Match Analysis: Crystal Palace 1-4 Fulham

Match Analysis: Palace 1-4 Fulham
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Sports Mole analyses Crystal Palace's heavy home defeat to Fulham.

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.

Here, Sports Mole analyses the game to see whether the result was justified.

Match statistics:

Palace:
Shots 11
On target 3
Possession 46%
Corners 5
Fouls 8

Fulham:
Shots 9
On target 5
Possession 54%
Corners 6
Fouls 12

Was the result fair?

Perhaps the margin of victory was a bit flattering on Fulham, but overall they did deserve their win. In their first half, Palace created the better chances and it took two world-class goals for Fulham to get back into it. Once they did, however, they controlled the second half and saw the game out relatively comfortable as Palace looked to get back into it.

Palace's performance

Not really that bad, but their defending has to improve if they are to even dream of surviving this season. Going forward they created a number of chances, particularly in the first 30 minutes, but their marking disappeared in the second half from two corners as Fulham added a quick third and fourth. With marking like that, they will concede a lot more than they score.

Fulham's performance

It looked worrying for them for a while in the first half, but having got themselves ahead, they showed the talent that they have in their ranks. There was no Adel Taarabt or Alexander Kacaniklic in the squad, which suggests that they should continue to improve. At times in the second half everything clicked and the movement was a joy to watch. Although Darren Bent did not have the best game, he created room for Berbatov to take control.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Pajtim Kasami: With a very honourable mention to Berbatov who saw so much of the ball, this can't go to anyone else. Kasami scored what will quite possibly be the goal of the season and from that point on he harried, passed and moved as if he had been playing in the Premier League for years.

Biggest gaffe

Julian Speroni could not have hoped to have saved either of Fulham's first two goals, but his dreadful clearance straight to Berbatov that directly led to the corner from which the Bulgarian scored has to be the game's turning point. From then on there was only one winner.

Referee performance

Lee Mason received a lot of stick from the Crystal Palace fans in the second half, but really he had a very good game. Perhaps the biggest moment of controversy was blowing for offside as Mile Jedinak tackled Kieran Richardson. Dwight Gayle turned it in, but he was well offside from when Jedinak poked it through.

What next?

Palace: It's another London derby for Palace at the weekend, and this time they take on Arsenal. They need to quickly sort their defence out against what is a very creative Gunners side.

Fulham: Fulham are on the road again but they will be boosted by having managed their second away win of the season already. They are up against Southampton knowing that another win could well put them into the top half.

Fulham's Dimitar Berbatov celebrates with team mates after scoring his team's third goal against Crystal Palace on October 21, 2013
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