Live Commentary: Crystal Palace 1-4 Fulham - as it happened

Live Commentary: Palace 1-4 Fulham - as it happened
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Relive our text commentary as Crystal Palace hosted Fulham in the Premier League and lost 4-1.

Second-bottom Crystal Palace suffered their fifth-straight Premier League defeat as they went down to a demoralising 4-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Fulham.

It could not have started better for the hosts as Adrian Mariappa rose above Brede Hangeland to head his side in front, but Pajtim Kasami levelled the scores with an absolutely superb chest and volley from out wide.

Steve Sidwell scored a volley of his own on the stroke of half time, before two goals from corners from Dimitar Berbatov and then Philippe Senderos wrapped up the win.

Read how the action unfolded with our live text commentary below.


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7.02pmGood evening and thanks for joining me tonight for our coverage of this London derby between two struggling sides. For Palace, they will be looking at this as a must-win home game against a fellow side battling for survival.

7.05pmFulham could well be eyeing the victory as well. Their attack has really not got going thus far, but Palace have conceded 13 goals and could be vulnerable again tonight. It certainly has the potential for a high-scoring draw or could just as easily be 0-0!

7.08pmIan Holloway, of course, does like to play free-flowing if sometimes cavalier football and the tally of four goals - two each home and away - from their first seven games is not a good enough return for that kind of football. That's why they currently sit second-bottom. However, there is plenty of time to turn things around.

7.11pmThe team news is in, and I'll bring that right to you. A quick spoiler though - Dimitar Berbatov and Darren Bent both start for Fulham.

7.13pmPALACE XI: Speroni; Ward, Mariappa, Delaney, Moxey; O'Keefe, Jedinak, Campana; Puncheon, Bolasie, Gayle

7.14pmPalace subs: Price, Gabbidon, Dikgacoi, Kebe, Thomas, Phillips, Chamakh

7.15pmFULHAM XI: Stekelenburg; Riether, Senderos, Hangeland, Richardson; Parker, Sidwell; Kasami, Ruiz, Berbatov; Bent

7.16pmFulham subs: Stockdale, Amorebieta, Zverotic, Karagounis, Boateng, Duff, Rodallega

7.20pmBefore I go into those teams, let's see what Fulham manager Martin Jol had to say to Sky Sports News just now. He has made four changes, including Scott Parker and Maarten Stekeleburg coming back in.

“Parker has been our best player. Everyone knows he’s a good player; he always wants the ball and pulls the strings in midfield.

“Hopefully [Stekeleburg coming back] is welcome for us. Stockdale did well but Maarten is a very good goalkeeper as he showed in the first game against Sunderland.

"The Premier League is about winning games, about results. Playing well is one thing but it’s about results. Palace need to win as well, they need the points. If we manage to get them then that is fine.”


7.24pmIf you refresh the page those quotes should format properly. Here is what Palace manager Ian Holloway had to say:

“We’ve just got to get back to getting used to winning," he told Sky Sports News. "Obviously at home we haven’t won since we submitted our squad list.

“Sometimes skill loses out to will, so we’re going to go for it against Fulham tonight.

“Unfortunately in the last game my front three didn’t track back enough. We’ve done a lot of work to get them coordinated, starting with Gayley; we want him running the channels against the big Fulham centre-backs."


7.27pmGayley, of course, is Dwight Gayle who finished the game up front against Liverpool. He has shown more of all the Palace strikers so far and will be a real threat on the ground against this Fulham defence, which to be fair is not blessed with pace. His combination with Yannick Bolasie could be key tonight.

7.31pmFor Fulham it's four changes and a pretty attacking looking lineup. It could be a 4-4-2 with Berbatov alongside Bent, but I suspect the Bulgarian will be playing more of the number 10 role with Bent looking to stretch the defence. It surely can't be a flat midfield four, because there are no genuine wingers in the side tonight. Pajtim Kasami and Bryan Ruiz will probably tuck in as an attacking three with Berbatov behind the on-loan striker.

7.34pmThere really is a high level of attacking talent in this Fulham side, so it's a conundrum as to how they have hardly created anything so far. Remember, there is not even a certain Adel Taarabt in the squad tonight. Or, surprisingly, Alexander Kacaniklic who impressed for Sweden against Germany.

7.38pmAdrian Mariappa and Damien Delaney will have their work cut out tonight, if Fulham play the way they should. Of course, with Bolasie, Gayle and Jason Puncheon, the Fulham back four will need to be at their best if they are to keep a clean sheet. It's interesting that Jol has picked Senderos and Hangeland - his best defenders aerially, but not perhaps against the ground threat.

