This is just ridiculous. Shoddy defending, bad goalkeeping and some of the worst refereeing decisions in football today meant that Bournemouth thrashed Fulham 5-1 tonight.
The game started off quite equally, with both sides making numerous attempts on goal. Hugo Rodallega's headed a cross from Fernando Amorebieta over the bar, while Bettinelli dived to save a 20-yard attempt from Marc Pugh. Amorebieta missed again, also heading a cross from Ruiz over the bar. Ross McCormack had a decent attempt as he cut in on goal past the Bournemouth defence, his shot being caught by goalie Artur Boruc. One of the best things to happen this game, yet alone this entire season, was the goal-line rampage that took place, involving almost 7 attempts on goal, all of them missing, with Amorebieta and Ryan Tunniclife making incredible clearances on the line to deny the visitors a lead.
However, Bournemouth did take the lead, just before the half an hour mark, when a nice ball from Pugh found its way to Charlie Daniels on the left wing, who crossed it to Brett Pitman, who then knocked it in past Bettinelli, making it 1-0. Just eight minutes later, the visitors managed to extend their lead to two goals. Matt Ritchie slipped into the box and let loose at goal, his shot deflecting off Nikolay Bodurov and into the net. Ouch.
Kit Symons decided to replace Rodallega with Matt Smith at the start of the second half, and just 7 minutes later the visitors almost made it 3-0 when Callum Wilson found his way past Bodurov, but luckily Bettinelli dived at his legs to push the ball away. The ball then made its way to Harry Arter, whose shot flew high over the net. Amorebieta blocked a shot from Andrew Surman as the game headed into the 60th minute, when Ritchie sent a pass to Pitman, who then headed towards goal, finding his way past attacks from Shaun Hutchinson and Scott Parker, before beating Bettinelli with his left footed effort. 3-0.
Matt Smith made it 3-1 in the 66th minute from a decent Fulham attack, with Ruiz feeding McCormack the ball, who then passed to Smith, his left footed shot rising up past Boruc. It was also his first goal since signing with Fulham. Amorebieta was shown a red card for his challenge on Wilson, and the resulting free kick made it 4-1 in what was one of the most bizarre displays of defence I have ever seen. From what it looked like (I watched this on TV), Ritchie fired his shot while Bettinelli was still in the middle of talking/organising the wall. The shot made its way through the wall and into the net, leaving the Fulham goalie confused. Smith shot wide and Kit Symons used the rest of his subs, with Konstantinos Stafylidis and Seko Fofana replacing Ruiz and Sean Kavanagh. Matt Smith attempted a shot after running onto a pass from McCormack, the attempt being saved by Boruc.
Bournemouth scored the final goal of the game, making it 5-1 when a half-cleared cross found its way to Steve Cook, who then hit a 1-2 pass with Adam Smith, before finally launching a curled right-footed shot which found its way into the far corner of the net. Seko Fofana was booked in the 89th minute for pulling at Adam Smith while he attempted to make his way down the right wing. Bettinelli then swatted away Junior Stanislas’ half-volley, assisted by a cross from Simon Francis. Stanislas' free kick was slapped away as the final whistle blew in what was a terrible game for the Whites.
Fulham's next game is on the 14th of March, when they will face Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough Stadium. Try not to lose this one, guys.