George Rossiter has the player ratings for our defeat to Burnley.
Christmas is cancelled. Goals from Wilson Odobert and Sander Berge gave Vincent Kompany’s men victory at the Cottage, leaving the Fulham players expecting nothing but coal in their stockings on Monday morning. Okay, it’s not that drastic, and we should definitely not forget the cup joy and 5-0 wins that proceeded this performance. Let’s have a look back on what went wrong…
Normally I’d write about how well Leno has done to keep a clean sheet or how he could not prevent a goal being conceded…but not this time. For the opener, I think his positioning is really unnecessarily poor. Odobert’s effort is by no means unsavable, and with a couple of steps back, Leno would back himself to at least comfortably palm it away. The second goal can be put more down to poor defending, but I’m sure he won’t have been happy seeing that go past his hand either. 5/10.
For the most part Castagne was defensively solid, that is until the second Burnley goal. Sander Berge picks up the ball in the centre circle and comes forward 25 yards before striking at goal, and all Castagne chose to do was back pedal and watch it happen in front of him. Barely crossed the halfway line until the 86th minute when a shot from a narrow angle barely troubled James Trafford. 5/10.
Burnley started the game very strongly in possession but didn’t actually get a shot on target in that dominant first 10-15 minute period. A lot of that was down to the brilliant work Tosin did defending his box. For the most part, he was solid, but turning his back on Berge’s goal wasn’t the best look. He looks to be forming a decent partnership with Bassey, so it’s a shame he looks to be wanting to move on after this season. 6.5/10.
Quite the quiet game for Bassey. As mentioned, a decent partnership seems to be blossoming with Tosin. Both are good on the ball, able to burst forward or play forward-thinking passes that help Fulham in transitions. Why he was booked in the first half for a ‘foul’ on Josh Brownhill I will never know, perhaps a dreadlock flicked the poor bloke in the eye? 6/10.
Jedi spent the whole first half taking advantage of the fact that Jacob Bruun Larsen seemingly didn’t have a clue how to track back (which is probably why he got hooked at half time), consistently offering Iwobi the overlap on Vitinho who was frequently doubled up on. The American was pushed back a lot more in the second half as Burnley scored twice and seized control of the game. 6.5/10.
Similarly to Leno, Palhinha doesn’t often come in for much stick, and rightly so, but this wasn’t his best game either. Admittedly, I don’t like how referees seem to have this thing where his first foul in every game HAS to be a yellow card. But no doubt, some of his challenges in this game were messy and missed the mark, and his regular intensity just seemed to be lacking, perhaps on the back of a very hectic schedule. 5.5/10.
In both the 5-0 wins against West Ham and Nottingham Forest, almost everything good about Fulham went through Tom Cairney who absolutely ran the show. Nothing went through Cairney here, which meant we missed a clear creative spark. Cairney didn’t stand out in the middle, but neither did anyone around him, it just looked like a completely different team to the one that looked so well connected in recent victories. 5.5/10.
Honestly for 95% of Pereira’s game in 2023 I could just copy and paste the following statements: ‘Showed decent energy early on, getting on the ball and pressing hard. Then ended up being more anonymous and ineffective the longer the game went on’. It’s so frustrating, he shouldn’t be playing as inconsistently as he is for someone with so much ability. 5/10.
One of the only real bright sparks on the day for Fulham, I thought. Did well early on to tiptoe past multiple Burnley defenders and then force a good save from Trafford from a toe punted effort. Did really well in the first half to nip in on the loose balls left behind by the mistakes of Burnley defenders who were so intent from playing out from the back. Just needed one big creative spark to take the game by the scruff of the neck before Burnley took control. 7/10. – Man of the match.
Again, not too bad. As mentioned, was linking really well with Robinson in the first half, doubling up on Vitinho, who could rarely lay a glove on the Nigerian whose footwork continues to dazzle in 1-on-1 scenarios. A couple of good efforts on goal too, one hitting the side netting and another saved dramatically/emphatically by the young Trafford. Like Wilson, just didn’t quite have that big moment. 6.5/10.
When Muniz has had chances to start this season, what has been very evident is how good he is with his back to goal or on the turn at linking play. Some of his touches round the corner to our wingers, or the lay-offs made to other attacking players with a Burnley defender on his back, were really neat and effective, especially in the first half. Didn’t really see any of the ball in the second half before being subbed off unfortunately. 6.5/10.
Subbed on after 64 minutes for Rodrigo Muniz
Barely saw any of the ball in his half an hour cameo due to the inabilities of those around him to create in the final third. Played a nice little ball in the box to set up a late Castagne opportunity, and nearly finished the rebound himself. 6/10.
Bobby De Cordova-Reid
Subbed on after 64 minutes for Andreas Pereira
I mean, he was about the only player trying to show for the ball and pass forwards when he came on, but nothing came of it. I think he might have had a bit more luck in a wider position had he been subbed on earlier, but alas he was not. 6/10.
Harrison Reed and Fode Ballo-Toure (subbed on after 82 minutes for Joao Palhinha and Antonee Robinson) came on too late to be fairly judged.