7.41pmIt is vital for Fulham that Parker returned to shore up the midfield battle. Derek Boateng is unlucky to miss out after his performance against Stoke City, and his physical presence might be missed particularly with Mile Jedinak in the Palace midfield three. I also expect overlapping full-backs Galore with the narrow midfields out there tonight.

7.45pmThis really could go either way. On paper, there's really not a lot to choose as Palace will be up for it in front of their home crowd, but at the same time I fancy it to be 2/3-0 either way! If you're interested in the odds then Palace are around 15/8 and Fulham 9/5. I certainly wouldn't include this in an accumulator.

7.48pmOne problem Fulham have had this season is a lack of consistency in their lineup. Jol is clearly struggling to decide what is his best XI and even the defence has shifted around. With four changes tonight and Palace the same team that finished the game against Liverpool I expect the hosts to have the edge in that department.

7.52pmPREDICTION: Having stuck my neck out saying it could be a heavy win either way... I'm actually going for Palace in a tight one. I think both teams will score but the hosts will net the winner in a scrappy end for 2-1. If that is the case, expect Jol's job to be very precarious in the morning.

7.55pmJust five minutes away from kickoff now. Berbatov is too good a player not to score so far, but equally I'm not sure he's the right player to have in a relegation battle. It's a similar story with Ruiz, who has the magic touch but can go missing in a fight. Palace, on the other hand, have a number of battlers. Could that decide it tonight?

7.58pmAs always it's buzzing inside a packed Selhurst Park tonight, another thing that will boost the home players. They are coming out with handshakes and pleasantries being exchanged. Both managers look nervous - it is a huge game after all.

7.59pmA quick fact before we get going:



1 minKICKOFF: Palace get us underway here under the lights at Selhurst Park.

3 minSAVE: Parker involved straight away as he gives the ball to Richardson and gets it back. However, his ball to Kasami is well cut out by Ward. Fulham with much of the early possession here. We have the first hint of Berbatov dropping off Bent to play a one-two with Richardson but the return ball is out of play. However, it's Palace and Gayle who have the first effort with his low strike well held by Stekelenburg.

5 minParker and Sidwell are seeing a lot of the ball, but it's too deep to create any problems for Palace. They need Berbatov to come back to help them - which usually happens, but this time Bent remains up top to stretch the defence. Sidwell is tackled by Jedinak and Bolasie is then brought down by the Fulham man who had got back well, but went to ground a bit quickly.

7 minGOAL! Palace 1-0 Fulham (Adrian Mariappa)

7 minFulham don't defend the corner well and it comes back to the left where it's crossed in and Mariappa leaps superbly to beat Hangeland and thump a header in. Fulham have seen all of the ball, but Palace lead. The last 19 games they've conceded first they have lost 18. This could be a long night for them.

10 minNow it's all Palace with the ball as that goal has really taken the wind out of Fulham's sails. Gayle is sent away down the right and gets to it first but Richardson and Hangeland combine to get it back from him.

12 minThe visitors just cannot get hold of the ball. They are panicking at the back and being completely outmuscled elsewhere. Holloway has got his side geed up for this one and they are completely in control right now.

14 min

16 minI have to agree there (aside from the spelling). Hangeland is currently a shadow of his old self and even where you could guarantee he would dominate a game - in the air - he just isn't any more. O'Keefe drives forward and shoots low from range but his effort goes wide. Fulham still yet to have a shot.

18 minThe Fulham defensive line is so deep which, combined with Parker and Sidwell in there, makes it look as though there are two separate teams out there for them. They don't look like they even know each other. Ruiz takes a nice touch there, but Delaney is in well to tackle him, then Berbatov drives but is forced wide and then back.

19 minGOAL! Palace 1-1 Fulham (Pajtim Kasami)

19 minTHAT is a goal of the season candidate from Kasami! On his weaker foot! Fulham's first chance is barely one, as he chests down a long ball before hitting it on the volley dipping it into the far corner over Speroni! You'll have to go a long, long way to see a better goal this season.

22 minIf anything can knock the stuffing out of a team on top of a game and put the momentum right back to the other team, it is a goal like that. Suddenly Fulham are passing well and from a corner Jedinak gets away with a handball, although it would have been harsh.

24 minPalace are back to playing on the break here, with Gayle the outlet right up the pitch. This time Richardson reads it and heads away. Senderos then goes long to Bent, but he was not going to win that - it's not where he wants the ball.

