26 Premier League matches and their first since a victory at Bournemouth in April 2019.

Leicester would have gone second with a win, but instead, they remain fourth — three points behind leaders Tottenham — after a second successive league defeat.

Leicester dominated possession in the first half and hit the woodwork twice in a matter of seconds after James Maddison’s free-kick rebounded off the Fulham wall.

The loose ball reached Youri Tielemans, whose volley from outside the area smacked the post and ran for Wesley Fofana to smash his shot off the crossbar.

Jamie Vardy went close to rewarding Leicester’s dominance with an agile flicked effort from Dennis Praet’s cross, but Alphonse Areola made the save at his near post.

READ ALSO: Cavani Apologises For Misunderstood Social Media Post

Antonee Robinson wasted a good chance to put Fulham ahead against the run of play when he shot straight at Kasper Schmeichel.

It was a warning Leicester failed to heed as Lookman struck for the Cottagers in the 30th minute.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa carried the ball from inside his own half, advancing unchecked before playing a defence-splitting pass to on-loan Leipzig winger Lookman, who guided a cool finish past Schmeichel.

Parker’s team doubled their lead in the 38th minute with a rare penalty success.

Christian Fuchs fouled Bobby Decordova-Reid and the spot-kick was awarded by referee Simon Hooper after he checked the pitchside monitor.

After Fulham missed three penalties earlier this season, Cavaleiro opted for power as he blasted past Schmeichel into the top corner.

Chances were at a premium as Fulham dug in to preserve their lead after the break.

Barnes set up a tense finish with a fierce strike from Vardy’s knockdown in the 86th minute.

James Justin shot just wide in stoppage time, but it was too late to save Leicester.

AFP

Calvert-Lewin’s Brace Hands Everton First Win In Five League Games

Fulham’s Portuguese striker Ivan Cavaleiro (C) slips as he takes a penalty, putting the ball high over the crossbar and failing to score during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Everton at Craven Cottage in London on November 22, 2020.
JOHN SIBLEY / POOL / AFP

 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored after just 42 seconds as Everton ended their losing run with a 3-2 win at Fulham, while injury-ravaged Liverpool prepared for their crucial clash with Leicester on Sunday.

Calvert-Lewin maintained his fine form to put Carlo Ancelotti’s side ahead inside a minute at Craven Cottage.

Bobby Decordova-Reid equalised for Fulham, but England striker Calvert-Lewin netted again and Abdoulaye Doucoure got Everton’s third before half-time.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek reduced the deficit in the second half, but Everton held on to win for the first time in five league games.

After a three-game losing streak dented their bid to finish in the top four, Everton are up to sixth place.

“The most important part of the game was to be back to winning,” Ancelotti said.

“We lost energy in the second half, the players were tired. I changed to put more fresh legs on the pitch but we had to defend. In the end it went well.”

Fulham’s Portuguese striker Ivan Cavaleiro (2R) slips as he takes a penalty, putting the ball high over the crossbar and failing to score during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Everton at Craven Cottage in London on November 22, 2020. Julian Finney / POOL / AFP

 

Everton made the perfect start when Richarlison advanced into the Fulham area before whipping over a low cross that Calvert-Lewin bundled in for 12th goal of the season.

Fulham equalised in the 15th minute when Tom Cairney’s pass picked out Decordova-Reid and he eased clear of Yerry Mina to fire in.

Everton hit back as Calvert-Lewin netted again in the 29th minute from Lucas Digne’ cross.

Digne was the provider once more in the 35th minute when his cross was headed home by Doucoure.

Ben Godfrey gave away a 68th minute penalty with a trip on Loftus-Cheek.

Ademola Lookman had missed embarrassingly from the spot against West Ham in Fulham’s previous game, so Ivan Cavaleiro stepped up, but the winger slipped as he took his kick and the ball flew high over the bar.

Loftus-Cheek got one back in the 70th minute when he met Lookman’s pass with a shot that deflected in off Mina.

Fulham remain one place above the relegation zone after their third defeat in four games.

– Haller ends drought –
Bottom of the table Sheffield United’s wait for their first win this season goes on after they were beaten 1-0 by West Ham at Bramall Lane.

