Author Topic: Sunday Fulham Stuff - 21/06/20...  (Read 614 times)

Offline whitejc

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Sunday Fulham Stuff - 21/06/20...
« on: June 20, 2020, 01:07:28 PM »

Bristol City
Preston NE
Sheff Wed
West Brom
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 05:32:19 PM by whitejc »

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff - 21/06/20...
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 02:44:02 PM »
Fulham 0-2 Brentford

Said Benrahma poked in Brentford's first goal at the far post

Late goals from Said Benrahma and Emiliano Marcondes saw Brentford upstage promotion rivals Fulham as the Championship made its return after a 104-day hiatus.

For a match played behind closed doors, confirmation that 14-goal Bees forward Bryan Mbeumo was forced to miss the game after testing positive for coronavirus only added to the strangeness of the occasion.

While it was a game robbed of atmosphere, the ghostly echo of every kick and shout off the terraces at Craven Cottage did nothing to detract from the quality of two sides with Premier League ambitions.

Fulham's Bobby Decordova-Reid went closest to opening the scoring in a first-half of high endeavour from both sides, with the forward slamming a shot against the woodwork after meeting a neat pass from Harrison Reed on the edge of the area.

Benrahma's close range finish in the 88th minute and Marcondes' effort in injury time after setting up the first moves the fourth-placed Bees to within a point of third-placed Fulham, whose hopes of automatic promotion took a late blow.

Second-placed West Bromwich Albion have the chance of moving nine points clear of Whites when they host Birmingham City at 15:00 BST on Saturday.

Bees cope with Mbeumo coronavirus absence
With 20-year-old Mbeumo self-isolating after his positive test for Covid-19 which was only confirmed before kick-off, Brentford were unable to field their 'BMW' strike partnership, meaning January signing Tariqe Fosu slotted in alongside Said Benrahma and Bees top scorer Ollie Watkins.

Despite the blow, Thomas Frank's side started brightly, pressed high and quickly carved out the first chance of the day - Josh Dasilva working Marek Rodak from 25 yards despite slipping as he struck the ball.

Fulham responded with the Championship's leading scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic calling David Raya into action with a tame close-range header moments later.

Soon after, Decordova-Reid hit the angle of post and bar with a fierce shot before Anthony Knockaert curled an effort from outside the box narrowly wide.

It took a fine save from Rodak at his near post to keep Fosu out on the half-hour mark as the Bees finished the first half with flurry of chances - the first of which Watkins sent over the bar with a header before while Christian Norgaard had a shot deflected just wide.

Mitrovic had the ball in the back of the net for Fulham early in the second half, but the goal was quickly disallowed as the Serbian's enthusiasm to find space behind Brentford's defence saw him drift well offside.

While he seemed to lack the sharpness that saw him score 24 Championship goals before the pandemic-enforced break, Mitrovic's glanced header from a Joe Bryan cross to force Raya into a reflex save was proof of his threat.

The introduction of Marcondes off the bench with 20 minutes remaining proved decisive, with the forward's low cross for Benrahma setting up the victory before his composure on the break sealed a crucial three points.

99 days later
It was just hours before these west London rivals were originally due to kick-off on 13 March that the campaign was brought to a standstill by the global health crisis.

But 99 days later, in a largely empty stadium, two sides with aspirations of reaching the Premier League got the season restarted.

Anyone who entered Craven Cottage had their temperature taken

In the days leading up to Fulham hosting the Championship's first game since 8 March, Cottagers captain Tom Cairney said there would be "no room for slip ups" in the quest for promotion.

For more than three months, they sat six-points adrift of second-placed West Brom waiting for the chance to reduce the gap.

Likewise, Brentford remained just one spot and four points behind their city neighbours in the play-off places awaiting the season restart.

Victory for the Bees means they have only lost one of their past nine league games and consolidates their place in the play-offs. Meanwhile Fulham face a huge challenge against table-toppers Leeds United next weekend.

The Championship is the third English competition to resume in four days, following the restart of the Premier League on Wednesday and the League Two play-off semi-finals 24 hours later.

Like the Premier League, the intention is for the Championship to be played to its full conclusion.

League Two and League One, the other two competitions that make up the English Football League, have instead come back to decide only the final promotion spots via the play-offs after both campaigns were curtailed and decided on an average points-per-game system.

'Said is a top player'
Brentford boss Frank was full of praise for Algerian Benrahma as his side continued their push for a place in the top flight for a first time since 1946-47.