25 min

29 minNeither side can grab control of this one at the moment. There's a fire alarm going off in the executive boxes - best seats in the house maybe, but not from outside the ground. It must have been Kasami's strike that set the place on fire.

32 minThe midfield is currently being bypassed as the early pace of the game has come out. It will be important to get on top in this spell with half time on its way. Kasami angles a ball into the box for Ruiz, but Moxey is there to not back to Speroni.

34 minCHANCE: That's selfish from Bolasie there, as he's found with a cross-field ball from Puncheon, but tamely puts his effort from the corner of the box into Stekelenburg's arms.

36 minIt must be frustrating being Darren Bent right now. He's the only Fulham man in the Palace half at the moment and is really feeding off scraps. The hosts are getting back in control as Bolasie makes Berbatov look silly with some stepovers. All well and good, but they aren't winning.

38 minSo far the Palace midfield has been just too quick for Parker and Sidwell. The Fulham pair have given up a number of free kicks in their own half so far. The latest one is played short to Puncheon, who wastes his cross from deep. Funnily enough, one of the people evacuated for the fire alarm was Shahid Khan, who is now watching in the cold!

41 minPalace are finishing the half strongly, and Fulham's defence are starting to live a bit dangerously. Puncheon looks to find Gayle in the box, but his pass is deflected which allows Hangeland to clear.

43 minRuiz is just so ineffective on the right flank. He's been anonymous but finally gets the ball, yet as he cuts inside there's a lack of movement ahead of him and his pass is blocked then cleared. It's not where he's at his best.

45 minGOAL! Palace 1-2 Fulham (Steve Sidwell)

45 minI've said this before tonight... but WHAT a goal! Ruiz hits a free kick from just outside the box into the wall and after a bounce Sidwell rifles it into the top corner on the volley into the top corner! Speroni has no chance and Fulham lead from two of the best goals you'll see all season.

45+2 minHALF TIME: Crystal Palace 1-2 Fulham

8.49pmWell Fulham lead but in fairness they haven't created a genuine chance yet! Mariappa's huge leap over Hangeland was cancelled out by two absolute worldies from Fulham. First Kasami chested down a ball from Riether to volley in before Sidwell smashed an effort into the corner from a deflection off the wall.

8.53pmWhat to say at half time if you're Ian Holloway? His side have been hot and cold so far, but have been very threatening in the final third. They probably deserve to be leading but are behind to two goals that you just cannot defend against.

8.57pmIf Kasami will ever score a better goal then I want to be first in the queue to see it. He made a run off the shoulder of Mariappa to chest down Riether's pass before hitting it before it bounced into the far corner. On his weaker foot.

9pmPalace just need to keep it up and not let what is out of their hands upset them. They have been the better side despite the Fulham goals - the main issue is that the visitors, with now a very lively away following, could be boosted to actually perform.

46 minKICKOFF: The second half is underway. Fernando Amorebieta is on for Hangeland at the break and Jerome Thomas for Campana as Holloway looks for more wide threat.

48 minBright start to the half from the hosts, who win an early corner off Amorebieta and then put him under a bit of pressure although he's able to clear. He's an uncompromising defender and isn't afraid to hack it into the stands.

49 minCHANCE! Oh Darren Bent has to score! Speroni clears poorly and Berbatov lays off to bent with a magical backheel spin, but the striker's shot is just deflected wide by a top save. Great stop, but Bent must score.

50 minGOAL! Palace 1-3 Fulham (Dimitar Berbatov)

50 minIt doesn't matter as Fulham lead from the corner! Ruiz, who so often doesn't beat the first man, whips it into a dangerous area. Amorebieta attacks it but it goes over his head to Berbatov, who guides his header into the far corner. Fulham have a cushion.

53 minSenderos is a ball of passion. He celebrates like a madman when that goal goes in. That could be hugely important for this season - if Fulham hang on they could start to move up the table.

55 minFulham are suddenly in full flow. Berbatov does well to control the ball and find Richardson overlapping, but his cross is cleared for a corner. Delaney puts it behind for another and the pressure is not letting up.

55 minGOAL! Palace 1-4 Fulham (Philippe Senderos)

55 minYou know you're in trouble when Senderos scores! It's a brilliant start to the half for Fulham as Senderos arrives unmarked at the back post from another Ruiz corner and volleys it in. Speroni almost keeps it out, but HawkEye tells the referee it's a goal and Fulham's lead is now three!