Chris Wilder’s side have lost eight of their nine league games, shattering the feelgood factor after last season’s impressive first campaign back in the top-flight.

Sebastien Haller broke the deadlock in the 56th minute with his first goal since September.

When Pablo Fornals’ blocked effort ricocheted to Haller just outside the area, the Ivory Coast striker unleashed a fierce shot that flashed into the roof of the net.

It was Haller’s first goal from outside the area in 190 games across the Eredivisie, Bundesliga and Premier League combined.

Declan Rice headed against the bar as West Ham looked for a second, but Oli McBurnie was inches away from equalising when he crashed a left-footed strike off the woodwork.

The game of the day is at Anfield, where Leicester would replace Tottenham on top of the table if they can beat champions Liverpool, who will climb to second with a victory.

Already rocked by the long-term injury to Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool’s defensive resources were further depleted during the international break with Joe Gomez ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is out for a further two weeks, while Jordan Henderson is an injury doubt after picking up a muscle strain on international duty.

Top scorer Mohamed Salah will also be missing after testing positive for coronavirus while in Egypt.

There is a huge opportunity for former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers to become the first man to lead a visiting side to a league win at Anfield since April 2017 with no such injury concerns for the third placed Foxes.

Jamie Vardy’s retirement from England duty means Leicester’s top scorer has had two weeks off, while Rodgers could have full-backs Ricardo Pereira and Timothy Castagne back from injury.

In Sunday’s other game, Leeds host Arsenal.

AFP

Nigeria’s Ola Aina Scores Stunner As Fulham Sink West Brom

Ola Aina was part of the Nigerian team that won bronze at the 2019 AFCON. Photo: [email protected] FC

 

Super Eagles defender, Ola Aina was on the scoresheet as Fulham beat West Brom 2-0 in a Premier League clash on Monday. 

Scott Parker’s side avoided their worst start to a season since 1951 thanks to first half goals from Decordova-Reid and Aina at Craven Cottage.

Fulham deservedly ended a run of six games without a win — a dismal stretch including five defeats — since their promotion from the Championship last term.

The Cottagers had lost all three of their previous home games this season, but their first success in west London lifted them out of the relegation zone.

Third bottom West Brom are still chasing a first win since returning to the top-flight last season.

With just three points from their opening seven league games, West Brom have made their worst start to a campaign since 1985-86, failing to win any of their opening seven games for the first time since 2004-05.

Fulham went ahead in the 26th minute through Decordova-Reid.

Antonee Robinson fired in a cross from the left to an unmarked Aleksandar Mitrovic at the far post, who nodded across goal before the ball was turned in by Decordova-Reid.

Four minutes later, Fulham doubled their lead when Nigerian defender Aina blasted his shot past Sam Johnstone from the edge of the area.

AFP

‘I’m Here To Help The Team’: Lookman Joins Fulham On Loan

Ademola Lookman says he is at Fulham to help the club. Photo: [email protected]

 

Ademola Lookman is excited at joining Fulham from German Bundesliga side, RB Leipzig on a season-long, restating his commitment to helping the club. 

“I’m glad to have it over the line and done now, I’m glad I can be here to help the team,” the left-winger who won the 2017 U-20 World Cup with England, told Fulham’s website.

According to Lookman, 22, he was convinced to join the newly-promoted Premier League side after being persuaded by the London club’s boss, Scott Parker, to help bolster a team that has struggled on their return to the top-flight.

“I’m glad to have it over the line and done now, I’m glad I can be here to help the team,” Lookman added.

“After the conversations I had with Scott Parker, I got a great feeling, that’s the working relationship I want to have.”

Fulham have had a rough return to the Premier League this season, losing their first three games and conceding 10 goals in the process.


The latest defeat for the Cottagers was a 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa on Monday.

Ademola Lookman won the U-20 World Cup with England in 2017. Photo: [email protected] Leipzig

 

Fulham will play their next game on Thursday – a League Cup fourth-round clash at Brentford, who will be hoping for revenge after losing last month’s Championship play-off final to Fulham.

Lookman was born in England to Nigerian parents and even though he played for the English side at age-grade level, he is eligible to wear the Super Eagles’ green and white.