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Positives and Negatives: Fulham 1-1 Crystal Palace

Written by Jack Stroudley on 28th April 2024

Willian v Palace
Copyright: Micah Crook (Licenced via Imago Images)

Jack Stroudley looks back at our stalemate at home to Crystal Palace.

If people weren’t convinced before that Fulham were on the beach, I think after Saturday’s game they have to be. A 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace leaves Marco Silva’s side with just one win from their last six games. Oliver Glasner’s Eagles have been flying of late so a point really isn’t that bad of a result but there were certainly some talking points from the performance with some ups as well as some downs.


Magnificent Muniz

I said on the way to Craven Cottage yesterday that Rodrigo Muniz needed a goal. His performances have continued to be good of late with some excellent ‘number 9’ play with his ability to draw fouls and bring others into play and yesterday was no exception. Against a tricky back three, Muniz won the battle time and time again particularly against Joachim Andersen with some nifty flick-ons.

The Brazilian won seven out of twelve ground duels against a formidable back three and was fouled five times throughout the game. He rounded off another excellent performance with a much-needed goal and if there were any question marks about whether Muniz was just a purple patch striker, they’ve now surely been eradicated.

Defiant from Diop

Given the news from Fabrizio Romano in the week that Tosin has told the club he’s going to leave on a free transfer in the summer, a lot of Fulham fans were calling for Issa Diop to come back into the side. Not only did Silva do that but he hilariously forced Tosin to do a meet & greet in hospitality rather than be involved in the squad. Diop was a stand out performer for me on Saturday, he may not be as comfortable on the ball but his ability to step out and win the ball back is a key asset for Silva.

With five clearances, two blocked shots, two interceptions and two tackles, Diop picked up a 7.3 and was statistically the best Fulham player on the pitch. He’s not the long-term answer, but Diop is more than comfortable in the Premier League and should keep his place in the team for the remainder of the season.


A frantic first half

A first half being frantic doesn’t always translate as being a negative as long as you’re the side on top and if this was ‘CrystalPalaceIsh’ you’d probably be delighted with how the Eagles started the game. Fulham were poor for large parts of the first half and were left off through wastefulness via Olise and Mateta. Wharton was a thorn in Fulham’s side throughout the game with tenacious tackling and allowing Glasner’s side to continue to transition well and pin back Fulham. This slow start forced Fulham to pull a Newcastle with Bernd Leno going down with an ‘injury’ and while we started to improve towards the end of the half, we were poor and lucky to be in the game at the break.

Questionable from the bench

To Fulham’s credit, the second half was much better and Muniz’s goal was deserved but questionable substitutions allowed Crystal Palace back into the game. I did actually think Sasa Lukic had an okay game but losing Palhinha and eventually Reed in midfield allowed Glasner’s side a way back into the game. Crystal Palace were much smarter from the bench with Edouard causing problems and Schlupp scoring an absolute wondergoal whereas Fulham were far more pragmatic.

The substitution of Armando Broja for Rodrigo Muniz puzzled me as for the final portion of the game, Fulham lost their out ball with Broja struggling to draw fouls and alleviate the constant pressure that Fulham were under. Marco Silva’s a brilliant coach and we are very lucky to have him, but his substitutions have left a lot to be desired in recent weeks.

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