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Fulham 2-0 West Brom: Hosts gain first Premier League win of the season

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Bobby Decordova Reid
Bobby Decordova-Reid’s goal was his third in six games after he also scored in the 4-3 loss to Leeds and the 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of the Carabao Cup

Fulham secured their first Premier League win of the season as they beat West Brom to move out of the bottom three.

Bobby Decordova-Reid headed Scott Parker’s side ahead from close range after Aleksandar Mitrovic’s cushioned header had set him up.

The hosts doubled their lead four minutes later and Mitrovic was again involved as he laid the ball off for Ola Aina, who struck spectacularly from 20 yards out.

The Cottagers came close to scoring a third but both Tom Cairney and Decordova-Reid had efforts cleared off the goalline within seconds of each other.

West Brom hit the crossbar through Conor Townsend’s misjudged cross when it was goalless, but Slaven Bilic’s side remain without a league win in 2020-21 and replace Fulham in the relegation zone.

No Fulham apology needed this time

This match was between two of the sides who had earned promotion from the Championship in 2019-20, West Brom coming second behind champions Leeds, before Fulham beat west London rivals Brentford in the Wembley play-off final.

But both have found life at the top level much tougher, with Fulham only picking up one point from their opening six games, while West Brom had drawn three and lost three.

The visitors almost took a fortunate third-minute lead when Townsend’s cross nearly caught out home goalkeeper Alphonse Areola but bounced off the woodwork. However, the hosts then became the better side with the lively Ademola Lookman shooting wide from 20 yards out.

Fulham’s opening goal came in the 26th minute as Antonee Robinson’s left-wing cross was headed back into the danger zone by the impressive Mitrovic and Decordova-Reid converted for his third goal of the season in all competitions.

It only took the home side four minutes to move 2-0 in front. Aina started the move on the right flank, he linked up with Cordova-Reid and played the ball into the feet of Mitrovic, who, with his back to goal, laid the ball back into Aina’s path and he struck a beautiful effort into the top corner for a spectacular first Premier League goal.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa could have even made it 3-0 before the break as he collected the ball following a fine run from captain Cairney but could only shoot at West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

Fulham had been on a run of four away matches since losing 3-0 at home to Aston Villa, after which co-owner Tony Khan apologised to the club’s fans, but their supporters would have been much happier after this showing.

West Brom need to quickly improve

West Brom boss Bilic would have targeted this match as one where three points were possible, but, despite having more possession, will be frustrated with the performance of his players.

The Baggies have now conceded a league-high 16 goals and it was poor marking for Fulham’s first as Mitrovic then Decordova-Reid were able to head the ball unchallenged, although West Brom could have done little about Aina’s strike for 2-0.

Karlan Grant should have pulled a goal back at the end of the first half, shooting wide from the edge of the penalty area, as the Baggies went the opening 45 minutes without a shot on target.

Bilic brought on Romaine Sawyers, Callum Robinson and Matt Phillips, with captain Jake Livermore one of those replaced, in an attempt to change the game in the second half, but they were unable to make a difference and it was a comfortable night for Areola in the home goal.

This is West Brom’s first season in the top flight since 2017-18, but Bilic will be looking for an instant improvement all over the field if they are to avoid being in a relegation battle for the rest of this campaign.

Man of the match – Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)

Aleksandar Mitrovic
The hard-working centre forward did not get on the scoresheet, but did create both goals – the first time he had registered two assists in an English league game

‘Very important for the club’ – what they said

Fulham’s Ola Aina told Sky Sports: “I’m happy to score my first Premier League goal. It was vital and I’m just happy I was able to help the team to get a lead that we could build on and try to be comfortable.

“It was a very important win for the club. It has been a difficult start to the season, we needed this to build momentum and I’m hoping that’s what we can do going on.”

What’s next?

Fulham have a London derby at West Ham on Saturday, 7 November (20:00 GMT), before West Brom play Tottenham at home the following day (12:00 GMT).

More to follow.

helpHow to play

Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

Rating range key1 = Give it up10 = Pure perfection

Fulham

  1. Squad number1Player nameAreola

  2. Squad number34Player nameAina

  3. Squad number5Player nameAndersen

  4. Squad number16Player nameAdarabioyo

  5. Squad number33Player nameRobinson

  6. Squad number29Player nameZambo Anguissa

  7. Squad number18Player nameLemina

  8. Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid

  9. Squad number10Player nameCairney

  10. Squad number19Player nameLookman

  11. Squad number9Player nameMitrovic

  1. Squad number17Player nameCavaleiro

  2. Squad number21Player nameReed

  3. Squad number23Player nameBryan

West Bromwich Albion

  1. Squad number1Player nameJohnstone

  2. Squad number2Player nameFurlong

  3. Squad number20Player nameIvanovic

  4. Squad number6Player nameAjayi

  5. Squad number14Player nameTownsend

  6. Squad number17Player nameKrovinovic

  7. Squad number12Player nameMatheus Pereira

  8. Squad number8Player nameLivermore

  9. Squad number18Player nameGallagher

  10. Squad number11Player nameDiangana

  11. Squad number29Player nameGrant

  1. Squad number7Player nameRobinson

  2. Squad number10Player namePhillips

  3. Squad number19Player nameSawyers

Line-ups

Fulham

  • 1Areola
  • 34Aina
  • 5Andersen
  • 16Adarabioyo
  • 33Robinson
  • 29Zambo Anguissa
  • 18LeminaSubstituted forReedat 45′minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 14De Cordova-ReidBooked at 55minsSubstituted forCavaleiroat 85′minutes
  • 10Cairney
  • 19LookmanBooked at 57minsSubstituted forBryanat 90′minutes
  • 9Mitrovic

Substitutes

  • 4Odoi
  • 12Rodák
  • 13Ream
  • 15Loftus-Cheek
  • 17Cavaleiro
  • 21Reed
  • 23Bryan

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 2Furlong
  • 20Ivanovic
  • 6Ajayi
  • 14Townsend
  • 17KrovinovicSubstituted forPhillipsat 70′minutes
  • 12Costa PereiraSubstituted forRobinsonat 56′minutes
  • 8LivermoreSubstituted forSawyersat 56′minutesBooked at 69mins
  • 18GallagherBooked at 47mins
  • 11Diangana
  • 29Grant

Substitutes

  • 3Gibbs
  • 5Bartley
  • 7Robinson
  • 10Phillips
  • 19Sawyers
  • 21Edwards
  • 25Button

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