This is one of those games when looking at the stats after the fact might make you think Fulham didn't play that badly. The shots were even. Fulham dominated possession. Fulham won more duels. Fulham had a high pass completion rate.
This is the kind of game that illustrates the importance of game state. Fulham were down 1-0 before they even attempted a shot. They were down 2-0 by the time the attempted their second. Fulham didn't manage their fifth shot until the 67th minute. Eight of their twelve total shots came after this point. By this time, Boro had packed it in and was basically daring Fulham to beat their well organized defense.
Middlesbrough has only given up 17 goals on the season, it's always going to be very difficult to come back against a squad like that after going down two goals quick. Even so, Fulham did manage three big chances (in the 40th, 80th, and 82nd minutes). The result could have been very different if only for a little more luck on the finishing.
We had some chances, they made a clearance off the line, Moussa [Dembélé] tried an overhead that the keeper’s touched over. Jamie O’Hara’s had a chance and Moussa’s had another one, so we had opportunities. If one of those goes in, maybe we could have done a smash and grab, but it wasn’t to be and I don’t think we can complain too much.
So, how do you feel about this game? Encouraged that they were able to create some big chances against the best defense in the league? Discouraged that the defense gifted them a big chance and a soft penalty early? Or are you just ready to move on to the four games over two weeks, all of which are winnable?
It is true that we created many chances. We could have scored some goals but we showed many weaknesses in our defence.
We gifted them with many presents. We need to be more solid with a more positive mentality in order to compete.