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Fulham vs Crystal Palace. Premier League.

Craven Cottage.

Fulham 1

  • A Kamara (sent off 88th minute)
  • T Cairney (95th minute)

Crystal Palace 2

  • J Riedewald (8th minute)
  • W Zaha (64th minute)

Fulham 1-2 Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha continues fine form in comfortable away win

Report and free match highlights as Wilfried Zaha adds to Jairo Riedewald's opener to lift Crystal Palace up to fifth in the Premier League; Aboubakar Kamara sent off upon VAR review before Tom Cairney strikes stoppage-time consolation

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Crystal Palace's win over Fulham

Wilfried Zaha created one goal and scored another as Crystal Palace eased to a 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

On Roy Hodgson's return to his former club, Jairo Riedewald gave his side the lead when he took Zaha's pass and finished inside Alphonse Areola's near post after just eight minutes.

The hosts came closest to an equaliser when Aleksandar Mitrovic blazed his rebound over after Ademola Lookman's strike hit the post midway through the opening period.

But Zaha put the contest to bed when he was on hand to slide home Michy Batshuayi's cross (64) as Fulham's wait for a first Premier League win of the season goes on. Their fourth defeat of the term was compounded when Aboubakar Kamara's challenge on Ebere Eze was upgraded to a red card in the closing stages.

There was still time for Tom Cairney to strike a late consolation (90+5), but the result means Fulham remain bottom of the table with a solitary point from their opening six games, while Palace move up to fifth on 10 points ahead of the remaining fixtures this weekend.

Jairo Riedewald celebrates his early strike to give Crystal Palace the lead
Image: Jairo Riedewald celebrates his early strike to give Crystal Palace the lead

Player ratings

Fulham: Areola (6), Aina (6), Adarabioyo (6), Ream (6), Robinson (7), Lemina (7), Zambo (6), Cairney (7), Loftus-Cheek (6), Lookman (7), Mitrovic (6).

Subs: Reid (6), Reed (n/a), Kamara (4).

Crystal Palace: Guaita (7), Clyne (7), Dann (8), Kouyate (8), Mitchell (7), Townsend (7), Milivojevic (7), Riedewald (8), Schlupp (7), Batshuayi (7), Zaha (9).

Subs: van Aanholt (6), Sakho (n/a), Eze (6).

Man of the match: Wilfried Zaha.

Fulham suffer another derby defeat

The hosts began brightly and saw plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges, but fell behind with Palace's first meaningful foray into the opponent's half as after Areola did well to initially save from Zaha, the Ivorian regained possession to play a cute reverse pass for Riedewald to score inside the near post.

Scott Parker, who came face to face with his former England manager, shuffled things at the back against Wolves earlier this month, and his side shook off the early setback to create openings for themselves. Lookman and Mitrovic were combining to good effect as the RB Leipzig loanee forced a smart save from Vicente Guaita at his near post.

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Ademola Lookman strikes the foot of the post with a first-half effort
Image: Ademola Lookman strikes the foot of the post with a first-half effort

Palace hadn't heeded the warning, and were fortunate not to be pegged back when Antonee Robinson found Lookman again down the left and after his low drive cannoned back out off the post, Mitrovic was unable to readjust his feet quick enough to keep his rebound down from close range.

Team news

Nathaniel Clyne was handed a first start of his second spell at Crystal Palace in their game against Fulham. The right-back recently re-joined the club eight years after leaving for Southampton and he was in the side at Craven Cottage, with Luka Milivojevic also coming in.

Mario Lemina was the only change in Fulham's side, replacing Ivan Cavaleiro.

In Zaha, Palace had a menacing presence on the counter-attack as he skipped beyond Ola Aina to set up Michy Batshuayi but the Belgian's shot was well saved by the feet of Areola as Palace took their slender lead into the break.

Following the restart, Zaha came close to doubling the lead when he spun away from Tim Ream but his shot from the angle just flashed over. Palace's talisman was not to be denied, however, as just after the hour-mark, he latched onto Batshuyai's low cross to poke in his fifth goal of the season, showing courage as he collided into the post.

