Fulham

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Adam Forshaw of Middlesbrough is challenged by Tim Ream of Fulham during the EFL Cup second round match between Fulham and Middlesbrough at Craven Cottage on August 24, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Getty Images

League Cup roundup: Middlesbrough and Burnley fall to lower league foes

Leave a comment

Sunderland and Bournemouth advanced to the League Cup third round, while Middlesbrough and Burnley dropped out after both finding themselves bested in extra-time.

A strong Boro lineup still saw its goal pummeled all evening by Fulham’s young squad, and Lasse Vigen Christensen won it in extra time with an assist from American youngster Luca de la Torre to complete the 2-1 scoreline. Middlesbrough went ahead early on an 8th minute header by David Nugent, but they were on the back foot the rest of the match. Scott Malone forced a Boro own-goal for the equalizer shortly after halftime, and Christensen won it seven minutes before penalties.

The win for Fulham means they are unbeaten through five matches this season across Championship and League Cup play. The Whites then drew a home meeting with Bristol City for the third round of the Cup.

Burnley also went to extra-time after a scoreless full 90 minutes, and they were stunned by a goal from Accrington Stanley’s Matt Pearson in the 122nd minute, just ticks before penalties to down the Clarets 1-0. It was a dull match up to that point, and the League Two side earned its first-ever victory over a Premier League side in cup play with the late winner. The winners will have another shot at a Premier League side in the next round, drawing West Ham.

Bournemouth nudged past League Two side Morecambe 2-1 thanks to goals from Max Gradel and Marc Wilson, although Morecambe had leveled things for a bit between the two Cherries’ goals. Bournemouth saw themselves drawn against Preston North End in the upcoming round.

Sunderland also saw themselves through thanks to Adnan Januzaj‘s first goal for the Black Cats, an 83rd minute strike to down League One side Shrewsbury Town 1-0 at the Stadium of Light. The match was a relatively even affair until Januzaj’s late goal, but Sunderland likely deserved to win on number of chances, with Patrick van Anholt having the best prior opportunity just before halftime with a rocket saved by Jason Leutwiler. The Black Cats will travel to QPR following the third round draw.

FOLLOW LIVE – EFL CUP: Four Americans in the 18 for Fulham, Sunderland, Bournemouth

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Lynden Gooch of Sunderland challenges David Silva of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at Etihad Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The newly-renamed EFL Cup, formerly the League Cup, rolls on Wednesday with four more matches ahead of the evening’s third-round draw.

American attacker Lynden Gooch starts for Sunderland, while Tim Ream starts for Fulham and Luca de la Torre is on the Cottagers’ bench. Emerson Hyndman is on the bench for Bournemouth.

Tuesday’s action saw Premier League sides West Brom and Watford excused from the tournament.

Wednesday’s EFL Cup scheduleFOLLOW LIVE

Accrington Stanley vs. Burnley
Fulham vs. Middlesbrough
Morecambe vs. Bournemouth
Sunderland vs. Shrewsbury Town

Iceland EURO hero Ragnar Sigurdsson signs with Fulham

NICE, FRANCE - JUNE 27: Ragnar Sigurdsson of Iceland shoots at goal as Jack Wilshere, Gary Cahill and Dele Alli of England look on during the UEFA Euro 2016 Round of 16 match between England and Iceland at Allianz Riviera Stadium on June 27, 2016 in Nice, France.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ragnar Sigurdsson’s amazing summer continues.

The center back, 30, was among the most important pieces of Iceland’s run to the quarterfinals of EURO 2016.

Now he’s leaving Russian side Krasnodar for England, where he’ll join a promising Fulham side.

From FulhamFC.com:

He has agreed a two-year deal, with a Club option for a further 12 months.

The centre-back was an integral part of the Iceland team who exceeded all expectations at this summer’s European Championship in France, playing every minute as the Nordic nation reached the Quarter-Finals, where they were eventually knocked out by the host nation.

Fulham is unbeaten through four matches, with two wins, and has added Sone Aluko and Denis Odoi. Slaviša Jokanović’s bunch just might have a promotion run in them.

