Crystal Palace – Fulham: Superior Fulham couldn’t find a goal at lackluster Crystal Palace in a 0-0 Sunday morning draw at Selhurst Park, the latest in a long line of infuriating results to which Fulham may point if they are unable to save themselves from relegation.
The Cottagers have a brutal run of fixtures ahead but pull back to within three points of safety, where Brighton and Newcastle sit with 26 points. It’s Fulham’s 11th draw of the Premier League season.
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Palace remains 10 points clear of the drop. They took just three shots without Wilfried Zaha and several others.
Fulham started the season with a 2W-1D-8L, but are 2W-10D-3L since that point and are back within three points of safety.
Three things we learned from Crystal Palace – Fulham
1. Fulham gets point, but wants three: Scott Parker’s men could feel half-full or half-empty after the win. After all, the Cottagers returned to within a win of passing Newcastle and Brighton with the point and arguably in the best form of any bottom-half team despite sitting 18th.
But Palace entered this game injured and Fulham had every chance to attack and win with Wilfried Zaha among the danger men missing for the hosts.
2. Just how wasted of a chance is it? It gets much more difficult for the Cottagers now. Spurs, Liverpool, and Man City are next while Newcastle gets West Brom, Villa, and Brighton. Speaking of Brighton, they meet Leicester, Southampton, and Newcastle.
In other words, Fulham’s home match with Newcastle to finish the season isn’t nearly as attractive if the Cottagers are no longer within range of the Magpies, who also meet Burnley and Sheffield United along the way to May 23. Fulham has Leeds and Burnley on the docket, too.
3. Palace on another snooze cruise to finish season: Credit Roy Hodgson for making the most of some challenging times and building a buffer above the bottom three, but facing Brighton and Fulham and being second-best in both while collecting a smash-and-grab win and mostly danger-free tie? There are a lot of injuries, for sure, but sadly this is starting to look a lot like the dip from ninth to 14th over the final 15 matches last season. Plenty of time to fix it, though!
Man of the Match: Joachim Andersen
Could be a number of players. Josh Maja could be a difference maker up top for Fulham but it’s difficult to give a striker MOTM off a 0-0. Luka Milivojevic was very good for Palace but Andersen was Fulham’s best and they were the better side.
Crystal Palace – Fulham recap
There were some brief moments for Palace early but Fulham quickly showed their form and exposed some of the Eagles’ injury concerns.
Mostly, though, the first half was a series of wasted possessions.
USMNT left back Antonee Robinson entered the match at halftime.
Joachim Andersen spun a free kick wide of goal in the 56th minute, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek hit a low ball well but to Vicente Guaita in the 58th minute. Fulham looked the likelier to score, but the match remained 0-0.
Andersson set up Josh Maja for a dangerous chance, curling just wide of the far post in the 65th minute.