Fulham’s Premier League survival hopes have taken a hit after being held to a goalless draw at Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Scott Parker’s side arrived at Selhurst Park knowing that a win would move them just one point away from Newcastle and Brighton, who failed to win on Saturday.
However, despite their dominance, the visitors failed to find a way to get past Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, although the draw moved Fulham within three points of safety, while Palace remained 13th. of the whiteboard.
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With the results going in the direction of Fulham on Saturday afternoon, the West London side had huge motivation to claim the three points on Sunday noon and started the contest as such.
The visitors started on the front foot, passing the ball with precision and confidence, although the closest to the opener was captain Joachim Andersen, only for the center-back to make a mess of two header openings presentable.
Luckily for Fulham, their hosts produced a sluggish first half, with the pattern of play not changing after half-time with Parker’s side feeling their chance to take all three points.
Josh Maja first came close with a shot from the edge of the box that dribbled inches from the post, before Parker opted to bring Ivan Cavaleiro into the proceedings and the Portugal international almost had immediate impact.
Roy Hodgson made two changes from last Monday’s 2-1 win at Brighton, bringing in Patrick van Aanholt and Christian Benteke in place of Tyrick Mitchell and Jean-Philippe Mateta.
Fulham, meanwhile, also made two changes to the squad which won a vital victory over Sheffield United last weekend. Kenny Tete and Bobby Decordova-Reid were included from the start, with Antonee Robinson and Ivan Cavaleiro among the replacements.
Working some space on the right wing, the striker whipped an inviting ball into Maja’s penalty area for Maja to meet, only for Guaita to keep the scoreless goal with a brilliant reaction stoppage to prevent the attacker’s head at close range.
The visitors created other good openings in the last quarter, but the closures they managed to make a breakthrough were when the ball dropped invitingly at Andersen’s feet six yards after a corner kick, only for the defender central Gary Cahill Palace to make a vital blockage.
And when the final scoring comes, Fulham may consider this stalemate as the one that escaped.
Fulham’s record-breaking away run – Opta stats
- Fulham are undefeated in their last seven Premier League road games (W1 D6), their longest such undefeated streak away from the competition.
- Fulham is now winless in his last 21 London derby matches in the Premier League (D4 L17), with the only Crystal Palace between 1969 and 1973 suffering a longest winless run in top-tier history, failing to win any of their 31 first clashes against the other sides of London.
- After just one of Fulham’s first 21 Premier League games under Scott Parker, they have since drawn 10 of their last 15 league games (W2 L3).
- Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson remains undefeated in his managerial career against Fulham (W3 D4), more matches without ever losing than any other team while in charge of English clubs.
- Fulham attempted 16 shots in that draw with Crystal Palace – including 14 in the second half – the most they’ve ever had in the final 45 minutes of a Premier League away game since 2003-04 without succeeding to mark.
- In the month of February, Crystal Palace managed just 33 attempts in five matches – that’s the smallest number of shots a team has recorded in a single Premier League month of at least five games since the start of the 2003-04 campaign.
Palace take on Man Utd at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night (8:15 p.m.) in a game you can watch live Sky Sports Premier League.
Meanwhile, Fulham will face Tottenham at Craven Cottage on Thursday night, with the game starting at 6 p.m. ET.