Premier League
FulhamFulham0SouthamptonSouthampton0

Fulham 0-0 Southampton: Hard-fought contest ends in stalemate

By Steve SutcliffeBBC Sport
Shane Long
Southampton twice had goals ruled out for offside

Fulham and Southampton played out a goalless draw in a hard-fought Premier League encounter at Craven Cottage.

The visitors twice had the ball in the back of the Fulham net but VAR correctly ruled both efforts out, with Shane Long offside before scoring and Che Adams also offside prior to teeing up Theo Walcott's close-range finish.

Defeat would have been harsh on the hosts, who dominated for long periods despite the absence of manager Scott Parker, who was self-isolating.

Now unbeaten in four league matches, they were unfortunate not to continue their recent improvement with a win.

Both Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Ivan Cavaleiro missed good opportunities to score and a late siege on the visitors' goal also saw Aleksandar Mitrovic go close with a left-foot shot.

The subdued Saints came closest to scoring a legitimate goal when James Ward-Prowse hit the crossbar with a first-half free-kick.

The result sees Fulham remain 18th in the table while Southampton drop to eighth.

Parker calls the shots from home

Fulham assistant Stuart Gray explains how Scott Parker managed the team while at home

While Parker had talked of being unable to work to the "maximum" in recent days, his team made light of his enforced absence and he still hosted the half-time teamtalk via a computer and made the substitutions remotely.

A high-octane start allowed them to control possession and work the ball into several promising positions.

Defenders Ola Aina and Antonee Robinson contributed with searching deliveries from either flank while Zambo Anguissa and Ruben Loftus-Cheek galvanised the Cottagers from midfield.

Had Cameroon international Zambo Anguissa been able to readjust his body to strike Ademola Lookman's cutback from eight yards, the hosts would have taken a merited lead.

Instead, the former Marseille midfielder saw the ball trickle to safety off his standing leg.

While Southampton briefly rallied before the interval the second period followed the same pattern with the hosts pressing forward in search of their third win of the season.

Robinson's pinpoint delivery from the left deserved better than Cavaleiro's wayward header and there were chances for Lookman and Harrison Reed before substitute Mitrovic almost stole all three points.

"The final piece of the jigsaw is to put the ball in the net," said assistant Stuart Gray.

"I'm a glass-half-full guy, and four games unbeaten compared to the start of the season says we're going in the right direction."

Under-strength Saints stutter

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl sees his side's 0-0 draw at Fulham as a good result

With Oriol Romeu, Jannik Vestergaard and Danny Ings missing Southampton's spine was noticeably weakened.

And that perhaps contributed to a sluggish performance against determined opponents.

The Saints were second to every ball early on and looked a shadow of the side that has been in and around the top four for the majority of the campaign.

While Ward-Prowse's superb free-kick - which span away from Adams following up after Alphonse Areola had touched it on to the crossbar - jolted them into life it did not inspire them to seize the initiative.

The front three of Walcott, Adams and Long were starved of service and had the fewest touches of any of the visiting players.

That was underlined by their meagre tally of three shots, their joint fewest in a Premier League game since 2003-04.

"It's tough here - the pitch is tight, they put on a lot of pressure and if you concede a goal you have nearly no chance to come back," said Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl.

"The clean sheet was the most important thing today."

Solid Fulham keep another clean sheet

  • Fulham have drawn each of their past four Premier League games, after drawing just one of their first 21 in the competition under Scott Parker.
  • Southampton have lost just one of their past 13 Premier League away games (W6 D6), and are unbeaten in their past seven on the road since defeat at Crystal Palace on the opening day.
  • Fulham have kept three home clean sheets in the Premier League this season, as many as they did at Craven Cottage in the whole of their last top-flight campaign in 2018-19.
  • Fulham had the first shot on target in this match in the eighth minute, but didn't manage another effort on target for the rest of the match.
  • Ademola Lookman was involved in half of Fulham's 10 shots against Southampton, having two attempts and creating a further three.

What's next?

Fulham travel across London to face Tottenham in their next Premier League game on Wednesday, 30 December (18:00 GMT).

Southampton host West Ham in their next top-flight game on Tuesday, 29 December (18:00).

