George Rossiter returns with the player ratings after Fulham’s 3-2 win against Wolves at the Cottage.
It was less a game of two halves and more a game of three penalties as Fulham dramatically took all three points from a five-goal encounter with Gary O’Neil’s side. The Whites were pegged back twice by a determined Wolves side, but every time they got back into the game, Marco Silva’s men found a way to get back ahead, all the way through to the 94th minute of the game. Not the prettiest performance, but an important victory nonetheless.
Leno was faultless for the opening goal. It was much more down to some woeful defending from the full-backs in front of him. The penalty from Hwang was well struck and Leno got absolutely nowhere near. On multiple occasions, he swept well when Wolves looked to play the ball in behind to the pace of Hwang and Cunha. Quite lucky not to concede a goal to Mario Lemina after being caught in possession in his own penalty box. 6/10
Continues to show a really good turn of pace which wasn’t seen as a key attribute of his when he signed, whether a recovery run towards his own goal or in a run down the flank, it’s a good trait to have. Defended well for 99% of the game, just frustrating that he lost Matheus Cunha far too easily at the back post for Wolves’ first equaliser. 6.5/10
Considering it was quite a chaotic game around him, his bog standard performance was quite handy at the back. Solid in the first half, solid in the second half, nothing really to complain about here. Probably deserves credit for how calm he looked on the ball throughout considering the number of recent worries he’s had playing out of position on the right side of the defence. 6.5/10
I love Tim Ream and I’ll back him to the end of the earth, but this was a very worrying performance. He really struggled with the pace of Hwang in the early stages who got in behind the American far too easily and eventually pushed him into getting a yellow card. Got caught in possession on too many occasions for someone as good on the ball as he is and it was such a clumsy challenge to concede the Wolves penalty. 4.5/10
I’ll get the negative out of the way, Bellegarde sent him to America and back, and then rather embarrassingly did it all over again before delivering the cross for Wolves’ first equaliser. Other than that, a really quite solid defensive showing, especially with minimal defensive cover from Willian. Also consistently one of our most dangerous attacking threats, getting in a number of fantastic crossing positions and providing a good run and assist for Iwobi’s opener. 7/10
Looked really focused in the opening stages, winning a number of interceptions in the middle of the park, which was always going to be vital in the absence of the suspended Joao Palhinha. Struggled for control as the first half went on and as Wolves gained some momentum in midfield he looked in danger of being overrun. Definitely settled in the second half and looked at his best when Wolves took Bellegarde off and switched to a midfield two instead of a three. 6.5/10
Vintage Thomas Cairney. Slightly struggled to find time and space on the ball in parts of the first half, but the longer the game went on, the more he made it his own. Seeing Cairney play 90 minutes of a Premier League match and be the best player on the pitch in the latter stages was a beautiful sight. His challenge on Lemina and subsequent surge into the box to win our first penalty was all round superb. Everything Fulham do going forward is linked together so much more effortlessly with Tom Cairney on the pitch. 8.5/10 – Man of the match
It’s just boring saying the same things over and over again now. You see Pereira get into some promising positions in the right side of the box early on, including when he nearly set up Raul for a goal, and you think this is promising… but then for 70 minutes nothing happens. No desire to get on the ball, no intensity, no creativity. He’s anonymous in a team desperate for creativity in the final third, and it’s made all the more frustrating by the ability he so obviously has not being on show. He needs some time out of the team, for me. 5/10
Showed some really quality, intricate first-time touches early on which were important in Fulham’s build-up play as they set the tempo in the opening chapter of the contest. His finish for the first goal is so clever. His run is perfect, his body positioning for a ball coming behind him is intelligent, and the finish itself is cute too. Got into a number of good positions in the final third and potentially should have had a second on 68 minutes, but forced a decent save from Jose Sa. 7.5/10
Oh my goodness gracious me, we have a football player capable of scoring two penalties in one game under immense pressure. Considering how tentative he looked when the ball fell at his feet at an angle in the six yard box in the first half, you’d worry this is a man low on confidence. His two perfectly placed penalties say otherwise. Not the most eventful performance other than that, but two crucial goals marks a huge contribution. 7/10
Honestly, I don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said before. I even tried to manifest a brace pre-game but no amount of positivity will make up for a striker who offers so little to his team. Sometimes he got the ball in Wolves’ half and it was like watching football in slow motion. We simply must sign someone better in January, because this experiment, whatever it is, is not going to work. 5/10
Subbed on after 76 minutes for Andreas Pereira
Wow, how nice and refreshing is it to see an attacker come onto the pitch and actually find space and ask for the ball at his feet (hint hint, nudge nudge, Andreas). Did well to win the second penalty and has to start against Liverpool for me. 6.5/10
Subbed on after 76 minutes for Raul Jimenez
Probably should focus more on controlling the ball and his temper rather than squaring up and assaulting opponents like he seems to attempt to do in any sub cameo he’s had recently… 6/10
Tosin and Sasa Lukic (subbed on after 95 minutes for Willian and Tom Cairney) subbed on too late to be fairly rated, but it’s fantastic to see Tosin return from injury.