WATCH: Freak Huddersfield goal denies Aston Villa victory, Leeds scores late on bike

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 16:  Michael Hefele of Huddersfield Town celebrates with team mates after scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Huddersfield Town at Villa Park on August 16, 2016 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ross McCormack picked up his first goal for new club Aston Villa as the storied English club looks to bounce straight back to the Premier League following last season’s relegation.

None of that mattered, however, as a totally freak goal in the 86th minute denied Villa its second win of the young Championship season and left the home supporters aghast at the 1-1 draw at Villa Park.

With McCormack’s 25th minute goal the difference for the entirety of the second half, Huddersfield hoofed a long-ball for substitute Michael Hefele. Villa defender Tommy Elphick knew the kick was soaring well over its target, so he let the ball go over his head and settle to goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini. However, Gollini hacked at the ball and it deflected off a charging Hefele, deflecting off the German defender and traveled 30 yards into the empty Villa net.

The result was a 1-1 draw that saw Villa fail to pull just a point back of three teams atop the Championship table. Instead, they’re stuck with just four points through three matches, not a pace that will see them promoted at season’s end. There’s loads of soccer left to play, and Villa seem to be one of the stronger sides in the Champoinship this season, but instead supporters were left with an empty feeling on Tuesday.

That wasn’t the only dramatic equalizer in the Championship today. With Fulham on two wins in two thus far, the Whites traveled to Elland Road to take on Leeds United and ran the show, hitting the woodwork three times and finally grabbing a lead thanks to a Tom Cairney curler in the 77th minute. Then, substitute Chris Wood produced a dramatic overhead kick two minutes deep in stoppage time that sent the home fans into a frenzy.

The Championship is both an exciting and emotionally dangerous place. Watch at your own risk.

Championship season under way with favorites Newcastle already dropped by Fulham

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05:  Dennis Odoi of Fulham holds off pressure from Paul Dummett (L) and Matt Ritchie (R) of Newcastle during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on August 5, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Getty Images
3 Comments

Had we done this Championship season preview a few hours ago, we’d sit here and tell you how Rafa Benitez and Newcastle are the clear favorites to win the league and make a straight return to Premier League play.

Oh, how things change in a few hours.

Fulham – last season’s defensive punchlines – took down a frail looking Newcastle 1-0 at Craven Cottage. Here are three things you need to know from this match: Newcastle did not put on a title-winning performance, looking shaky at the back; Fulham, on the other hand, looks a completely revitalized squad with a host of solid signings; and one of those new additions, Denis Odoi, completed this utterly ridiculous bit of skill, sending Paul Dummett to the woodshed:

Nevertheless, the Magpies remain the clear favorite in the league, with Rafa Benitez one of two Champions League-winning managers in the English second tier. The other is Roberto Di Matteo, the new Aston Villa manager charged with bringing them back to the Premier League with a much more underwhelming squad than Newcastle boasts. Di Matteo does have the chance to deploy a bright, shiny new toy up front in experienced Championship striker Ross McCormack, signed from Fulham on Thursday for a healthy sum of cash.

There are plenty of contenders for those promotion spots, however, and as always in the Championship, it’s a long, slog of a season to keep the favorites honest. Reading finished 17th last season, and replaced Brian McDermott with former Champions League winning player in Jaap Stam, handing the 44-year-old his first managerial job. Fulham is another side to keep an eye on, who finished 20th last year with a miserable defensive record, but despite the loss of leading scorer McCormack, as displayed in their victory over Benitez and Newcastle, they’ve made a host of smart signings and look to be a solid side under the management of former Chelsea midfielder Slavisa Jokanovic.

Derby County is another contender, having found themselves just barely on the wrong side of promotion yet again last year. Under the wing of Nigel Pearson – the man who brought Leicester City to the Premier League – they’ll give it another go. QPR is always a team to look out for, although they were uncharacteristically quiet this summer. Brighton Hove & Albion missed out on promotion last season on goal differential, and after succeeding in fending off interest in some of their best players this summer, they look ready to go, plus the addition of experienced midfielder Steve Sidwell.

The grinding nature of life in the Championship has begun again – with a shocking result already upon us on opening day – and it promises to be a wild ride as always, with everything on the line.