Premier League
Crystal Palace2Fulham0

Crystal Palace 2-0 Fulham: Eagles grind out victory

Jeffrey Schlupp
Jeffrey Schlupp's 87th-minute goal was his fourth Premier League goal of the season

Roy Hodgson claimed Crystal Palace are facing "anxious times" despite his side's hard-fought victory over a lacklustre Fulham at Selhurst Park.

Palace captain Luka Milivojevic opened the scoring from the spot mid-way through the first half after Cyrus Christie handled in the area.

Jeffrey Schlupp then added a late second as he tapped in the rebound following a Sergio Rico's fantastic save to deny deadline-day arrival Michy Batshuayi, who had come on moments earlier.

The Eagles, who rose to 14th, had only won once in their previous six Premier League outings prior to Saturday's victory over Fulham - which was only their third home league win of the season.

"We were not under pressure but these are anxious times," Hodgson told BBC Sport.

"If we had more points on the board, points that we deserved, it would be less problematic here. Every point is so valuable and if you're in the lead you can't stop playing and worry about the final whistle."

Fulham have now lost 16 of their 25 Premier League games this campaign and they remain 19th - seven points clear of safety.

Palace grind their way to victory

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Palace proved they can win without Zaha - Hodgson

Prior to Fulham's visit to Selhurst Park, the Eagles had only claimed two wins from 11 home league games this season, despite their impressive away form.

However, they won their first home match since mid-December by beating the Cottagers in a game of few chances.

The Eagles, who were without the suspended Wilfried Zaha, took the lead on 25 minutes when Milivojevic slotted home from the spot after Christie handballed as he went up for a header with Christian Benteke.

And Benteke, who made his first start since September, almost doubled their lead on the brink of half-time, as his powerfully struck overhead kick cannoned back off the crossbar.

But while Fulham held most of the possession, they failed to create many openings, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka putting in a particularly impressive performance at right-back.

Fulham keeper Sergio Rico had to be alert in the second half to keep out efforts from Jordan Ayew and Schlupp at his near post while Mamadou Sakho headed wide when he should have scored.

But the Eagles did not extend their lead until the 87th minute when Schlupp was on hand to poke home after Batshuayi, who joined the club late on deadline day, had forced a superb save from Rico just minutes after coming on.

Fulham's wait for an away win goes on

Claudio Ranieri said his side were "alive" in the battle against relegation following Tuesday night's impressive comeback win over Brighton, however, they failed to carry that momentum to Selhurst Park.

Despite the fact they dominated possession for much of the first half, they were unable to prise open Palace's resolute defence with their only real chance falling to Aleksandar Mitrovic on 11 minutes, but he could only head wide.

And, while they huffed and puffed in the second period, Palace keeper Vincente Guaita did not have a save of note to make.

Mitrovic, who scored twice in the Cottagers' midweek victory, was bereft of service throughout as his team-mates' final balls were poor time and time again.

"The service to Mitrovic was not good enough. We spoke a lot about crosses, crosses, crosses. I tried to do something - I put another striker on but it wasn't good," Ranieri said.

"The first half was good until the penalty, we had the match in our hands. But they deserved to win in the second half, they were better than us."

The result leaves Fulham still waiting for their first Premier League away win of the season - they have taken just two points on the road.

And, while the record may not make for happy reading for Ranieri, the Italian himself is now 21 Premier League away matches without a win.

Man of the match - Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Aaron Wan-Bissaka
The 21-year-old put in an assured, mature performance at right-back, making a team-high five tackles, four clearances and completing 80% of his passes

'I met my team-mates today' - what they said

Crystal Palace forward Michy Batshuayi: "It's a very important win, it's good for the team and for me too. I feel good to be here but I need to train with the team. It's a good start.

"I met my team-mates today! I will bring as much as I can to help the team to win."

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: "In the second half we played well - first half I have to give Fulham credit, they were very good and we were fortunate. It was a strange penalty, I can't understand what has gone through the defender's head.

"We look more dangerous from corners - there are positives for us. Michy Batshuayi did so well to create the second goal. We will need these players who came on."

Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri: "We were controlling the match in the first half but the penalty changed the match.

"We were in trouble from the beginning but we will continue to be positive, be strong. It's important to be optimistic. We have a target in our mind."

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Stupid foul changed the match - Ranieri

'Babel and Cairney have got to do more'

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Apart from one chance for Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham did not have a shot on target. They are so reliant on him. He has got 40% of their goals.

