English Premiership

Hodgson's Palace see off Fulham

2018-08-11 19:15
Wilfred Zaha (Getty Images)

London - Crystal Palace recorded a positive 2-0 win over an impressive Fulham in their opening game of the new Premier League season at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Jeffery Schlupp opened the scoring in the first half of his 100 league start before Wilfred Zaha secured all three points with his late strike. 

Fulham made a confident start, with Wayne Hennessey forced into a strong low save from Cyrus Christie's 25 yard effort. 

Zaha was then close to connecting to an inviting ball into the area from Patrick Van Aanholt. 

Fulham may well have scored on 10 minutes but Andre Schurrle was just unable to connect to a Ryan Sessegnon pass after the hosts had sliced the Palace defence open. 

And after a pass by Christian Benteke to Zaha was superbly cut out by Christie, Hennessey made a super stop to deny Aleksandar Mitrovic from just inside the area. 

Sessegnon had a good low cross from the left blocked ahead of a super spell of one touch passes as Fulham enjoyed possession of the ball. 

Fabri was finally called into action with a brilliant save to deny Benteke with a fingertip save after the Belgian had risen well to connect to an Andros Townsend cross from the right flank. 

With normal service resumed, Hennessey made another good save, from Mitrovic on the turn, but astonishingly it was Palace to break the deadlock. 

Van Aanholt played in a neat ball to Schlupp who rolled Calum Chambers before smashing in at the near post on the left-hand side. 

Van Aanholt then fired in from the opposite flank after some slick passes, but the assistant referee's flag was correctly up for offsides for the last real chance of the first half. 

The second period started with a succession of Palace corners that were ultimately cleared by the hosts while Benteke was unable to connect to a Townsend cross with the goal at his mercy. 

Palace were looking more confident and were trying to add to their lead while referee Mike Dean waved away appeals for a penalty as Schurrle went down in the area after a swipe of the legs from Mamadou Sakho. 

Fabri did well to keep out a shot from Zaha after a knock down from Benteke before Hennessey stopped a Mitrovic header from sneaking in at the other end. 

Having finally succumbed to an early knock, and after another heavy challenge, Bryan had to be replaced, with Luciano Vietto coming on. 

With play resumed, Benteke smashed a half volley into the arms of Fabri before another decent strike, low down to force a good stop from the Fulham stopper. 

Aboubakar Kamara, on for Schurrle, saw his dipping effort fly past Hennessey before the keeper had to get down low to keep out a cross from the right from Christie. 

Palace though sealed their victory when Zaha picked up a pass from Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who did well to brush off a tackle and feed his team-mate, who took one touch and slotted the ball under Fabri, after he had needlessly come off his line to close down the striker - with defenders close by. 

Fabri made a solid stop to deny Townsend, ahead of a late debut from Cheikhou Kouyate, who replaced Townsend for the final few minutes, while the clash ended with Hennessey making another fie save, with a fingertip stop to keep out Sessegnon and Fabri palming a Kouyate shot wide.

 

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