Fulham and Crystal Palace played out an action-packed 2-2 draw in the sun at Craven Cottage as both teams continued their fine end to the season.
Palace went ahead against the run of play as Odsonne Edouard hammered home but Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a penalty kick before the break to make it 1-1. Mitrovic then headed home at the start of the season half to give Fulham a deserved 2-1 lead but then Palace equalized late on through Joel Ward and could have won it.
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The draw means Fulham are on 52 points and are all-but guaranteed a top 10 finish for the first time in over a decade, while Palace move up to 11th on 44 points.
End of season saunter shows why both teams can dazzle next season
Willian and Mitrovic combining with quality in the final third for Fulham coupled with flashes of brilliance from Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise at the other end proved how fun both Fulham and Palace can be when they are at their best. When the pressure is off both of these teams have players who can express themselves and finishing in the top 10 is not out of the question for next season. Both could push for Europe if they get their summer recruitment right, plus Marco Silva stays at Fulham and Palace figure out the direction they want to go in whether or not Roy Hodgson sticks around in some kind of capacity. Yes, both teams were ‘on the beach’ down by the banks of the River Thames as some mistakes were made by both sets of players. But when the sun is shinning and both teams have impressed given their resources, the beach is fun. So are Fulham and Crystal Palace.
Stars of the show; Fulham vs Crystal Palace player ratings
Willian: Lovely cross for Mitrovic’s goal and denied a stunner thanks to a great save from Sam Johnstone. Continues to roll back the years.
Aleksandar Mitrovic: Scored twice, took a whack early and now has three goals in the two games since he returned from suspension. Maybe if he was around for the last few months Fulham would have been in the European hunt?
Eberechi Eze: Couldn’t dictate the tempo of the game as he usually likes to but crucial in the first goal and delivered quality when he did get on the ball.
Fulham head to Manchester United on the final day of the season, while Crystal Palace host Nottingham Forest.
How to watch Fulham vs Crystal Palace live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock Premium
Stream: Online via Peacock Premium
FULL TIME: Fulham 2-2 Crystal Palace – A really good game as two teams who have had a fine end to the campaign both went for the win.
CHANCE! Almost 3-2 to Palace. Mateta is on over the top but Tosin clears the danger just as Mateta is about to slot home. Then Olise curls just wide from the corner. It is all Palace now.
GOALLL! Fulham 2-2 Crystal Palace – The Eagles are level as Joel Ward bundles home after his initial effort was saved. Michael Olise’s free kick from the left caused chaos and Roy Hodgson looks pleased. Well, mildly pleased.
CLOSE! So close to an equalizer for Palace as Mateta races away and crosses for Ayew but Issa Diop just gets there ahead of him and pokes it away.
SAVE! Willian cuts inside and his superb curling effort towards the top corner is brilliantly saved by Sam Johnstone.
GOALLLL! Fulham 2-1 Crystal Palace – Willian’s free kick from the right finds Mitrovic who is somehow unmarked and he heads home his second of the game to give Fulham a deserved lead.
CHANCE! Straight from the kick off it should be 2-1 to Fulham. A flowing move sees Mitrovic, Wilson and Reed combine as Reed then picked out Mitro at the back post but he slotted wide. What a chance.
HALF TIME: Fulham 1-1 Crystal Palace – A very entertaining first half as Palace soaked up pressure and Edouard put them ahead but Fulham, who have had plenty of the ball, get level right before the break as Mitrovic smashes home a penalty. Game on!
GOALLL! Fulham 1-1 Crystal Palace – Aleksandar Mitrovic scores his 13th goal of the Premier League season as he slams home the spot kick.
PENALTY TO FULHAM! Right on half time Fulham have a chance to get level. A long ball over the top finds Harry Wilson and Tyrick Mitchell takes him out. Such an obvious penalty kick.
GOALLLL! Fulham 0-1 Crystal Palace – Odsonne Edouard hammers home a beauty of a shot at the near post after a rapid Palace counter from a Fulham corner. Eze at the heart of that counter.
An almighty scramble as Jordan Ayew crossed into the box but Fulham somehow cleared. Palace looked certain to score.
Not much going on in terms of chances created. Individual battles all over the pitch.
Penalty shout for Fulham! Aleksandar Mitrovic goes down in the box but it looks like he and Tyrick Mitchell both got there at the same time. Nothing given. That was a close one for Palace as it looked like Mitro just got there before Mitchell.
KICK OFF! We are underway at Craven Cottage but there is a lengthy delay right away as Aleksandar Mitrovic collides with Joachim Andersen and it looks like the Fulham skipper has broken his nose. Ouch.
Key storylines & star players
Fulham has Aleksandar Mitrovic back and the big center forward makes the Cottagers a far more dangerous side than when he’s out of the lineup.
There’s talk that Wilfried Zaha could sign another deal and stay at Palace despite seemingly annual status as a potential transfer. Zaha, 30, has played 458 times for the Eagles and boasts 90 goals and 76 assists.
Fulham team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Daniel James (thigh), Layvin Kurzawa (knee), Andreas Pereira (ankle), Tim Ream (arm).
Mitro back in the XI! 🔥#FULCRY pic.twitter.com/gGQv5o2j65
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) May 20, 2023
Crystal Palace team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Jeff Schlupp (knock), Nathan Ferguson (muscular), James Tomkins (calf), Luka Milivojevic (calf), Wilfried Zaha (thigh).
This afternoon's starting XI 🙌
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) May 20, 2023