"Said is a top player in this division and an extremely important player for our team," Frank said.

"And we know if we want to have a chance to achieve what we're dreaming about, he and some of our top players need top form.

"Today I think Said played a fine game but a tough game. He was a little bit not top sharp on his touches and decision making. But we still know he can make a difference.

"I was very satisfied with his goal today, because he just managed to be patient, stay away from the ball and work that last line in the box and that's something we've constantly been working with him on."

Meanwhile, Fulham manager Scott Parker said they would have to put the defeat behind them quickly.

"I thought we had a very good spell in the second half when we had a goal disallowed. Then the keeper pulled off a great save from Mitrovic," he said.

"We just needed one of those to go in and see out the game. So it's a killer blow, a sucker punch, and the second is a runaway goal when we were trying to push.

"Overall it's disappointing but we dust ourselves off and move on. I was pleased with the players' application and efforts."

« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 05:34:29 PM by whitejc »

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff - 21/06/20...
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 05:35:33 PM »
Head Coach press conference

General assessment of the game?

Disappointing overall because obviously we’ve not won the game, not managed to get a result so it’s bitterly disappointing in that sense. The game ebbed and flowed a little bit. I felt we had a very good spell in the second half where we had a goal disallowed from Mitrović, their keeper’s pulled off a great save, and we had another couple of chances in and around their box where really, we probably just need one of them to go in and then try and see out the game. They were probably the moments where you need to score. It was a bit of a killer blow, a sucker punch how they got in and scored their (first) goal, and then the second is obviously a runaway goal where we’re going for it. So, overall disappointing, but we dust ourselves off and move on.

London derby ‘edge’ missing without the fans?

Without fans, you’re always going to miss a bit of an edge to a football match. That’s to be expected. Overall, I was very pleased with the players application, their efforts. I felt we took it to Brentford. All week we worked on the moments of the game and how we’re going to have to have a mindset about us these nine games, and I felt that the players were superb in that really. It’s clear that an empty stadium is a bit strange, and you’re not going to get what we’ve come to expect when we play football matches. But it is what it is at this moment in time, that’s the world we’re living in and you need to be adaptable and I thought the players adapted well to that.

How important is next Saturday’s Leeds game?

Of course, it’s an important game, but today was important, the following week is going to be important, the next eight games left are going to be vitally important for us. They come no bigger (Leeds) because you’re playing against a team who are top of the table, the challenge is there for us. Every week you have that. The games come thick and fast and they’re tough games. We’ll prepare this week as best we can, and we’ll go and try to put a performance in next week to try and win the game.

Is Elland Road less intimidating without the Leeds fans?

There’s certain hostile atmospheres and environments that you can thrive off and Leeds is that place, the fans are superb up there so you can look at it both ways. You can look at it in that it could take the edge off them (Leeds), but at the same time you could look at it the other way that sometimes it’s those hostile environments that you want to go into and can make the difference. It’s the same with Brentford today. We’ve missed our fans, but, at the same time, they would have probably had three or four thousand Brentford fans shouting for them as away support. It’s not ideal for anyone.

Bryan Mbeumo absence make any difference in your plans?
Not really. Obviously, you expect certain players to play but I think Brentford have got a model there where if one player goes out, their recruitment is that the next player that comes in is very similar. So, in that sense, it didn’t affect us in any way. We’ve had our own problems regarding that. Players who have contracted it and players who have been in isolation for 7-10 days who have not been able to train as well so we understand the challenge that lies ahead of us, the challenge we’ve already faced. We need to be adaptable to that, make the best out of some bad situations and keep going, and we will do that. conference

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff - 21/06/20...
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 09:53:07 AM »
Bees score late goals to beat Fulham in derby

Brentford stunned Fulham with two late goals to grab all three points in the behind-closed-doors west London derby.

The Bees shocked the hosts with strikes by Said Benrahma and Emiliano Marcondes, which now leaves them just a point behind the Whites in the Championship in fourth place.

As both teams resumed to action since the enforced suspension, neither could find a way through at Craven Cottage for long spells.

The visitors were the first to create an opportunity when Josh Dasilva, with a shot from 25 yards, brought out a smart stop from Fulham keeper Marek Rodak on 11 minutes.

However, Aleksandar Mitrovic went close just a minute later with a neat header which was saved by David Raya.

