Fulham defeated by Cardiff City 2-1, What Now?

Christopher Lee

In a pretty dismal performance, Cardiff City came in, bossed the game, and came out with all three of the points they deserved. Only a Bryan Ruiz wonder strike and some poor finishing by Cardiff made the game as close as the final score would suggest. The lasting image is going to be Jol on the sideline with his head in his hands. Which might be the final image of Jol at the Cottage.

The match started off a little slow with Cardiff not really creating any chances and Fulham only creating a couple of half chances. Once again Kasami looked great, this time playing on the right. Unfortunately, in only the 7th minute, Parker was unable to continue with some sort of leg injury. He was replaced by Karagounis. I would have preferred to replace him with Taarabt and to have Kasami drop into Parker's space, but perhaps a must win game wasn't when Jol wanted to experiment.

In the 13th minute, about the worst think happened when some poor defending on a set piece lead to a Stephen Caulker goal. In the 20th minute, Fulham almost answered back when Berbatov just missed getting his head on a dangerous cross and Kieran Richardson volleyed the loose ball just over the goal.

Fulham's set piece defense was absolutely atrocious. Every set piece Cardiff had they created a chance with poor marking from Fulham. The amount of sarcastic cheers when Stockdale finally came to claim a corner cleanly were very obvious and one of the few times you could hear the Fulham fans over the Cardiff fans.

Ruiz came on in an intersting sub for Kacaniklic in the 40th minute. I actually liked the sub, as it let Fulham move to a 4-4-2 diamond. That forces Berba higher and lets Ruiz play as a CAM, where he excels. And what do you know it worked. Cardiff made the mistake of giving Ruiz some space and he was able to curl in beautiful goal from about 25 yards away.

The second half kicked off much like the first. Fulham with a few half chances, and Cardiff making my heart stop every time the took a set piece. But Fulham were still the poorer club with Cardiff having all the better chances. Fraiser Campbell especially had one, missing a fairly easy chance in the 58th minute.

I missed a large portion of the match from about the 65th to the 80th minute because NBC thought I'd prefer FIFA commercials, buffering, and a black screen to actually watching the match. But from twitter, I got the impression Fulham's performance did not improve that much.

In the 85th minute after some more streaming issues, I was back watching the game live in time to see Taarabt come on for Bent. In the 89th minute Richardson sent in a perfect low cross right across goal, but no one was in the box for the tap in.

Just when it looked like Fulham were going to get an undeserved draw, Cardiff knocked in a beautiful curling goal to win the game in stoppage time. It was a horrible time to give up the goal, but Cardiff was the better team all along. Now the only question is does Jol get fired tomorrow or Monday?

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