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Positives and negatives: Fulham 0-4 Manchester City

Written by Stephen Sheldrake on 12th May 2024

It’s not always easy to see the bright side of a four-goal thumping against the Premier League champions, but there were plenty of points to discuss as Fulham battled out their final home game of the season against the potential league winners. From A-list celebrities to party-pooping performances, Stephen Sheldrake looks at the defeat.


Saying goodbye to a legend

I’m finding this point a tough one to take, and it very much sits in between a positive and negative, but we can’t not acknowledge the fact that it was Luis Boa Morte’s last home game as Fulham Assistant Coach. When Marco Silva arrived to steady the ship, the announcement that Boa would be joining the crew was what well and truly won Fulham fan’s hearts. He was instrumental in our original promotion to the Premier League back in 2001 and proved to be an iconic player for us in the top flight – when we hear the name we all think about that match-winning goal against our neighbours. The weekend was a chance to celebrate the work of a true Fulham legend, as well as a chance to congratulate the players and staff on a solid Premier League season where survival was comfortably guaranteed. Sure, it didn’t end in fireworks, but after the recent rollercoaster ride we’ve had as a club, we’ll take top flight stability in a heartbeat.

A few solid performances

You may have noticed my positive ramblings were essentially avoiding talking about the match at any point, because in all honesty, we were gracefully thumped. However, there are always good things to take away from every game. Palhinha put in a performance more reflective of the standard we’ve come to expect of our tough Portuguese midfielder, which featured a delicious double slide tackle to stop De Bruyne in the box in the second half. Despite conceding four goals, Bernd Leno proved to be a very safe pair of hands in between the sticks, pulling off some world-class stops while also keeping hold of the ball fairly consistently. Two key players we will be hoping to keep hold of and build around in the next top-flight campaign.


Sloppy Diop

Issa Diop’s day went from bad to worse as the game progressed. He was turned inside out for the first goal by Gvardiol, which despite being a moment of brilliance, was far too easy. His reaction time for Bassey’s dodgy back-header was non-existent, he was far too casual closing down Foden’s goal for the second, and of course he took out Alvarez to set up the fourth goal as a penalty and got himself sent off in the process. He had a decent time keeping Haaland quiet but in all honesty with Tosin out the door today proved we need investment in that right-sided centre back position next season – not a good day at the office.

Easy day for Ederson

It’s always going to be a difficult day coming up against Man City’s superbly organised team, epitomised by the defence who take no prisoners, however 98 minutes of football led to an entire… one shot for Fulham. When you get plastered by four city goals, you’d like to imagine that we at least peppered the city goal and kept the keeper busy but, in all honesty, we offered nothing up top other than hopeful moments that produced nothing in the end. Not a sight for sore eyes by any imagination and does raise questions of our striking options for next season – Muniz has enjoyed some great form but what is the plan B and C going forward?

On the beach

Since Premier League safety was all-but confirmed when we beat Spurs 3-0 on 16 March, our end of season form in the past two months has been pretty bleak, with Fulham taking six points from eight games. Not a disaster by any means but, the disappointment comes from where we could have potentially finished if we continued where we left off. We all know this Fulham squad and the coaching staff behind them should be good enough to achieve a little more and there was one point we all joked about Europe. Secret European ambitions lowered to top 10, and then the realisation kicked in that we were never rising above 12th as we now sit 14th. 

As I mentioned earlier – Fulham fans would have bitten your hand off for another solid season in the Premier League where we can now look forward to a third consecutive campaign in the top-flight. Yes, we got pummelled, but these are the Premier League champions after all and there is no shame in being turned over by one of the best teams in the world. Hopefully we can convince Marco and the key players to stay, and fingers crossed we can enjoy some much-needed investment in other areas of the pitch – this is the highs and lows of loving and supporting Fulham – come on you Whites!

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