George Rossiter rates the Fulham performances after victory away to Southampton
Fulham’s 2-0 victory over Southampton sent the Saints down into the Championship as they became the first team to be relegated from the Premier League this season. Goals from Vinicius and then Mitro on his return from suspension gave Silva’s side a comfortable victory against a poor Southampton side. Next up is our last home game this season against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace side.
Leno will have had to do a lot more to earn clean sheets in the past, but a clean sheet is a clean sheet and it’s another one on the German’s tally. Bar a couple of long shots in both halves, there really were no issues to contend with for Bernd. He did well from crosses, which was impressive considering Southampton had a 6ft7’ giant up front in Paul Onuachu. 7/10.
Incredible energy up and down the right flank all game long. Tete constantly pinned back Southampton’s left sided players and completely nullified any threat that Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Stuart Armstrong, or later on Kamaldeen Sulemana had to offer. Delivery often looked dangerous and overall a really good performance. 8/10.
Tosin’s distribution throughout the whole game was spot on, whether going long and diagonal or playing short into midfield. Defensively I can’t find any faults in his performance, even if Southampton were poor in what they offered. This good run of form, including multiple defensive displays and improved ability on the ball, has made Tosin our Mr Dependable at the back at the perfect time. 7.5/10.
There have been two notable trends since Diop has filled in for Ream in the left sided centre back role of late. One is that he looks shaky on the ball and losing the ball to Onuachu early on was another sign of that. However he isn’t struggling defensively, and was solid again today. Diop’s importance to the squad is not up for debate, but his suitability to this position potentially is. 7/10.
Even if Theo Walcott isn’t quite as quick as when he was at the peak of his powers 10-15 years ago, it was still impressive seeing the speed of Jedi in defending against him on a couple of occasions in the first half. Robinson was generally solid in all aspects of the game, not giving Southampton much joy when they tried to attack, and getting into a couple of decent crossing positions himself. 7/10.
A very solid performance. Everything that was good about his Leicester performance were on show here again. Namely his ability to seamlessly break up the play at the base of midfield and turn a Leicester attack into a Fulham attack in the shortest of transitions. It may have also gone under the radar lately how neat his passing has been, especially when that was something he was often critiqued for pre-Christmas. 7/10.
Another brilliant performance, this time against his former club. It says a lot about Harrison that against quality opponents in recent games such as Lavia, Tielemans etc, he’s comfortably coming out on top time and time again in his midfield battles. His assist for Fulham’s first goal was proof of both his incredible desire that he shows for 90 minutes every week, as well as the way his game has developed to see him get into so many more brilliant attacking positions. 8.5/10. – Man of the match.
Stamped his authority on the match very early on, getting on the ball non-stop in the opening stages of the game. It was Cairney’s sumptuous defence-splitting ball from left to right that started the attack that eventually led to Fulham’s first goal, just more proof of his ability to impact games for the club at this level. 7.5/10.
Wilson really is in fine form at the moment. The winger ran rings around Ainsley Maitland-Niles on a number of occasions, including when he dribbled past him with ease to tee up Mitrovic to seal the game for Fulham with a beautifully delicate cross. Just another really good performance from Harry who is ending the season in brilliant stead after a really touch season in general. 8/10.
While Willian did look dangerous on the ball in the way he manipulated the Southampton defence with his dribbling, his final pass often wasn’t quite there. His set pieces often missed the mark in the first half and quite often his deliveries in open play weren’t perfect either. He had a good effort cleared off the line by Lyanco just before half time, but overall it was one of the Brazilian’s quieter performances. 6.5/10.
Vinicius had a rather quiet game for the most part but he validated Silva’s decision to keep him in the side in the end. What he did do was show his confidence of late in the way he used the ball when he got it, with some really neat touches and link-up play. He found himself in the right place at the right time for our opening goal, his third in four games. 7/10.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (65’ for Carlos Vinicius)
Welcome back, my Serbian King. It took just 6 and a half minutes for Mitro to send a brilliantly controlled header past Alex McCarthy and completely take the game out of Southampton’s grasp. Mitro looked dangerous from the moment he stepped on the pitch and showed zero signs of rustiness. 7.5/10.
Bobby De-Cordova Reid (69’ for Tom Cairney)
Bobby was slightly slack in possession on a couple of occasions but nothing too drastic. Helped to see the win through, that’s the main thing. 6/10.
Neeskens Kebano (77’ for Harry Wislon)
Sad that this specific substitution denied us having Harry Wislon, Mitrovic and Neeskens all on the pitch at once, that’s all I have to say. 6/10.
Sasa Lukic (77’ for Joao Palhinha)
Probably needs to show off his quality more in these small cameos if he’s to prove what he can offer Fulham going for. Obviously a good player in there. 6/10.
Manor Solomon (77’ for Willian)
Actually looked really dangerous and intent on beating every Southampton player on the pitch, just a shame they kept kicking the living daylights out of him. 6.5/10.
P.S. I hope you enjoyed watching London’s Original and greatest football club, Mr Sunak…