Evenly matched Palace and Fulham play out drab 0-0 draw at Selhurst
By Charlie Stong at Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace 0
Crystal Palace and Fulham played out a rather drab goalless draw at Selhurst Park this afternoon on Eberechi Eze’s 100th appearance for the Eagles.
Palace had Sam Johnstone to thank for preserving only their second clean sheet of the season, the goalkeeper making four fine saves to thwart the west Londoners.
At the other end Eze had a couple of half chances for Palace, but overall a draw was was about right, and neither side completely deserved to go home with all three points.
Fulham had the better of the first half. First Johnstone prevented Andreas Pereira from scoring, after he had been well found by Antonee Robinson in the inside left position.
Willian, enjoying a rebirth at the Cottage following a woeful spell at Arsenal, then drew another fine save from the goalkeeper, as he looked to curl a shot inside the far right-hand post from just outside the box.
Palace grew steadily into the game but rarely threatened the Fulham goal in the first half. A free-kick from Eze was fired in low but was never going to trouble Bernd Leno.
Johnstone was again called upon to keep the scores level 10 minutes before the break, this time denying Raul Jiminez.
Eze produced Palace’s best moment of the half, twisting and turning his defender on the edge of the box before curling an effort just wide of the right-hand post.
Palace started the second half on the front foot. Eze was the main threat for the Eagles again. First his appeal for a penalty when Harrison Reid clashed with him in the box was rightly waved away by referee Paul Tierney, then his shot from a tight angle down the left was saved by Leno.
But as Palace pushed forward, Fulham looked to catch them on the break, and should have been in front midway through the half.
Bobby De Cordova-Reid raced away from the Palace midfield after nicking the ball off Will Hughes. De Cordova-Reid found Jiminez on the right, who only had to square the ball for Huges to tap in, but overhit his pass.
Jiminez then hit a free-kick from the edge of the box into the wall before Willian shot straight at Johnstone when well-placed as Fulham looked to take the points.
But there were no further chances and these teams remain locked together in mid table, both on eight points.
Teams: Crystal Palace: Johnstone, Ward, Mitchell, Guehi, Ayew, Eze, Schlupp (Mateta 70), Andersen, Hughes, Edouard (Rak-Sakyi 90+1), Doucoure
Fulham: Leno, Reed, Jiminez (Wilson 80), Ream, De Cordova-Reid (Vinicius 80), Pereira (Iwobi 76), Willian, Castagne, Palhinha, Dop, Robinson
Referee: Paul Tierney