Fulham unable to recreate the Liverpool maelstrom as Brighton almost make off with a win
Fullham 0 Brighton 0
Fulham picked up another useful point to keep their recent revival going – but failed to summon up the same energy levels that troubled Liverpool so much on Sunday.
Perhaps it was a case of paying the price for the prodigious amount of effort put in during the 1-1 draw with the champions, but the Whites were nowhere near as vibrant as they had been when they had 2,000 inspiring an excellent performance.
This time, the plunge into Tier 3 for London meant they could not have fans to lift them to greater heights and in the end, they were fortunate not to lose. The Seagulls had a goal ruled out by VAR and their crossbar was rattled by defender Adam Webster.
Brighton almost made the breakthrough on 29 minutes when a low cross from Tariq Lamptey proved just out of reach for former Arsenal and Man United marksman Danny Welbeck and Fulham took an age to threaten Robert Sanchez between the sticks.
The Seagulls’ keeper stayed awake enough to tip over a dipping effort from Ivan Cavaleiro just before the interval, while at the other end, Alphonse Areola had to stretch to ease away a cross-shot from Solly March, but in truth neither stopper had an awful lot to do.
Albion skipper Lewis Dunk troubled the Whites from a corner after the restart, first with a header, then with a scooped effort while lying prone, and in the very next attack, Adam Lallana thought he had scored his first goal for the club when he rolled the ball home after a cross from March from the left had reached him. Luckily for the Whites, a VAR check showed he was offside.
There was another scare on the hour when Wester crashed a powerful header against the underside of the bar from a short-corner, with Leandro Trossard’s delivery creating the opportunity.
Scott Parker’s men were wilting. The Whites’ boss made two substitutions – Mario Lemina and Abou Kamara coming on - and Ruben Loftus-Cheek finally troubled an uninvolved Sanchez with a burst into the box and shot that the keeper did so well to keep out with his legs.
It was easily their best chance of a rather drab contest, which was also a far-cry from the last encounter between the sides here a couple of years ago, when the Whites recovered from 2-0 down at half-time to storm to a 4-2 victory.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, back from injury, came on and was immediately involved, muscling his way to a near-post header which went wide – Cavaleiro having floated the sort of inviting cross he thrives on.
And soon after, the Serb nodded into space for Ademola Lookman to fire goalwards on the turn. Sanchez was equal to it, first blocking, then diving to collect the rebound.
But this was a game with little to stir the blood, which may be some consolation to those Whites fans who had been expecting to attend until the latest coronavirus rules decreed otherwise.
Fulham: Areola – Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, – Decordova-Reid (Kamara 63), Anguissa, Reed (Lemina 63), Robinson – Loftus-Cheek (Mitrovic 77), Lookman – Cavaleiro. Subs not used: Rodak, Odoi, Cairney, Ream