Fulham 0-0 Brighton: Hosts hold on for a precious point and climb out of the drop zone after Adam Lallana had a goal ruled out by VAR and Adam Webster’s header cannoned off the bar
- Fulham moved out of the bottom three on goal difference after goalless draw
- Adam Lallana was denied his first Brighton goal following a VAR review
- Brighton’s Robert Sanchez kept out Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ademola Lookman
Graham Potter doesn’t appear an obvious poster boy for the half-time hairdyer. But however he deposited the rocket up his side on Wednesday night, it arguably deserved more than this.
After 45 dreary minutes, Brighton raced through the gears – in no time they hit the bar, the back of the net and the palms of Alphonse Areola.
Somehow, Fulham held on. They needed a helping hand – VAR ruled out Adam Lallana’s strike, the woodwork denied Adam Webster’s header.
Midfielder Adam Lallana (above) was denied his first Brighton goal on Wednesday night
Fulham (4-5-1): Areola 7; Aina 6, Andersen 6, Adarabioyo 6.5, Robinson 6.5; De Cordova-Reid 5.5 (Kamara 62, 6), Reed 6, Anguissa 6, Loftus-Cheek 5.5 (Mitrovic 77, 6), Lookman 6.5; Cavaleiro 6.5.
Subs not used: Odoi, Cairney, Rodak, Ream, Lemina
Yellow cards: Robinson
Manager: Scott Parker 6.5
Brighton (3-4-2-1): Sanchez 6.5; White 6.5, Dunk 6.5, Webster 6.5; Lamptey 6 (Veltman 78, 6), Bissouma 6, Alzate 5.5, March 7; Lallana 6.5 (Gross 86, 6), Trossard 6 (Jahanbakhsh 79, 6), Welbeck 6.5
Subs not used: Connolly, Maupay, Steele, Burn
Manager: Graham Potter 6.5
Referee: Robert Jones 6.5
Then, having stemmed the tide, Fulham threatened to nick it.
Webster’s slip sent Ruben Loftus-Cheek through but Robert Sanchez, surprisingly preferred in goal to Mat Ryan, stood tall to save – and keep out Ademola Lookman’s late strike.
Defeat would have been harsh on Brighton and, in this helter-skelter schedule, it’s a point both will probably take.
‘I’m pleased with the performance,’ Potter said. ‘In the end it’s a hard-fought point. We accept it and move forward.’
Scott Parker, meanwhile, felt his side showed signs of a slight hangover from Sunday’s mammoth effort against Liverpool.
‘We came under big pressure… we weathered a storm which we probably haven’t done at some points this season,’ he said. ‘Overall I’m very pleased.’
Above Craven Cottage, the first girders of a new Riverside Stand roof now hang over the pitch. Below Parker is adding building blocks to this redeveloped side, too.
The supporters who returned for one night only had gone, but early on here, Fulham showed the same discipline and intent that gave Liverpool kittens.
Brighton struggled to break out of their own half and for a while Danny Welbeck was a mere spectator.
It was testament to Fulham that Tariq Lamptey’s first forward thrust took 27 minutes to arrive.
Lallana thought he had broken the deadlock with a low finish just after the restart
A VAR review disallowed his low finish because of a handball by Danny Welbeck in the build-up
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Lookman and Antonee Robinson had kept him busy defensively until he delivered a devilish cross that evaded everyone.
That was as good as it got for either side until the first-half’s dying embers, when Ivan Cavaleiro’s dipping shot needed tipping over by Sanchez.
But Brighton so nearly caught Fulham cold after the break. First Areola denied both Lewis Dunk’s header and his improvised rebound.
Then, moments later, Albion did find the net. The move started with a delightful dummy from Welbeck and ended with Lallana turning home from close range. But VAR spotted a handball in the build-up.
The officials again needed technology to tell them Webster’s header had not crossed the line before Fulham so nearly nicked it. First through Loftus-Cheek and then through Lookman, who fired at Sanchez from inside the area.
Joachim Andersen clears the ball under pressure from Welbeck and Lallana at Craven Cottage
Adam Webster’s header cannoned off the woodwork in the second-half for Brighton