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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Craven Cottage

Vinicius' first touch is magic as he slams home winner to give Fulham all points against Luton

Fulham Football Club Picture: Paul Lagan

By Paul Lagan at Craven Cottage


Fulham v Luton Town

Carlos Vinicius has a first great touch, just ask the majority of the 24,467 in Craven Cottage this afternoon.

He used it to good effect when he came off the bench, and with that first touch smashed the ball home from close range that dented Luton Town's, up till then resolute defence.

It was enough to see the west Londoners home with all three points, and leave the Hatters wondering how they are going to get a point let alone a win, as they sit rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, with zero points from their four opening matches.

Fulham by contrast look to have enough in the tank up front to win the tight encounter

Understandably, Fulham had the initial dominance expected from the home side, but on five minutes, the first attack on goal came from the Hatters when Tahith Chong, ran almost the length of the pitch before getting away an on-target left footer. But Bernd Leno had his angles right and snaffled the low drive at the foot of his near post.

The whites should have scored on 20 minutes. A regulation in-swinging corner from the left was met by the head of Kenny Tete close to the near post, but he could only direct the ball just over the Luton crossbar.

A harry Wilson left-footed free-kick two minutes later yielded similar result, this time Thomas Kaminski was right behind the ball and he easily grabbed it to safety.

Carlton Morris, on 26 minutes will be kicking himself that he did not make more of the volley that presented itself to him 12 yards out of the left. But he panicked slightly and snatched at his left footer and the ball went wide.

Buoyed by this Luton tried again and were unlucky when Jacob Brown's diving header rebounded to safety off the Fulham crossbar two minutes later.

Deep defending and razor-sharp counter-attacks are the tactics employed by head coach Rob Edwards.

So far they have not got any points on the board with Luton having lost all three Premier League games so far.

But it's a tactic that is a work in progress and for the first half it worked a treat against Fulham.

Nether side made a change at half-time.

Very much a repeat of the opening stages of the first half, Luton almost snatched an unlikely lead on 49 minutes when a basic byline cross, deep to the far post found Amari'l Bell, but he could not get any power on his left-footed stretched volley and Leno snatched it off the goal line.

Raul Jimenez tried a looping header from just inside the Luton area on 52 mi jutes, but like their finishing, it was off and the ball dropped harmlessly on top of the goal.

Harrison Reed was the first to go off with Raul with Carlos Vinicius and Alex Iwobi coming on for Fulham on 62 minutes.

Rewards were instant.

A foray down the left on saw the ball whipped in across the byline by Willian. The goalkeeper, sadly for Luton dived low, could on;y get a soft left hand on the ball and Vinicius was on hand to smash the ball into the back of the net to put the home side 1-0 up.

Next off came Wilson, to be replaced by Bobby De Cordova-Reid, also off went Andreas Pereira, who was replaced by fans' favourite Tom Cairney.

Teams: Fulham, Leno, Tete, Reed, Jimenez, Wilson, Ream, Pereira, Willian, Castagne, Palhinha, Diop

Subs, Rodak, Bassey, Cairney, Ballo-Toure, de Cordova-Reid, Muniz, Iwobi, Vinicius, Francois

Luton Town' Kaminski, Lockyear, Andersen, Morris, Kabore, Nakamba, Chong, Burke, Brown, Lokonga, Bell

Subs, Krul, Ogbene, Berry, Woodrow, Adebayo, Mengi, Mpanzu, Giles, Doughty

Referee Michael Salisbury



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