Fulham 1 : 0 Cardiff – A lot of sound and fury signifying relegation


Fulham 1 : 0 Cardiff City

Cardiff’s relegation seems just a little likelier after a dismal 1-0 loss at relegated Fulham.

Ryan Babel scored the game’s only goal in the 79th minute after great work by substitute Cyrus Christie.

Cardiff flew into a frenzy of activity thereafter, showing more attacking threat in the last 11 minutes than they had in the first 79, working Sergio Rico time and time again but to no avail.

It was Fulham’s third straight win since their relegation was confirmed all without conceding a goal

Fulham started the stronger. Aleksandr Mitrovic brought a splendidly acrobatic save from Neil Etheridge on 12 minutes after good work by Babel. A head injury to Denis Odoi necessitated a long interval which interrupted what little flow the game had.

That meant nine minutes added time which brought little of significance before the referee mercifully blew the final whistle.

The home side started the second on top too. Tom Cairney fed Mitrovic who blasted over just after the interval.

City keeper Etheridge had to be smart again to tip over a wayward cross, as Fulham remained the more likely side. Nathaniel Mendez-Lang did manage to slide a dangerous ball across the Fulham goal but it evaded everyone. That was Cardiff’s best moment of the first hour.

The hour mark arrived. Fulham welcomed it with another period of pressure but really hardly came close. 10 minutes later, the wayward shooting boots of Mitrovic blasted over again.

Babel broke the deadlock on 79 after great and daresay mesmerising work by substitute Christie who mazed through several tackles before setting up the Dutchman for a great finish.

That finally woke Cardiff up and they produced their best football by some distance in the dying minutes.

The Welsh side nearly equalised quickly but Sergio Rico was equal to a Danny Ward header which he tipped over and Junior Hoilett hit the crossbar in the 89th minute. Rico made three further last gasp saves from Joe Bennett, Mendez-Laing and Sean Morrison headers, but it was all too late.

Brighton could confirm the Bluebirds’ destiny tonight but if not, it will surely only be delaying the inevitable. Cardiff are going down.

Fulham: Rico; Odoi (Christie 22′), Chambers, Ream, Le Marchand, Bryan, Anguissa, Cairney, Sessegnon (Alfie Mawson 84′), Mitrovic, Babel (Ayite 89′)

Cardiff: Etheridge; Peltier, Bennett, Morrison, Manga, Bacuna, Gunnarsson (De Cordova-Reid 87′), Mendez-Lang Camarasa (Healey 72′), Niasse (Ward 60′), Hoilett

Referee: C Kavanagh


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