Crystal Palace 2-0 Fulham: Luka Milivojevic, Jeffrey Schlupp seal vital win
Watch highlights in Sky Sports app as Michy Batshuayi's cameo helps Palace to their first league double of the campaign
By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 03/02/19 6:45pm
Crystal Palace eased their relegation worries at the expense of Fulham with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Luka Milivojevic opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 25th minute after Cyrus Christie handled in the area under pressure from Christian Benteke.
Fulham failed to test the hosts throughout and their misery was complete when Jeffrey Schlupp doubled Palace's lead in the 87th minute, after Michy Batshuayi's effort was parried into his path.
The result means Fulham are now seven points from safety, while the win sees Palace pull seven points clear from the relegation zone.
Christian Benteke replaced the suspended Wilfried Zaha for Palace while new signing Michy Batshuayi started on the bench.
Meanwhile, Andre Schurrle missed out with a knock for Fulham and new signing Lazar Markovic was not match fit.
Fulham came into the encounter hoping to build on their impressive 4-2 midweek victory at home to Brighton, but they were disappointing throughout and, other than Aleksandar Mitrovic's header in the 10th minute, failed to fashion a single effort on target - despite having 63 per cent possession.
Palace's opening goal was of Fulham's own undoing as Christie led with his arm as he challenged Benteke in the box for a header; Milivojevic duly stepped up to convert his 13th Premier League penalty since the start of last season.
Benteke could then have doubled Palace's lead before the interval as his acrobatic bicycle-kick came off the post after an inviting cross from Andros Townsend.
The second half saw Fulham continue to toil in the final third, with Mitrovic cutting a lonely figure and his frustration was clearly evident when he fired well wide in the 76th minute.
Palace substitute Batshuayi played a part in Palace's second, as his parried effort fell into the path of Schlupp who converted.
Crystal Palace: Guaita (6); Wan-Bissaka (7), Tomkins (7), Sakho (7), van Aanholt (6); Schlupp (7), Milvojevic (7), McArthur (6), Townsend (6), Benteke (7), Ayew (6)
Subs: Meyer (6), Batshuayi (7), Sako (6)
Fulham: Rico (6); Odoi (6), Le Marchand (6), Ream (6), Cairney (7); Christie (6), Chambers (6), Seri (6), Bryan (6); Mitrovic (7), Babel (6)
Subs: Ayite (NA), Vietto (6), Fosu-Mensah (6)
Man of the match: Michy Batshuayi
- Fulham are the first side in English top-flight history to lose eight consecutive London derby matches.
- Fulham have conceded more away goals than any other Premier League team this season (32).
- Crystal Palace have won just two of their last 14 Premier League London derbies (W2 D3 L9), with both victories coming against Fulham.
- Crystal Palace's Jeffrey Schlupp has scored as many Premier League goals this season (4) as he did in his previous four campaigns combined (99 apps).
- Since his Premier League debut for Crystal Palace, Luka Milivojevic has scored more goals than any other player at the club (19).
Roy Hodgson: "It was a very important three points but there will be other big games and there is a lot of anxiety around.
"Games like today are very satisfying, they are hard-fought and not given to you and when the final whistle blows everyone has to be happy with it."
Claudio Ranieri: "The penalty was crazy, stupid fool - but that is football.
"We perhaps used a lot of energy, physically and mentally in the comeback against Brighton and today we didn't have the same strength."
Man of the Match - Michy Batshuayi
Ahead of the game, boss Roy Hodgson believed the Belgian forward could be the missing piece in the Palace jigsaw.
And although it may have only been a brief cameo for the on-loan Chelsea forward, he showed enough for Palace's second goal to prove the former England manager may be right.
Crystal Palace face another London derby against West Ham at Selhurst Park on Saturday, February 9 (kick-off 3pm) while Fulham host Manchester United at Craven Cottage earlier in the day, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 12:30).