By 90Min
December 29, 2018

Fulham are within touching distance of escaping the relegation zone thanks to a last minute winner from Aleksandar Mitrović at home to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Pre-match expectations had hinted that this would be a low scoring game, and chances were unsurprisingly at a premium throughout the first half, with Fulham looping long balls towards Mitrović while the visitors came closest via Philip Billing's long-range effort.

Clive Rose/GettyImages

Changes at half time certainly improved the tempo of the match and swung the pendulum slightly in Fulham's favour, but it appeared that neither side would show enough quality in the final third to provide any kind of killer touch.


That was until Aboubakar Kamara won his side a penalty late in the match and stepped up to take the spot-kick himself - much to Mitrović's displeasure - only to fire a tame shot straight into the diving Jonas Lössl.


Just when all hope looked lost for Fulham, a quick counter-attack allowed Ryan Sessegnon to set Mitrović racing through on goal and the Serbian fired the ball underneath Lössl to snatch all three points in added time.


Fulham


Key Talking Point


If you want to survive in the Premier League, you have to win your matches against fellow relegation candidates, especially at home.

So why manager Claudio Ranieri left it until the half time interval to give Aleksandar Mitrović some support in the final third is a mystery, as his tactics allowed Huddersfield to have almost three-quarter's of possession in the opening 45 minutes.

Clive Rose/GettyImages

When the Tinkerman made his changes, however, Fulham suddenly looked like a team who believed like they could get all three points and they played like that too, although they still took their time finding that elusive winning goal.


Player Ratings


Fulham: Rico (6) Odoi (6) Mawson (6) Ream (5) Christie (6) Chambers (6) Seri (4) Bryan (6) Cairney (6) Mitrović (8) Vietto (6).

Substitutes: Le Marchand (6) Kamara (4) Sessegnon (8).


Star Man

Where would Fulham be without Aleksandar Mitrović?

Well, it's hardly like they can be much worse off, but even Claudio Ranieri wouldn't be able to guide the Cottagers away from relegation without the feisty Serbian forward in his ranks.


The 24-year-old's hard work paid off and he was just about able to get on the scoresheet on Saturday as he proved to be Fulham's match-winner once again in their fight to stay in the Premier League.


Worst Player


As the club's most expensive signing ever, you'd be forgiven for thinking that former Barcelona target Jean Michaël Seri should be doing A LOT better than he is right now.

The Ivorian has bags of quality, but all too often he's found wanting during matches and things were no different on Saturday. Seri was even outperformed in midfield by Arsenal loanee Callum Chambers - a centre-back by trade.


Huddersfield Town


Key Talking Point

Match reports probably aren't the place for sarcasm. Nevertheless, let's say David Wagner probably didn't name enough defensive players in his starting lineup.

In a roundabout way, Huddersfield's tactics at Craven Cottage did actually work. Fulham never really had any notable chances at goal (well, except that one) despite looking the more threatening side, while the Terriers actually forced goalkeeper Sergio Rico into action.

William Early/GettyImages

Alex Pritchard was relied heavily upon during the match to provide the spark in the final third for Huddersfield, but you can't help but wonder what one or two more forward thinking players could have impacted the game to Wagner's benefit.


Player Ratings


Huddersfield: Lössl (7) Jørgensen (5) Schindler (6) Kongolo (6) Durm (6) Hadergjonaj (6) Hogg (7) Billing (7) Löwe (7) Pritchard (7) Mounie (6).

James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Substitutes: Kachunga (6) Depoitre (6).


Star Man

Alex Pritchard's second-half substitution was a mystery, as the 25-year-old was Huddersfield's only attacking threat throughout the game.

It look like the Englishman could provide the spark which could snatch Huddersfield three vital points away from home, but instead Pritchard being taken off proved to be the catalyst of the visitors downfall.


Worst Player


Considering Mathias Jørgensen - or Zanka, for anyone that way inclined - was starting in a team consisting almost entirely of defenders, the Dane shouldn't have found himself as exposed as he did, and he certainly shouldn't have been losing battles to Luciano Vietto or Joe Bryan.



Looking Ahead


Fulham kick off the new year on the road to Arsenal before taking their first step in the FA Cup against Oldham Athletic, while Huddersfield Town will host Burnley before facing Championship outfit Bristol City in the cup.

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