Fulham defeat Crystal Palace 4-1

Julian Finney

Eight games, ten points. The journey hasn't exactly been what was expected, but the destination is just about what you would have predicted before the season started.

The game started with Crystal Palace playing fairly frantic. Numbers were streaming forward, but the shape wasn't always solid. It paid off for them though when Adrian Mariappa out jumped Hangeland for a header in the seventh minute. Stekelenburg was caught in no man's land after the cross in was deflected. At this point I was dreading writing the recap, talking about a poor Fulham performance, and bringing up relegation.

Then Kasami happened. Seriously, just go watch it. One of the best goals of the season so far. A wonderful first touch, and a volley from what looked like an impossible angle. And to top it all off, that was his weaker foot.

After the goal, Palace seemed unsure of what to do and Fulham seemed to have the upper hand. They played with more confidence and were able to score again when Sidwell volleyed in a loose rebound from a free kick just before half. I didn't think Sidwell had that kind of goal in him.

Just a few minutes into the second half, Julian Speroni made a horrible clearence; kicking the ball right into Berbatov. Berbatov and Bent were able to combine for what looked like an easy chance. Bent's shot was near post instead of the more open far post though, and Speroni was able to save it. Unfortunately for Palace though, that lead to a corner where Berbatov was able to head in the good service from Ruiz.

Up 3-1 I was feeling pretty confident. And just five minutes later, I was worry free. Ruiz sent in another good ball to the far post on a corner. and Senderos was able to finish it. You may be thinking it must have been a header or some sort of deflection. You would be wrong. Somehow Senderos had a scissor kick volley.

Up 4-1 the game was pretty uneventful from here on out. But Fulham did what they needed to do. When they play a team that's likely to be relegated they need to win. They've done that against Sunderland, and they've now done it against Palace. This was also the first game I can safely say they outplayed their opponent. They shot more, they had more shots on target, they passed better and they controlled the ball.

And now, they're right were they should be. Going into the season, looking at the fixture list, most would have predicted Fulham to have somewhere between nine and eleven points. They have ten, right were you'd expect them. Unfortunately, their next four matches look especially tough. Southampton (A), Manchester United (H), Liverpool (A), Swansea (H). If Fulham get two points from that, I think I'll be happy.

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