Joe Bryan

Championship promotion playoff final
Photo credit: @FulhamFC

Promoted! Fulham back in PL after 1 season in Championship

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Fulham are headed back to the Premier League after claiming west London derby delight at the expense of local rivals Brentford in Tuesday’s Championship promotion playoff final at Wembley Stadium.

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It was an incredibly cagey affair — as the Championship promotion playoff final tends to be — that saw the two sides combine for just 17 shots (four on target) through 90 minutes of regular time. In the end, it was the most unlikely of restarts halfway through extra time that sent the Cottagers on their way.

Brentford were nearly the architects of their own downfall early in the first half. FirstIt was a poor back pass from Henrik Dalsgaard that left David Raya in worlds of trouble in the 10th minute, though Fulham were unable to find a proper chance amid the chaos inside Brentford’s box.

Fulham were perhaps fortunate not to go a man down in the 29th minute, when Harrison Reed slid through Christian Norgaard and put studs into the Dane’s ankle. Reed came over top of the ball in a 50-50 challenge and, despite first making contact with the ball, came in with borderline excessive force and in a reckless fashion. Nonetheless, only a yellow card for the on-loan Southampton youngster.

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The start of the second half looked like more of the same from the first half: Fulham with an early chance and Brentford scrambling to stay level. Neeskens Kebano curled a free kick around the wall in the 48th minute, likely beating Raya if it was on frame, but only managed to rippled the outside netting.

Championship Golden Boot runner-up (25 goals) Ollie Watkins had the final scoring chance of regular time in the 70th minute as he fired from the edge of Fulham’s penalty area, but Marek Rodak was able to comfortably palm the ball over the crossbar. Still, the first threatening signs of life from the Bees.

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The decisive moment finally arrived in the 105th minute, and it came from absolutely nothing — less than nothing, one might credibly argue. Joe Bryan was tasked with restarting play following a foul roughly 50 yards from goal. Rather than lofting the ball high and to the back post, as Raya so clearly expected him to do, Bryan wrapped his left foot around the ball and whipped it toward the near post — as “near” as it can be from 50-plus yards. Raya was painfully slow to recognize the shot and tried to scramble across the face of goal, but never had a chance of getting anywhere near the ball.

Bryan doubled Fulham’s lead in the 117th minute. It was fast and fluid one-two atop Brentford’s penalty area and the left back tucked it away to seal promotion back to the top flight, and it turned out to be hugely necessary after Dalsgaard poked home a late consolation goal for the Bees with virtually the last kick of the game.

Fulham spent the 2018-19 season in the Premier League but finished with just 26 points in 19th place and were relegated back to the Championship after one season. Only time will tell if they’re able to stay in the top division this time, or if they’re a full-time yo-yo club.

Own goals gift Burnley big win over Fulham (video)

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  • Schurrle scores 2nd minute masterpiece (video)
  • Fulham produces two own goals in three minutes
  • Clarets win third-straight (West Ham, Huddersfield, Fulham)

Burnley inspired a pair of Fulham own goals to come back for a 2-1 defeat of Fulham at Turf Moor on Saturday.

The win gives the Clarets three-straight, and pushes them three points clear of the drop zone.

Andre Schurrle scored a beautiful goal for the Cottagers, who tossed aside the lead and remains 19th with 14 points. That’s five points behind 17th place.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Denis Odoi set up Schurrle for the opener, though it may be generous to call the very decent pass a set up considering the German’s work in crafting a beauty.

Schurrle’s perfect run settled Odoi’s arrow over the top of the Burnley defense with one touch before taking the ball off the volley and sending Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton in shoulder shrug country. A stunner.

But Fulham gave that goal back and then another for good measure, both via own goals. Burnley’s Jeff Hendrick inspired the first with a 20th minute blast that turned off Joe Bryan and past Sergio Rico, and three minutes later it was 2-1 when Odoi.

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Lucas Vietto was in prime position to level the score in the 51st minute after Aleksandar Mitrovic won a header into his path. He beat Heaton, but James Tarkowski somehow kept the ball away from goal with a prone and fortunate goal line clearance.

Chris Wood took a knockdown from Ashley Barnes and hit just over the bar, the advantage staying at one.

At the other end, Vietto’s cross through the box took a deflection wide for a corner kick and Tim Ream‘s header across goal was absent receiver.

Another win for West Ham

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  • West Ham 7-3-3 since 0-4 start
  • Felipe, Snodgrass shine for WHUFC
  • Fulham 1-1-3 under Ranieri

Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio scored first half goals as West Ham United won its fourth-consecutive Premier League match with a 2-0 defeat of Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The win boosts the Irons into ninth place, two points back of sixth place Manchester United. They next host Watford before visiting Southampton, then Burnley away and Brighton home.

Fulham remains dead last with nine points, three behind of 17th place Burnley.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Andre Schurrle hit a hard effort just over the cross bar in the ninth minute, as Fulham did not enter the game with a spirit of the bottom side in the Premier League.

Aboubakar Kamara was then played through by Aleksandar Mitrovic, but Lukasz Fabianski made a fine save to keep West Ham’s sheet clean.

The Hammers, however, struck first. Snodgrass has either been scoring or setting up goals for weeks, and this one was a left-footed beauty.

Mitrovic came close to leveling the score when he dashed onto Joe Bryan‘s chip across the box, but his flying header zipped wide of the far post.

The Hammers took their second chance of the game in style, with Antonio at the back post to lash a flick from Javier Hernandez past Sergio Rico.

Tom Cairney made a nice move into the box to force a corner in the 67th minute, but West Ham cleared the danger.

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Bristol City stuns Manchester United

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Lee Johnson’s rising managerial star now shines over the biggest upset in this season’s League Cup.

Korey Smith restored Bristol City’s lead over Manchester United in the third minute of stoppage time, as the Robins eliminated the holders from the tournament with a 2-1 win in the quarterfinals.

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From the rugby lines at Ashton Gate to the appearance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Manchester United starting lineup, there was plenty to discuss from the quarterfinal.

That leapt up a notch when Joe Bryan scored an outstanding goal to give the underdogs a moment in the sun.

United outshot Bristol 19-11 on the night, but their only goal came from Ibrahimovic.

The big Swede zipped a free kick zipped low through the wall to make it 1-1 within six minutes.