Ryan Babel and Tom Cairney have got to do more and cause more problems. On every occasion it was a ball into the box and Mitrovic was the only one there. They could still be playing now and Fulham would not have scored.

Cottagers' London derby woes continue - the best stats

  • Fulham are the first side in English top-flight history to lose eight consecutive London derby matches.
  • They have conceded more away goals than any other Premier League team this season (32).
  • Crystal Palace have won just two of their last 14 Premier League London derbies (W2 D3 L9), with both victories coming against Fulham.
  • Palace's Jeffrey Schlupp has scored as many Premier League goals this season (4) as he did in his previous four campaigns combined (99 apps).
  • Since his Premier League debut for Palace, Luka Milivojevic has scored more goals than any other player at the club (19).
  • Palace have done the league double over Fulham for the first time since the 1929-30 season.

What's next?

Fulham face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United at Craven Cottage in next Saturday's early game (12:30 GMT), while Palace host West Ham later that day (15:00).

Line-ups

Crystal Palace

  • 31Guaita
  • 29Wan-BissakaBooked at 76mins
  • 5Tomkins
  • 12Sakho
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 10Townsend
  • 18McArthur
  • 4Milivojevic
  • 15SchluppSubstituted forSakoat 90+1'minutes
  • 14J AyewBooked at 6minsSubstituted forBatshuayiat 82'minutes
  • 17BentekeSubstituted forMeyerat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Dann
  • 7Meyer
  • 13Hennessey
  • 23Batshuayi
  • 26Sako
  • 34Kelly
  • 44Riedewald

Fulham

  • 25Rico
  • 4OdoiBooked at 45mins
  • 20Le MarchandBooked at 27mins
  • 13ReamSubstituted forViettoat 45'minutes
  • 22ChristieSubstituted forFosu-Mensahat 62'minutes
  • 5Chambers
  • 24Seri
  • 23Bryan
  • 10Cairney
  • 9Mitrovic
  • 12BabelBooked at 59minsSubstituted forAyitéat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3R Sessegnon
  • 7Kebano
  • 11Ayité
  • 19Vietto
  • 21Fosu-Mensah
  • 31Fabri
  • 44Cissé
Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
25,355

Match Stats

Home TeamCrystal PalaceAway TeamFulham
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home17
Away8
Shots on Target
Home6
Away0
Corners
Home11
Away1
Fouls
Home9
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Crystal Palace 2, Fulham 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Crystal Palace 2, Fulham 0.

Attempt missed. Calum Chambers (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Tom Cairney.

Attempt saved. Michy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Maxime Le Marchand.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Bakary Sako replaces Jeffrey Schlupp.

Attempt missed. Calum Chambers (Fulham) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jean Michael Seri with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by James Tomkins.

Calum Chambers (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Attempt missed. Luciano Vietto (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Aleksandar Mitrovic with a headed pass.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Floyd Ayité replaces Ryan Babel.

Goal!

Goal! Crystal Palace 2, Fulham 0. Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Michy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Andros Townsend.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Michy Batshuayi replaces Jordan Ayew.

Attempt blocked. Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andros Townsend.

Attempt missed. Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

Foul by Maxime Le Marchand (Fulham).

Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Jean Michael Seri (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Max Meyer (Crystal Palace).

Booking

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jean Michael Seri.

Ryan Babel (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by James McArthur (Crystal Palace).

Foul by Luciano Vietto (Fulham).

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Max Meyer replaces Christian Benteke.

Attempt missed. Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt with a cross following a corner.

Attempt missed. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Luka Milivojevic with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Calum Chambers.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Attempt blocked. Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luka Milivojevic with a cross.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match James Tomkins (Crystal Palace) because of an injury.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Maxime Le Marchand.

Attempt blocked. Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Sergio Rico.

Attempt saved. Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool24194155144161
2Tottenham25190651242757
3Man City24182463194456
4Chelsea25155545232250
5Arsenal24145550331747
6Man Utd24136548351345
7Wolves2511593332138
8Watford259793334-134
9Everton2596103636033
10Bournemouth25103123744-733
11Leicester2495103030032
12West Ham2494113037-731
13Brighton2576122736-927
14Crystal Palace2575132633-726
15Newcastle2566132133-1224
16Southampton2559112742-1524
17Burnley2566132646-2024
18Cardiff2564152246-2422
19Fulham2545162555-3017
20Huddersfield2525181346-3311
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