Zaha was rewarded for his bravery to double Palace's lead on Saturday
Image: Zaha was rewarded for his bravery to double Palace's lead on Saturday

Parker immediately threw on Kamara in search of greater attacking impetus, but the Frenchman lasted barely 20 minutes as referee Graham Scott brandished a red card for his challenge on Eze having consulted his pitchside monitor.

Cairney showed there remains plenty of fighting spirit that Parker will look to build on as he collected Harrison Reed's pass to rifle his long-range shot beyond Guaita to wipe out Palace's clean sheet but it wasn't enough to prevent the familiar sinking feeling for Fulham, and a 12th straight Premier League London derby defeat.

Tom Cairney scores in stoppage-time
Image: Tom Cairney scores in stoppage-time to reduce the deficit for Fulham

What the managers said

Fulham manager Scott Parker during the match against Aston Villa 0:24
Fulham head coach Scott Parker says his players will need to lift themselves after suffering defeat to Crystal Palace.

Fulham boss Scott Parker: "Definitely confidence isn't proving an issue. The dynamic of this division means we need to learn and you can't give up goals. In the first 15 minutes, we dominated but we lacked a threat. We had control and they scored the first time they went forward. We came out of the blocks but then the second goal put us under pressure.

"They know what they're about, and from that point it became very difficult for us. We need to learn from this as we had a dominance about us, but we lacked a sharpness and a dynamic side to us in the final third.

"Today was a massive game, and next week will be massive as well. We need to learn from the mistakes, and of course the next one is huge for us, but it's only as big as the others. This is a young team that is still trying to gel. We ultimately don't have any points from today. When the chips are down, we have to face up and still work hard."

Roy Hodgson speaks to Zaha on the touchline during the encounter 0:32
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson says he's pleased with his side's strong start to the season, but isn't paying much attention to the table.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson: "Every press conference begins with Zaha. I don't come in here to talk just about Wilf but about the team's performance. He's started this season so well and he does so many things well. We're more than happy with him and he's happy with us, with the way we're trying to play.

"Last week, we were close to the relegation zone, things move quick in this game! We need to start by not conceding goals between the 90th and 95th minute. We're more than happy with 10 points from six games. I've said on many occasions, I don't think the league position after six games is that important. There's going to be so many twists and turns. We're above Manchester City at the moment, but it doesn't interest me.

"We've got a stronger squad now, there's no question about that with players on the bench today being kept out of the starting line-up. The team discipline, organisation and work rate is better. Even on days when our passing and attacking isn't as good as it was today, we've been able to stay in games. The players know what they need to get up the table and they're determined to do that."

Man of the match - Wilfried Zaha

Ole Aina is forced into drastic action to half the progress of Wilfried Zaha
Image: Ole Aina is forced into drastic action to half the progress of Wilfried Zaha

It has been a superb start of the season for Zaha, who now has five goals in his last six Premier League appearances, as many as he scored in his previous 41 - and more league goals than he managed all of last season (four).

Aina will have sleepless nights having been second best against him throughout the 90 minutes. Tasked by Hodgson to add much greater productivity this term, Zaha is really showing just why Palace have been so desperate to build their team around him.

Unsurprisingly, the 27-year-old had more shots (4) and produced more key passes (4) than any other Palace player. Indeed, Zaha has been directly involved in 65 goals for Crystal Palace in the Premier League (41 goals, 24 assists), over twice as many as the next best tally (32 for both James McArthur and Jason Puncheon).

Opta stats

Aleksandar Mitrovic reacts to Wilfried Zaha's strike to make it 2-0
Image: Aleksandar Mitrovic reacts to Wilfried Zaha's strike to make it 2-0
  • Fulham's haul of just one point after their first six games is their worst-ever return at this stage of a top-flight campaign.
  • Crystal Palace have won three consecutive league matches against Fulham for the first time since October 1930.
  • Of managers to oversee at least 15 Premier League games, only Jan Siewert (80%) and Brian Laws (78%) have lost a higher percentage of their games than Fulham boss Scott Parker (75%. - 12 losses out of 16).
  • Crystal Palace directed 10 shots on target in the game, the most they've managed in an away Premier League since August 2018, also against Fulham (10).

What's next?

Fulham host West Brom on Monday, November 2, live on Sky Sports Box Office; kick-off is at 5.30pm. Crystal Palace travel to take on Wolves at Molineux next Friday; kick-off is at 8pm.

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