A game of two halves, as they say. Whilst during the first half Fulham seemed flat and tactically off the mark, a much more positive second half resulted in a last minute goal that makes everything seem ok. Here are the ratings:
Bettineli : 7 - A sold display from Bettineli who appears to have dislodged Lonergan. His handling was solid and distribution good. Whilst he received very little in the way of real tests, what he did do, he did very competently and was an assuring presence in goal.
Stearman : 7 - Although clearly not a right back, Stearman equipped himself well in the first half as part of a very defensive line up. He was typically hung ho leaping into last ditch blocks and barking orders at players across the pitch, including the ball boy at one point. He looked very composed when moving into centre back in the second half, although Cardiff's strong strikers did cause him some problems towards the end.
Garbutt - 6 - Caged in the first half, Garbutt appeared to have been electronically tagged preventing him from getting forward and therefore offered little. Straight from the beginning go the second half, he showed a willingness to get forward and put in a decent display, without any real telling contributions. He was, however, up against an exceptional winger, and coped well enough.
Madl - 7 - A curious choice to come off at half time, after a strong, solid and composed performance. It is nice to see Fulham's most recent defensive choices being more comfortable on the ball.
Amorebieta - 7 - Less reckless and more tame than in recent weeks, although he did make his presence felt with a couple of very strong tackles. His distribution was good and his defending solid.
Hyndman - 6 - Let's not get carried away, Hyndman was a passenger for most of the match and is not a left midfielder. He showed touches of real quality and composure from the middle of midfield, reiterating that he remains a good prospect. However, in a cramped centre midfield, he may be a way from being a first choice. That said, his drilled finish in the final moments of the game means none of that matters and he received a man of the match award from Fulham's website
Ince - 7 - He remains a bit of an enigma to me. He seems lazy, but calm. Berbatov could get away with it, so why can't Ince? He was consistently calm on the ball, retaining possession on a routine basis. He did get forward well at times and was a physical presence that was good to see. However, whether through instinct or direction, he does have a tendency to sit too deep. In the first half and as the second half wore on, this was clearly becoming an issue and you would hope he would observe this and press forward. That said, he did put in a good performance.
Parker - 8 - A "parker" display from Parker, keeping possession with sensible touches and being busy across the pitch. His move forward to the goal, finish and celebration merits and 8, as does the fact he tucks his shirt in like a true captain.
Tunnicliffe - 5 - An out of sorts showing from Tunnicliffe. He was playing to the right of midfield and was clearly lost throughout the first half. Very few marauding runs and dynamic toil meant that he was an obvious choice to come off early in the second half. He seemed like there was something wrong, be it the hipster beard or his off-centre positioning. A bad day at the office, but he has been consistent so far this season and so it can be allowed.
Dembele - 6 - A quiet and ineffective showing from Dembele today. However, his delicious chipped ball to put Parker in for the equaliser was pure class. Aside from this, Dembele missed two huge chances where he really should have shown more composure.
McCormack - 7 - Industrious with lots of quality touches. This was another 7/8 performance from Mccormack, who is proving to be very consistent throughout. He was unlucky with a free kick and although he had very few shots on goal, save for a deflected shot at the end which clipped the bar, his ability stood out.
Fredericks - 8 - Changed the game. It is as simple as that. Whilst an obvious substitution, Fredericks came on at half time and caused problems throughout with his bullet pace down the right hand side. His pace and directness created a huge chance for Dembele at 1-1 and he was always an outlet whipping up the right hand side. His impact makes him the man of the match.
Christiensen - 6 - Although not on for long, it was his directness of touch that brought him to the line to cross from Hyndman's goal. This was a touch of quality and positivity, which played no small contribution to the winning goal.
Baird - 4 - Baird came on for Parker and sat so deep it became a little unnerving, particularly next to Ince. Still, we won.