Player of the match

Ward-ProwseJames Ward-Prowse

with an average of 7.05

Fulham

  1. Squad number1Player nameAreola
    Average rating

    6.50

  2. Squad number29Player nameZambo Anguissa
    Average rating

    6.42

  3. Squad number33Player nameRobinson
    Average rating

    6.33

  4. Squad number19Player nameLookman
    Average rating

    6.29

  5. Squad number16Player nameTosin
    Average rating

    6.10

  6. Squad number5Player nameAndersen
    Average rating

    6.03

  7. Squad number34Player nameAina
    Average rating

    5.90

  8. Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid
    Average rating

    5.79

  9. Squad number21Player nameReed
    Average rating

    5.61

  10. Squad number17Player nameCavaleiro
    Average rating

    5.54

  11. Squad number15Player nameLoftus-Cheek
    Average rating

    5.47

  12. Squad number9Player nameMitrovic
    Average rating

    5.44

  13. Squad number7Player nameKebano
    Average rating

    5.26

Southampton

  1. Squad number8Player nameWard-Prowse
    Average rating

    7.05

  2. Squad number2Player nameWalker-Peters
    Average rating

    7.03

  3. Squad number35Player nameBednarek
    Average rating

    6.93

  4. Squad number1Player nameMcCarthy
    Average rating

    6.88

  5. Squad number5Player nameStephens
    Average rating

    6.56

  6. Squad number32Player nameWalcott
    Average rating

    6.50

  7. Squad number10Player nameAdams
    Average rating

    6.35

  8. Squad number3Player nameBertrand
    Average rating

    6.34

  9. Squad number17Player nameS Armstrong
    Average rating

    6.34

  10. Squad number27Player nameDiallo
    Average rating

    6.24

  11. Squad number7Player nameLong
    Average rating

    6.18

  12. Squad number40Player nameN'Lundulu
    Average rating

    5.80

  13. Squad number12Player nameDjenepo
    Average rating

    5.77

Line-ups

Fulham

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Areola
  • 34Aina
  • 5Andersen
  • 16Tosin
  • 14De Cordova-ReidBooked at 38minsSubstituted forMitrovicat 83'minutes
  • 15Loftus-Cheek
  • 21Reed
  • 29Zambo AnguissaBooked at 75mins
  • 33Robinson
  • 17Cavaleiro
  • 19LookmanSubstituted forKebanoat 90'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Hector
  • 4Odoi
  • 7Kebano
  • 9Mitrovic
  • 10Cairney
  • 12Rodák
  • 13Ream
  • 23Bryan
  • 47Kamara

Southampton

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1McCarthy
  • 2Walker-Peters
  • 35Bednarek
  • 5Stephens
  • 3Bertrand
  • 17S ArmstrongSubstituted forDjenepoat 90+3'minutes
  • 8Ward-Prowse
  • 27Diallo
  • 32Walcott
  • 10Adams
  • 7LongSubstituted forN'Lunduluat 90+2'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Djenepo
  • 14Obafemi
  • 18Valery
  • 20Smallbone
  • 22Salisu
  • 23Tella
  • 29Vokins
  • 40N'Lundulu
  • 44Forster
Referee:
Darren England

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home10
Away3
Shots on Target
Home1
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home15
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Fulham 0, Southampton 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Fulham 0, Southampton 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ola Aina (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by André-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Moussa Djenepo replaces Stuart Armstrong.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Antonee Robinson.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Daniel N'Lundulu replaces Shane Long.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Bertrand (Southampton).

  8. Post update

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Neeskens Kebano replaces Ademola Lookman.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Kyle Walker-Peters.

  11. Post update

    VAR Decision: No Goal Fulham 0-0 Southampton.

  12. Post update

    GOAL OVERTURNED BY VAR: Theo Walcott (Southampton) scores but the goal is ruled out after a VAR review.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Southampton. Shane Long tries a through ball, but Che Adams is caught offside.

  14. Post update

    Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ademola Lookman (Fulham).

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jack Stephens (Southampton) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a corner.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Aleksandar Mitrovic replaces Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Antonee Robinson.

  19. Post update

    Hand ball by Stuart Armstrong (Southampton).

  20. Post update

    Theo Walcott (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Around the BBC iPlayer bannerAround the BBC iPlayer footer

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

129 comments

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool1494136191731
2Everton159242619729
3Leicester159152819928
4Man Utd148333023727
5Man City147522112926
6Aston Villa1381427131425
7Chelsea1574430171325
8Tottenham1474325141125
9Southampton157442519625
10West Ham146352119221
11Wolves146261419-520
12Newcastle145361724-718
13Crystal Palace155371928-918
14Arsenal155281519-417
15Leeds145272430-617
16Burnley13346819-1113
17Brighton142661622-612
18Fulham152581323-1011
19West Brom141491029-197
20Sheff Utd150213826-182
View full Premier League table

Top Stories

Also in Sport