George Rossiter assesses Fulham’s victorious return to Premier League action.
It’s safe to say that the heart-breaking late defeats at the hands of Erling Haaland and Alejandro Garnacho have been long forgotten as the Whites put Palace to the sword in a famous Boxing Day victory on the road that the late, great George Cohen would’ve been extremely proud of.
A dominant display got the win it deserved against the nine men of Palace, which could well have been eight if Wilfried Zaha was given the yellow cards he deserved for the constant whining at the referee…
Hard to remember a game this season where a Fulham goalkeeper had so little to do. The Palace attack was fairly anonymous in the first half and became near non-existent as the game fell away from the home side. Nonetheless, another clean sheet will do the German the world of good. 7/10
A brilliant performance as the Dutch international continues to show why he is one of the best all-round right sided defenders in the division. While Zaha was pocketed at one end, Tete probably broke all sorts of records for most crosses completed in the second half as Fulham dominated proceedings. 8.5/10
While Fulham had little to do defensively as the game went on, that shouldn’t take away from Diop’s near faultless performance, especially against a full 11-man Palace side in the first half. Diop was brilliantly proactive, making a number of interceptions near to the halfway line and beyond. The Frenchman’s place in the side has never looked more secure. 8/10
Defensively, Ream carried on his club form after his World Cup adventure in Qatar. While his defensive performance wasn’t as vibrant or dominant as Diop’s, it was equally as mistake-free. To top it off, a first goal of the season (a great strike at that) to nearly cap off the greatest calendar year of the great man’s career. 8/10
It’s hard to critique a performance in a win like this one. However, at times when Palace looked dangerous on the place, Robinson’s positional awareness was especially poor, consistently losing Jordan Ayew in dangerous positions. Going forward, Jedi was as good as we’d expect, but a rustier defensive performance than usual. 6.5/10
Did really well to limit a dangerous midfield. Doucoure’s press-resistant qualities and Eze’s eloquence on the ball were both nullified by Palhinha who often ended up as a loan holding midfielder when Reed ventured forwards against a poor Palace side. A bit more quality on the ball and this rating would be higher. 7.5/10
Had a lot more freedom to venture forward as Fulham took control of the game following Palace’s first red card. Linked play well with both wings when Fulham were getting success playing the game out wide against a narrow Palace defence. 7/10
Started really brightly, taking the game to the Palace defence with a number of deft touches and dribbles. Unlucky not to score firstly from a first-half free-kick, and then again in the second period when a short-range effort cannoned against the post. On another day, Fulham have more goals to speak of and so does Pereira, but 3-0 will do. 7.5/10
Bobby De Cordova–Reid
For quite a small attacking player with little reputation as a Premier League star, it’s extremely impressive to see Bobby with a third headed goal this season, his fourth in total. His link-up play with Tete down the right hand side was sensational and was there for all to see the longer the game went on against nine men. 8/10.
The Brazilian frequently used the attacking runs of Robinson on many occasions to cut inside and look for attacking options ahead of him including Pereira and Mitrovic. It was a solid performance which perhaps would’ve been better had Willian continued the game’s seeming trend of Fulham benefiting from attacking in wider areas. A late shot resulted in an assist for Mitrovic’s goal. 7/10.
He’s back and it’s like he’s never been away. One goal, which could’ve been more if not for a couple of brilliant saves from Palace keeper Guaita. Two assists on top of that, including a beautifully weighted cross to Bobby De Cordova-Reid for the opener. Everything good about Mitrovic’s game since Silva came in was on show in a phenomenal display from the Serb. 9/10 – Man of the match.
Tom Cairney (75’ for Joao Palhinha)
Looked really sharp, adapting to the speed of the game instantly and put in a couple of dangerous efforts on target late on. 7/10
Harry Wilson (81’ for Bobby De-Cordova Reid)
Carried on the momentum down the Fulham right and came close to creating another Fulham goal. 6.5/10
Dan James (81’ for Willian)
Looked dangerously quick down the left side but I’m still not sure that’s his preferred wing to play on. 6.5/10
Luke Harris (85’ for Andreas Pereira)
More valuable minutes for the young Welshman, who is yet to look out of place in the Premier League. 6/10
Carlos Vinicius (85’ for Aleksandar Mitrovic)
Not sure how many times Vinicius touched the ball, but shout out to him for his first goal in the West Ham friendly. 6/10