58 minLiquid football now from Fulham as everything they do in midfield is coming off. The first two goals were undefendable, but you cannot mark at corners the way Palace have so far. If they don't sort it out they're destined for the drop.

61 minPalace are shell-shocked, as Ruiz plays a delightful lofted one-two with Sidwell in midfield. The former Aston Villa man wins a corner, but this time nothing comes from it.

64 minSenderos absolutely wellies it out of play as Thomas looked to get in down the left. Then Kasami almost gives it away, but a flick over the head of O'Keefe wins it back for him and he gets the throw for good measure.

66 minThe Palace fans are full of boos as the ball is put in by Gayle. However, as Jedinak won the ball form Richardson the striker was a good eight yards offside. They can't complain about that - it's the right call.

68 minWhat a touch from Berbatov to nutmeg his man wide on the left. From a dangerous position, however, Fulham go all the way back to Riether and then Stekelenburg. He lumps it up field and Palace have the ball with Speroni. Kevin Phillips is warming up to come on.

69 minPALACE SUB: What an awful cross from Ward. Palace work a good move but their right-back completely wastes it as his cross goes out of play. Phillips does indeed come on for Gayle, who along with Bolasie has been Palace's best player.

71 minKasami is trying the most difficult ball every time now. Not all of them are coming off, though, as he tries to flick over Jedinak to Berbatov, but it's deflected before then going out for a Palace throw.

73 minPalace don't have a touch for about a minute, until Richardson's pass through to Berbatov catches the Bulgarian offside. From it Palace work a dangerous move with Thomas found by Phillips down the left, but his cross is blocked behind with men waiting.

76 minThis is being played at quite a slow pace now, and fair enough - both sides have done a lot of running. Ruiz loses possession and Palace break. Thomas's first cross is headed away before his second is turned behind by Stekelenburg - he should have had a call there.

77 minFULHAM SUB: Sidwell heads the first corner behind for another, before getting the next one out the other way. Bent is replaced by Damien Duff. Bent has had a game to forget among everything that has happened tonight.

79 minDuff gets his first touch after a punt from Stekelenburg but loses out. He wins it back and finds Berbatov who is just too good on the ball and gets his shirt pulled.

80 minO'Keefe drives a shot through a sea of bodies and the Fulham keeper does well to hold on. Just before that Lee Mason played the advantage as Bolasie was fouled by Richarson.

81 minBOOKING: It's taken 81 minutes but we finally have a card, and it's for Richardson. From the free kick Chamakh wins a header but is clattered by Amorebieta and now Palace have a free kick right on the edge of the box.

82 minIt's an absolutely awful effort from Thomas, who gets it over the wall but it didn't start coming down for another 10 yards.

84 minKasami gives away a foul right in the corner but it's good work rate to keep pressing high up. He's probably still running off the adrenaline from that goal. It's pumped long to Chamakh who again wins a header but his flick-on goes into the arms of Stekelenburg.

85 minThe crowd behind the goal are furious again but it's another good decision. Palace threaten down the left but Moxey is tackled by Riether before tugging him back. Silly foul when you're desperate for a goal.

87 minSAVE! What a lovely effort from Kasami! Parker wins the ball in the middle and finds Berbatov, who lays it left to Kasami. The Swiss looks to clip it into the far corner with the outside of his left boot but Speroni tips it over. What a game Kasami has had.

88 minSAVE! Stekelenburg's turn! Moxey shoots from fully 35 yards with some power. It swerves in the air and the Dutchman does well to get firmly behind it and parry it well clear from danger.

90 minFULHAM SUB: Sidwell is still up and down the pitch. This time he pips the ball from Ward and slides it out for a throw. Berbatov's work is done as he makes way - slowly - for Hugo Rodallega.

90+2 minI think that's it for goals tonight, with three minutes added on. Stekelenburg takes his time over a goal kick, which ends up being booted out of play anyway.

90+3 minRuiz seems to be playing as the striker since Berbatov has come off, and he just found Kasami with a delightful backheel, but for once the Swiss wasn't on the same wavelength.

90+3 minFULL TIME: Crystal Palace 1-4 Fulham

9.53pmWhat a brilliant game of football that was and Fulham finally show what their squad is capable of. They move up to 14th, but still have a negative goal difference. Palace remain firmly second-bottom and they look to be in huge trouble.

9.54pmThanks for joining me for this one. We have the match report ready for you right here, and stick around as we will have an analysis up on site in around half an hour. Goodbye!

West Brom's Gareth McAuley celebrates with team mate Liam Ridgewell after scoring a late equaliser against Fulham on September 14, 2013
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