Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Crystal Palace 1 Fulham 4

The Fulham winger, Pajtim Kasami, produced a worthy impersonation of Marco van Basten to relieve the pressure on his manager, Martin Jol, and pile it onto the shoulders of Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway.

Kasami cancelled out Adrian Mariappa’s opener in the first half with a volley of immense quality, chesting down a long pass before instantly flashing a laser of a right-foot strike into the far top corner.

It was a goal that set Fulham on their way to a landslide victory, with Dutchman Jol comparing it to the famous strike of his compatriot Van Basten in the 1998 European Championship final.

“You can’t compare the two, I think this was better,” said the Fulham boss, laughing. “Van Basten was probably the best volley in the history of football, but that was one touch, so that can happen. This is different. This is a sprint to control the ball and then it’s his wrong foot as well, so I think without stretching my imagination that this must be one of the best goals.”

Jol also had another sumptuous volley to savour, as Steve Sidwell planted one in the top corner to put the visitors 2-1 up on the stroke of half-time. It was overshadowed, however, by the effort of his 21-year-old Swiss team-mate. Kasami said: “I’ve never scored a better goal. It was an unbelievable goal and I’m very pleased.”

While there are alarm bells on the pitch for Palace, they were also present in the stands here. After half an hour, with the game finely balanced at 1-1, a fire alarm started sounding in the Whitehorse Lane Stand. Palace officials were forced temporarily to remove patrons from the executive boxes.

One of those displaced was the Fulham owner, Shahid Khan, who was forced to stand on a gantry in a corner of the ground and peer round a wall to see the pitch. The smile on his face, which had grown even larger by the end of the match, suggested he did not mind the inconvenience.

Jol, who had a great deal of pressure lifted off his shoulders with this result, said: “He was very pleased, he said we showed a lot of resilience and mentality. Last time I saw him he was very pleased as well. He looks a happy man.”

Khan’s expression was in stark contrast to the stony one worn by Palace co-chairman Steve Parish by the end of this contest. Holloway might have led Palace to promotion last season, but with his team second from bottom and five points adrift of safety already, he is now under significant pressure.

He might not have expected to be in such a situation after the early exchanges, as his team started by far the brighter and more energetic. Palace led after seven minutes when the 5ft 10in Mariappa overcame a six-inch disadvantage on Brede Hangeland, outjumping the Fulham defender to head home.

Jol removed his captain and defender at half-time, and while he said he was not happy with his role in the goal, he blamed a sciatic nerve issue for why he could not leap high enough.

Palace’s lead lasted just 12 minutes, before Kasami produced what will surely be one of the finest goals of the season. Sprinting down the inside-right channel, he controlled a long pass forward from Sascha Riether on his chest and, before the ball could touch the ground, he rifled a dipping right-foot volley across goal and into the far top corner.

Sidwell then struck in the final minute of the half, after a Bryan Ruiz free-kick bounced off the wall and into his path just outside the area. There was little that Palace could have done about either goal, but they were the masters of their own downfall after the break.

Keeper Julián Speroni’s dreadful clearance led to Darren Bent being put through and, despite the keeper making a fine save, Mariappa was rather embarrassingly outmuscled by Dimitar Berbatov from the resulting corner, as the Bulgarian headed into the far corner.

Another Ruiz corner in the 55th minute then picked out an unmarked Philippe Senderos, who had been lost by Mile Jedinak, at the back post, and he volleyed through the legs of Speroni for 4-1.

Jol said: “We are very satisfied, especially with the way we did it. After the first goal we came back and showed a lot of resilience. We took a bit of a risk to play Berbatov and Bent and Ruiz and Kasami, but I think we did well.”

Match details

Crystal Palace (4-2-3-1) Speroni; Ward, Mariappa, Delaney, Moxey; O’Keefe, Jedinak; Puncheon (Chamakh 56), Campana (Thomas h-t), Bolasie; Gayle (Phillips 69).
Subs Price (g), Dikgacoi, Gabbidon, Kebe.
Fulham (4-4-2) Stekelenburg; Riether, Senderos, Hangeland (Amorebieta h-t), Richardson; Ruiz, Sidwell, Parker, Kasami; Bent (Duff 77), Berbatov (Rodallega 90). Subs Stockdale (g), Karagounis, Zverotic, Boateng.
Booked Richardson.
Referee L Mason (Lancashire).
Attendance: 24,881.

Source: Telegraph

Related Posts

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.