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Positives and negatives: Fulham 3-0 Brighton and Hove Albion

Written by Cameron Ramsey on 3rd March 2024

Licenced via Imago Images. Copyright: Grant Winter 39970082

Two wins on the spin, 35 points on the board and Brighton still can’t get the better of us in the Premier League. Life in SW6 is so good right now and Cam’s back to tell you all about Saturday’s comprehensive win.


Silva set the standard

Truthfully, I don’t think anybody could call this meeting before kick off but as soon as play got underway, there was only one likely outcome and that was a resounding Fulham dub with a clean sheet to boot. Brighton knocked it about with very little to shout about, they may have pretty patterns but the genuine danger came from the Whites’ cut-and-thrust menace and there could’ve been an avalanche of goals, although three would have to do. We aren’t suddenly spoiled brats, are we?

Balls could’ve been squared, strikes may have skewed wide of the mark but on the charge, Fulham were bloodthirsty and our directness on the offensive startled a Brighton side that are usually so difficult to subdue. The visitors probed, Tariq Lamptey and Pervis Estupinan attempted to stretch our shape but we were regimented and as we absorbed pressure, we counteracted their game plan and leaped for the throat.

Brighton claimed more than 70% possession but they had no answer to Fulham’s streamlined attack. They were outfought, outgunned, and while we prefer to dictate the run of play ourselves, our last two outings are significant because it proves that Silva’s set-up can adapt and overcome. We’ve had to be patient, we’ve had to sit tight, and when it was our turn to burn rubber, it was full throttle football as the light turned green.

Compositionally, Fulham were flawless; we were drilled and organised and we are durable, we are problem solvers and we will test every single side in this division, especially the ones with overinflated reputations to burst. Silva ball is flexible, it may come unstuck every once in a while but generally, it’s a brand that’s tailored specifically for the Premier League and we took Roberto De Zerbi’s project by storm. Marco set the standard on Saturday, and his supposedly innovative Italian counterpart simply couldn’t match it. Bellissimo.

Money Muniz made it rain

It may have been slightly too early for Rodrigo Muniz to represent Brazil’s senior fold but if he continues to torment highly experienced defenders whilst busting nets consistently, international recognition will be inevitable. Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster and Joel Veltman are all regarded as top defensive stalwarts, they’re commanding in the air, rugged in challenges and they take no prisoners. That was until they crossed paths with Muniz, anyway.

Often pitted against two of Brighton’s three central defenders at one time, Rodrigo occupied the Seagulls’ back line defiantly, he wedged himself between man and ball under immense pressure to safeguard possession as the Whites advanced and in key areas at crucial moments, Money Muniz made it rain. He was credited with an assist for our first of the afternoon, the desire to shunt play forward as Brighton scrambled to regroup was exceptional and as he nodded Harry Wilson into a decent striking zone, a goal of supreme quality soon followed.

Nothing was a lost cause, his entire attitude has changed drastically and now he knows how to use his physicality to his advantage, he is a truly intimidating number nine and he now has a deadly instinct to go with it. Reading Wilson’s sumptuous cross, Muniz’s deft movement offset Brighton’s defensive line, and as the ball curled towards the penalty spot, he nutted a ferocious header through a flailing Jason Steele, unmarked, and our second of the game counted as his fifth goal in five starts. Remarkable.

Two direct goal involvements, Mitro-esque authority with multiple defenders to hold off, Muniz’s rebirth after the January transfer window has been almost tear jerking. His will power is infectious, he’s gone from being an outcast at Middlesbrough to being one of the Premier League’s rising stars in the space of a year and while I still believe we need to sign another striker in the summer, Rodrigoal is gradually becoming our very own £40m bagsman and he will be massively important no matter what.

Wilson’s majestic masterstrokes

Another man that contributed to both of Fulham first half goals was, of course, Harry Wilson who, in full flow, was outstanding. Wilson’s ability to drift and shift inside from wide is a major asset to his game and for the opener, the divebombing Welshman dipped and detonated to stunning effect. It was a Wilson special, a left-footed whip that ‘keepers cannot reach and his assist for Muniz’s goal was also a majestic masterstroke.

He couldn’t have lifted it into the mixer any better. The pace was perfect, the shape was gorgeous, Brighton’s back line is laden with defenders that are rarely bypassed in the air but Wilson’s judgement was on point, and it was met with the finishing touch it deserved, too. Bold on the counter, a genuine problem along both flanks and between the lines, Harry’s contributions were top drawer, well received, and when he’s bagging belters and supplying the goods with a spring in his step, Fulham always prosper.

Adama’s off the mark

A first goal in Fulham colours and the first Spaniard to ever score for the Whites, Adama “Amanda” Traore’s moment in the sun has been a long time coming and as dusk set in at the Cottage in the 93rd minute, the promise of a new dawn broke for the 28-year-old as he picked his spot and punched it home. Brighton were floored, but the Cottage was in its feet for the man that feels like a new signing every time he features.

That last-ditch miss at the Emirates, failing to level things up against Aston Villa a few weeks back, Traore isn’t the first player you’d want to hedge your bets on in a one-on-one showdown but with his head down, with his side already two goals to the good, the lubricant enthusiast had antifreeze coursing through his veins. He didn’t seize up, Steele closed the gap but his strike across the target was slick and his presence as he burst through initially was assertive. He swept our third like he really meant it, no messing, and now he’s finally off the mark, he has to demand more from himself at the back end of the season.

Bassey bodied Brighton

Still riding high after last Saturday’s historic victory, Calvin Bassey was immovable at the heart of Fulham’s back four and with hard-hitting shoulder charges and explosive recovery runs, he made light work of Brighton’s blunted approach play and he also bodied their academy hotshot Ewan Ferguson back to Little Kickers.

Defensively, Fulham held firm throughout and we remained vigilant. The Seagulls were capable of clawing themselves back into the game if we even dared to switch off for a millisecond and one man that maintained his discipline whilst bodying attackers into oblivion was Bassey. This is a defender that understands his strengths and he trusts them, and no matter what Brighton threw at him, including cheap swipes off the ball, they were powerless to prevent CBass from making his dominance known in every conceivable sense.

He climbed above the rest to win virtually every header that came his way, he rampaged forward with the ball through traffic, he ate up the yards to shut it down and when certain strikers thought they were hard enough, they were spread across the surface like room temperature Lurpak. Confidence, Calvin’s got it in spades and as he quite clearly backs himself in any given scenario, strikers should fear him and they’ll be wise to tread carefully.


Insert grumble here

Can’t think of one, won’t think of one. Squabble among yourselves if you really have to. We’ve just put three past the oppo without reply and that’s all there is to it. Three goals, three points, who can argue with that, eh?

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