Brentford had a huge let-off in the 14th minute when Bobby Decordova-Reid, having cleverly made room from a precise Harrison Reid pass, smashed the ball against the bar with the Whites signalling serious intent.

Having soaked up the hosts’ pressure, Brentford’s Tarique Fosu-Henry was denied by Rodak on the half-hour following a fierce, angled drive.

The Bees began to take a degree of territorial control but neither team could make capital before the break.

Fulham were the stronger of the rivals for large spells in the second half and Mitrovic – having had a goal disallowed earlier for offside – saw a header saved by Raya.

The derby drama arrived late on.

Benrahma forced home from close range with just two minutes left.

And substitute Marcondes crashed home a second in stoppage time, on what turned out to be a surprisingly fruitful afternoon for Thomas Frank’s men.

Fulham: Rodak, Odoi, Hector, Ream, Bryan, Cairney, Reed (Arter 79), Kebano (Cavaleiro 71), De Cordova-Reid (Johansen 88), Knockaert (Jasper 88), Mitrovic

Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry, Jensen (Marcondes 69), Norgaard, Dasilva (Valencia 84), Fosu-Henry (Baptiste 69), Watkins, Benrahma.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Sunday Fulham Stuff - 21/06/20...
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2020, 09:53:52 AM »
Marcondes delivers devastating blow

Emiliano Marcondes dealt Fulham’s fading hopes of automatic promotion a potentially fatal blow as he stepped off the bench to make one late goal and score another as Brentford won the west London derby at Craven Cottage this afternoon. The result sees Thomas Frank’s side move to within one point of the Whites, with Leeds and West Bromwich Albion able to extend their advantage over the course of the weekend.

Just as a tight derby was coming towards its conclusion, Marcondes produced two moments of magic to turn the game in Brentford’s favour. Only introduced with twenty minutes to play, the Danish midfielder drifted into space down the right flank and whipped in a devilish cross that Ollie Watkins couldn’t turn home, but Said Berahma converted gleefully at the far post after ghosting in behind Denis Odoi. Fulham’s defence were flatfooted at the crucial moment – but worse was to come less than a minute later.

Not content to protect their slender lead with time ticking down, Brentford went for the kill. Marcondes surged through the remannts of the Fulham defence and kept his cool as white shirts flooded back to try and close him down, cutting inside before firing a powerful drive past the helpless Marek Rodak to make sure of the points. Frank’s substitutions turned a game that was firmly in the balance – with Scott Parker far too slow to react as the visitors began to gain a foothold in midfield.

Fulham had more than enough chances to make their fast start count. Bobby Decordova-Reid rattled the angle of post and bar with a rising drive after a beautifully disguised reverse ball from Harrison Reed, who was by far the home side’s most impressive performer. It was no surprise that Brentford’s matchwinning moments arrived after he had been replaced in the closing stages. Anthony Knockaert curled an effort agonisingly wide from the edge of the box, whilst Aleksandar Mitrovic saw a close-range header well held by David Raya.

Raya also produced a splendid save to keep out an instinctive Mitrovic header from Joe Bryan’s floated cross in the second period and the Serbian also had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, but Fulham’s talimansic striker was far too isolated up front for long periods. Tom Cairney had little influence on proceedings and just went the home side appeared ready to mount a sustained spell of pressure midway through the second half after another Mitrovic chance, the momentum melted away.

Parker will face the tough task of picking up his players as they prepare for crunch fixtures against Leeds and Queens Park Rangers in quick succession – but it looks increasingly likely as though Fulham will have to settle for the play-offs for the third time in four seasons.

FULHAM (4-3-3): Rodak; Odoi, Bryan, Hector, Ream; Reed (Arter 80), Cairney, Decordova-Reid (Johansen 89); Kebano (Cavaleiro 72), Knockaert (Jasper 89); Mitrovic. Subs (not used): Bettinelli, Sessegnon, Christie, Le Marchand, McDonald, Arter, Johansen, Jasper.

BRENTFORD (4-3-3): Raya; Dalsgaard, Henry, Jansson, Pinnock; Nørgaard, Jensen (Marcondes 70), Dasilva (Valencia 85); Fosu (Baptiste 70), Benrahma, Watkins. Subs (not used): Daniels, Thompson, Mokotjo, Devisoglu, Jeanvier, Baptiste, Roerslev.

BOOKED: Dasilva, Marcondes.

GOALS: Benrahma (89), Marcondes (90).

REFEREE: James Linington (Newport).