George Rossiter is back with the player ratings.
West Ham’s fans must have known a horrible day was on the horizon when a boat carrying a group of their fans along the River Thames collided with Hammersmith Bridge. But not many fans in the entire ground would have believed Fulham were about to make it consecutive 5-0 wins in the Premier League. 16 goals in four games, including three big wins, have moved the Whites back into the top half of the league.
Unlike the Nottingham Forest fixture, there were things to do in this game for Leno. An early, powerful free-kick from the set-piece specialist James Ward-Prowse was palmed safely out of danger. Two Jarrod Bowen efforts inside the penalty area, either side of half time, were stopped and held well by the German, with a decent save from Benrahma at 4-0 too. Another clean sheet to add to the collection. 7/10.
Again proved why he is such a useful option when any of our full-backs are out injured or need a rest. The ability to tirelessly get up and down the wing without looking like breaking a sweat is really quite impressive. Defensively assured of himself against any opposition and dangerous in attacking areas, Castagne has proved to be a brilliant signing. 7/10.
Hard to find too many negatives considering the two clean sheets alongside Bassey since his return to the side. Continues to look a tad rusty on the ball since his comeback, that range of passing will surely return in time. Most importantly, though, he brings such an authoritative presence to the backline, and his towering header for the third goal was a huge added bonus. 7/10.
Weeks ago, Bassey must’ve been wondering where his chances lay of becoming a first team regular. Now, after impressing on his weaker side, and with a potential injury sustained to Tim Ream, he has almost become first choice centre back. This was another faultless performance, with complete composure on the ball and dominance against the West Ham attack. 7.5/10.
I mentioned in the week how the anonymity of Hudson-Odoi’s performance out wide was a sign of how good Robinson was defensively. The same can be said here, the only two times Bowen ever found any success was by almost making himself a number 9 to stray away from Robinson. The American’s crossing was on point too, with one to Alex Iwobi resulting in the corner that produced Tosin’s goal. 7/10.
Most tackles, most duels won and most interceptions of anyone on the pitch, just another day at the office for the best defensive midfielder in the world. Bar the finish, the first goal was all about Palhinha. Two huge challenges that he won kept the ball in West Ham’s half, before he eventually kept the ball in play, whipped in a viciously perfect cross and Raul headed home. Please stay away next month Bayern Munich. 8/10.
So many brilliant individual Fulham performances to speak of in this game, and yet Tom Cairney was so obviously the best player on the park. In Cairney’s 300th appearance for the club, Fulham dominated, with absolutely everything going through the skipper, who dictated the tempo throughout. The pass out to Harry Wilson for the fourth goal was just one example of any array of beautiful passes TC played on the day. Ageing like a fine wine in the Premier League. 9/10 – Man of the match.
When someone is slowly coming back into form, you notice the smaller things in their game that you know they were capable of, but simply haven’t been doing enough of. For example, Pereira hasn’t been showing the energy and intent to get into dangerous areas of late, but he found himself in the perfect position to retrieve a deep cross and set up Willian himself for the second goal. The third goal also came courtesy of one of his set piece deliveries. 7.5/10.
The confidence that has come from scoring a few goals of late is noticeable in the game of Alex Iwobi. The Nigerian showed much more of a willingness to take shots from all sorts of areas in this game, and we can ignore his *dummy* that led to the second goal. Was unlucky not to score from a controlled volley late in the second half, but the resulting corner led to a goal regardless. Also noticeable how influential his pressing game is, Cresswell really struggled with the pressure put upon him by Iwobi in the first half. 7/10.
Caused Coufal a lot of issues in the first half, mostly through his linkup play with Jimenez and Cairney, the former putting on a beautiful pass for the Brazilian to volley straight at Fabianski early on. His goal did come, as he swept home Andreas’ cross to make it 2-0. A shame that he had to come off injured at half time, hopefully that’s nothing too serious. 6.5/10.
The header scored by Raul to open the scoring was one he simply not have put away a few weeks ago, The conviction and precision it was scored with was magnificent, as the Mexican continues to stamp his mark on this side. The previously mentioned chipped pass to Willian in the opening stages was delightful, and another example of his growing confidence in influencing our attacking build up play. Nothing but positives to report here. 8/10.
Subbed on at half time for Willian
Probably should have scored just ten minutes after coming on, with a weak finish from close range wasting a beautiful turn on Zouma, which had made the crowd purr. He made up for it though, with a gorgeously struck finish that hit the top corner from all of 25 yards. Got an assist too, when he could have so easily looked to score a second, impressive. 7.5/10.
Subbed on after 72 minutes for Raul Jimenez
Scored an absolute screamer, nothing else to say on his goal, it was a belter…sort of. Also, fantastic scenes that he didn’t attempt to fight any West Ham players, that’s a huge improvement on recent cameos. Well done Vini. 6.5/10.
Subbed on after 72 minutes for Antonee Robinson
I think the biggest compliment I can pay here is that, when Ballo-Toure comes onto the pitch, we don’t suddenly have a drop off in the left-back position, which is always a good sign. Another solid enough cameo here. 6/10.
Harrison Reed and Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Subbed on after 81 minutes for Joao Palhinha and Alex Iwobi) subbed on too late to be fairly judged, but it would be rude not to mention that gorgeous pass by Reedy to set Wilson through for the fifth, just sublime.