In-form Fulham ease to victory against leaders Wolves

Posted Sunday, February 25, 2018 by PA

In-form Fulham ease to victory against leaders Wolves

Fulham underlined their promotion credentials as goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Aleksandar Mitrovic earned them a well-deserved 2-0 victory over Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolves.

The Londoners remain fifth but it was their eighth successive home victory in the league, with clean sheets in the last four, and extends their unbeaten run to 12 matches. It was also their first victory over Wolves in 10 attempts.

The visitors lost for only the second time in 20 league matches and remain nine points clear at the top of the table ahead of second-placed Cardiff’s game with Bristol City on Sunday.

But they are winless in three games for the first time this season and have dropped 12 points in their last eight league games, five more than in their previous 16.

Wolves started well. Helder Costa broke away down the right after five minutes but shot too high, and then just failed to test Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli after another break.

But before long the pattern of the first half was set as Fulham began to take control with a series of fast-paced and intricate attacks.

They nearly broke through after 13 minutes when Tom Cairney’s shot ricocheted to Mitrovic. He lifted the ball over goalkeeper John Ruddy but Wolves captain Conor Coady managed to hook it clear.

Wolves now threatened only sporadically. After 24 minutes Coady won possession and set up Alfred N’Diaye for a powerful shot from 25 yards that dipped just over Bettinelli’s crossbar.

It was Fulham, though, who went in front after 38 minutes. Ryan Bennett’s poor clearance was cut out by Stefan Johansen, who found Mitrovic in a yard of space on the edge of the penalty area.

The Newcastle loanee’s shot on the turn sent Ruddy sprawling to his right, but he could do no more than parry the ball and Sessegnon pounced to tap in his 13th goal of the season.

Bettinelli did much better with his first save of the second half, scooping away a dipping shot from Ivan Cavaleiro in the 50th minute, even though Leo Bonatini had run across his line of vision.

But Fulham were soon back into their passing rhythm, although their second goal in the 71st minute owed less to possession football than the strength and determination of Mitrovic.

He received the ball with his back to goal 30 yards out, turned past Coady and side-stepped Morgan Gibbs-White before driving a low 20-yard shot between Ruddy and his near post.

Johansen could have made it 3-0 seconds later but his first-time shot from 20 yards faded just wide of the upright.

Wolves missed a simple chance to halve the arrears late on when Benik Afobe set up what seemed to be an unmissable opening for fellow substitute Diogo Jota, but he chipped the ball over an open goal.


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