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Match Analysis: Fulham 1-0 Norwich City

Sports Mole analyses the Premier League meeting between Fulham and Norwich City at Craven Cottage.

Fulham boosted their hopes of Premier League survival by beating Norwich City 1-0 in the Premier League this afternoon.

A goal from Hugo Rodallega five minutes from the end of the first half proved to be enough to seal the three points.

The result lifts Fulham to within two points of Norwich in the table, with four games of the season remaining.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the events that unfolded at Craven Cottage.

Shots 14
On Target 3
Possession 45%
Corners 8
Fouls 10

Shots 13
On Target 3
Possession 55%
Corners 8
Fouls 12

Was the result fair?

Up until Rodallega scored for Fulham shortly before half time, Norwich had created the better of the chances. Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Leroy Fer saw attempts saved by David Stockdale, while Robert Snodgrass curled a free kick onto the crossbar. Following the goal for the home side, they took control of the encounter and saw out the second half with very little incident. It proved to be a solid display from Felix Magath's men and a rare clean sheet from a team who had conceded 74 goals previously in the league this season.

Fulham's performance

Fulham started the game well, but midway through the first half they were guilty of giving away possession too cheaply. They almost paid for their carelessness, but Stockdale kept them in the match and they recovered to score with their first shot on target. After the break, their central midfield pair of Steve Sidwell and Mahamadou Diarra held firm to stifle their opponents attack, with Rodallega causing the Norwich defence problems all afternoon.

Norwich's performance

Despite a positive first half, Norwich could not make their chances count and were eventually punished. Manager Neil Adams would have been proud of the effort from his players, but once they fell behind they never looked like getting back into the game. Their forwards failed to ask questions of the Fulham defence, with van Wolfswinkel in particular unable to have any impact on the outcome.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Hugo Rodallega: The 28-year old Colombian started today in place of youngster Cauley Woodrow and showed why Magath put his faith in him. He scored the winning goal last weekend against Aston Villa and earned his team another vital three points today. He was a nuisance for the visiting defence all afternoon, and constantly won the aerial battle. In the end, it was his well taken finish which proved to be the difference and may well be the moment that is seen as the turning point in his side's season.

Biggest gaffe

In the final minute of the match Ashkan Dejagah was played through on goal by Rodallega, but with just the keeper to beat he blazed the ball high over the bar. It was a chance he really should have finished, but luckily for his side, they managed to hold on to the victory.

Referee's performance

Mike Dean did not have any controversial decisions to make today and allowed the game to flow as much he could. The yellow cards he handed out were all deserved and there can be no complaints from either side about the official's performance this afternoon.

What next?

Fulham: Fulham face London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane next Saturday.

Norwich: The Canaries welcome league leaders Liverpool to Carrow Road next Sunday.

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Did you know...?
Hugo Rodallega of Fulham (R) celebrates with Pajtim Kasami as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match against Norwich on April 12, 2014
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