Crystal Palace moved up to fifth in the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage in the Premier League on Saturday.
The hosts actually started the contest the brighter of the two, but Jairo Riedewald put Palace ahead on eight minutes. Running through the centre, he very cooly slotted home into the bottom corner from inside the area.
The Cottagers continued to search for an equaliser and Ademola Lookman went on to hit the post on two separate occasions in the first half, while Aleksandar Mitrovic also wasted a glorious opportunity from the rebound of Lookman’s second effort. Michy Batshuayi thought he had put Palace 2-0 up just before the half hour mark, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
The Eagles did double their lead 20 minutes into the second half through Wilfried Zaha, the forward simply tapping in at the back post. With just two minutes remaining, substitute Aboubakar Kamara saw red for a clumsy and reckless challenge on Ebere Eze, meaning the hosts saw out the remainder of the game with ten men.
Scott Parker’s men did pull one back in the final seconds through a stunning Tom Cairney strike, but it came too late for the Cottagers.
Let’s get into some player ratings, shall we?
Alphonse Areola (GK) – 6/10 – Made a few crucial stops to deny Palace on the counter-attack. No clean sheet for him once again, but another strong showing nonetheless.
Ola Aina (RB) – 6/10 – Was caught out a few times at the back, but looked a threat going forward. Supported attacks well and provided width down the right, linking up well with his teammates.
Tosin Adarabioyo (CB) – 5/10 – Adarabioyo was unable to help Fulham keep a much-needed clean sheet, but is beginning to establish himself as a key figure at the back for the Cottagers.
Tim Ream (CB) – 4/10 – Was exposed by the pace of Zaha throughout, never knowing when to get tight and when to drop off. A tough afternoon against Palace’s forwards.
Antonee Robinson (LB) – 5/10 – Keeping Joe Bryan out of the side, Robinson put in another assured display offensively and defensively.
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (CM) – 6/10 – Another powerful and dominant display in the centre of the park from Anguissa, picking up the ball from deep and driving forward. Also knew when to keep it simple and keep his side ticking over.
Mario Lemina (CM) – 3/10 – If we’re being completely honest, Lemina was hardly noticeable in the first half. The game often simply passed him by without showing some of the quality which he possesses.
Tom Cairney (CM) – 4/10 – Cairney opts for the simple or easy pass far too often, he must take more risks. The midfielder has the quality to unlock a defence, but he wasn’t adventurous in any way against Palace…except that outrageous strike in the final seconds.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (RW) – 4/10 – Starting out on the right, Loftus-Cheek had to be patient at points, but struggled to find pockets of space. The position didn’t suit him.
Ademola Lookman (LW) – 7/10 – Saw two efforts hit the post and generally, looked a real threat whenever he received the ball. An excellent signing by Fulham.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (ST) – 3/10 – Another frustrating afternoon for Mitrovic. Missed a clear goalscoring opportunity in the first half and couldn’t impose himself.
Aboubakar Kamara – 2/10
Bobby Decordova-Reid – 4/10
Harrison Reed – N/A
Vicente Guaita (GK) – 6/10 – Made a few impressive saves and had to remain vigilant as Fulham increased the pressure in the first half.
Nathaniel Clyne (RB) – 4/10 – Making his first start since re-joining the Eagles, Clyne endured a tough afternoon against the dangerous Lookman.
Scott Dann (CB) – 6/10 – Dealt with the threat of Mitrovic well on the whole and was generally an authoritative figure at the back. Dann was constantly discussing and barking out orders to his fellow defenders.
Cheikhou Kouyaté (CB) – 6/10 – Like Dann, Kouyate didn’t let Mitrovic bully him and was constantly harrying and forcing mistakes from his opponents. A strong showing.
Tyrick Mitchell (LB) – 5/10 – Another encouraging performance from Mitchell, although he did suffer from a few lapses in concentration.
Andros Townsend (RM) – 6/10 – Was typically hard working down the right, getting back to support Clyne as well as breaking forward at speed on the counter. Wasn’t involved a great deal, but still showed his quality with his pass in the lead up to Palace’s second goal.
Luka Milivojević (CM) – 6/10 – Composed in his work, the midfielder kept his side ticking over nicely. Not the most glamorous performance, but an effective one.
Jaïro Riedewald (CM) – 6/10 – A strong showing in the centre of the park from Riedewald. As well as protecting his defence when out of possession, he showed great desire to get forward and pose a threat, like he did for the opener.
Jeffrey Schlupp (LM) – 4/10 – A quiet afternoon for Schlupp, with not many attacks going down his side on the left. Was eventually off and replaced by Ebere Eze.
Wilfried Zaha (FW) – 8/10 – Zaha was the best player on the pitch. Picking up clever positions, Fulham weren’t sure how to deal with him and who should be picking him up. Continued to drive at the hosts’ defence all afternoon, and looked a threat time and time again.
Michy Batshuayi (FW) – 4/10 – Was clearly offside for his effort which was ruled out, but didn’t need to be. Lacked the same kind of movement as his strike partner.
Patrick van Aanholt – 5/10
Ebere Eze – 5/10
Mamadou Sakho – N/A