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Crystal Palace v Fulham Live Commentary, 12/26/22

FT
0 - 3
CRY
FUL
B. De Cordova-Reid (31)
T. Ream (71)
A. Mitrović (80)
Selhurst Park

Commentary

That's all from Selhurst Park today, so thank you for joining us and goodbye!
Shellshocked Palace must now recover before travelling to Bournemouth on New Year's Eve, while at the same time, Fulham face Southampton in their final fixture of a highly successful 2022.
A lopsided contest between two capital city clubs sees visitors Fulham break a long winless streak at Selhurst Park; taking advantage of their hosts' ill discipline, which reduced them to nine men midway through the second half. Involved in all three strikes for his side, Mitrovic was the key figure for the Cottagers, but Crystal Palace - who already looked off-colour before the break - largely caused their own downfall. It's back to the drawing board for Vieira; Silva's side pull three points clear.
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: CRYSTAL PALACE 0-3 FULHAM
90' + 5' Guaita tips over a stinging drive by Tete, who takes Reed's low pass from the left and lets fly from 20 yards out.
90' + 3' A rare Crystal Palace chance: Andersen steers his header well wide of the target following Milivojevic's cross from a free-kick.
90' + 1' There will be at least five minutes of stoppage time at the end of the second half, but the game is already over as a contest. Selhurst Park begins to empty out, as some disappointed home fans make for the exits.
89' OFF THE LINE! Twice, Fulham are denied a fourth goal, as Cairney sees one shot blocked before a follow-up effort from the edge of the box is hacked away off the goal-line by a Palace defender!
87' Wilson can't quite get enough purchase on his near-post header from Robinson's left-wing cross, and a good chance for another goal goes astray. Fulham won't mind too much, though, as three points are already in the bag.
L. Harris
Andreas Pereira
Fulham
85' Pereira also takes his leave; 17-year-old rookie Harris comes on.
Carlos Vinícius
A. Mitrović
Fulham
85' Silva rings the changes again: Vinicius replaces the influential Mitrovic, who had a hand in all three goals today.
W. Hughes
M. Olise
Crystal Palace
84' Vieira completes his triple change by bringing off Olise, with Hughes sent on instead.
L. Milivojević
C. Doucouré
Crystal Palace
84' Doucoure is also substituted; Milivojevic takes his place in the overrun Palace midfield.
J. Riedewald
J. Schlupp
Crystal Palace
83' Schlupp is taken off for the final few minutes, as Riedewald is given a brief run-out.
D. James
Willian
Fulham
81' James replaces Willian on the wing for Fulham.
H. Wilson
B. De Cordova-Reid
Fulham
81' With victory now assured, Silva makes a series of substitutions. First, De Cordova-Reid gives way for Wilson.
A. Mitrović
Goal
Fulham
80' MITRO MAKES IT THREE! Fulham's main marksman adds to his all-round display today by nodding home a typical poacher's goal from six yards out! Willian sends the ball bouncing across the box with a cross-shot and Mitrovic takes advantage of some slack marking from nine-man Palace to head it into a vacant net.
79' Lacking pace or power, Mitrovic steers a harmless header from the centre of the box towards the bottom-left corner, which Guaita deals with comfortably.
77' Another assist by Mitrovic tees up Pereira on the edge of the area, but the midfielder misses a golden opportunity by virtually passing the ball tamely to Guaita, who is working overtime during this second half.
T. Cairney
João Palhinha
Fulham
75' After a long delay while the VAR and on-field referee decided on the second goal's legitimacy, Fulham finally make their planned change: Palhinha is replaced by Cairney.
73' The referee is sent to the pitchside monitor to assess whether Mitrovic touched the ball with his hand before Ream turned in Fulham's second goal. After watching numerous replays, his original decision stands - it stays a goal!
T. Ream
Goal
Fulham
71' FULHAM FINISH IT! Finally rewarded for their relentless pressure, Fulham go 2-0 up! Following Pereira's inswinging corner from the right, it's captain Ream who crashes home the ball with a half-volleyed finish after Mitrovic's deflected nod-down.
69' Ream intervenes at the last second with a timely clearance, after Olise drifts through an overstretched Fulham midfield and pulls the trigger at the end of a swift counter-attack.
67' Guaita easily gathers another Mitrovic header, this time straight at the centre of goal from near the penalty spot, following Pereira's cross.
J. Ward
N. Clyne
Crystal Palace
67' Palace's second substitution sees Clyne withdrawn and Ward thrown on to bolster their under-fire defence.
65' After Tete clips over a cross from the right, Diop's header is kept out by Guaita, before Mitrovic nearly pounces on the rebound. The Palace keeper ushers the ball behind under heavy pressure and concedes a corner.
63' SUPER STOP! Mitrovic links up with De Cordova-Reid again, and this time his header from the winger's cross to the back post is palmed away by Guaita, who reacts smartly to keep the ball out of the bottom corner!
61' OFF THE POST! Taking the ball in his stride from De Cordova-Reid's pass, Pereira digs out a shot from the left side of the box, which strikes the outside of the near post and flies behind! Fulham have a two-man advantage now, and must surely make it pay.
C. Richards
E. Eze
Crystal Palace
60' Vieira responds to another setback by making an immediate change: Eze is replaced by Richards.
58' After taking contact from Tomkins' stray elbow, Mitrovic is assessed by the Fulham medics, but after a brief delay he is cleared to continue and the game goes on.
57' OFF! Palace are down to nine men! Issued a second yellow card of the game, this time for an elbow on Mitrovic in midfield, Tomkins is sent off by the referee. He can have few legitimate arguments with that - it could've been a straight red!
55' Though a man short compared to their opponents, Crystal Palace's closing down has been sharper since the break, as they attempt to keep Fulham's lead down to one. At least that would keep them in the game until the latter stages, and they always pose a threat on the counter.
53' Leaning back on an attempt from the right side of the area, around 20 yards out from goal, Palhinha sends the ball spiralling over the crossbar.
51' After a sweeping Fulham attack, Pereira's layoff for Palhinha just outside the area lacks pace, and the latter's swing at the ball only brings down Ayew, who closes him down quickly.
49' Clyne covers well to deny Mitrovic a sniff of the ball on the edge of Palace's area, but is later penalised for a foul on Willian near the right touchline.
47' Boding well for their hopes of three points today, Fulham are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League matches when leading at half-time (W5, D4) dating back to January 2019.
46' Fulham kick off, and we are back under way in South London!
None of Fulham's last five Premier League games against Crystal Palace has ended in victory for the Cottagers, and it had been over nine years since they had won or even scored at Selhurst Park before today. Having already found the net, and given their position at half-time, they will believe that streak can finally be ended.
For all their dominance of the ball during the opening stages of the first half, Fulham had rarely threatened to take command of their first fixture since the long World Cup break - but two incidents in the space of four minutes now puts them in the driving seat at Selhurst Park. Following De Cordova-Reid's conversion of a Mitrovic cross for the opening goal, Palace soon went down to 10 men and are therefore left with a mountain to climb after the interval. Even with their full complement, the home side lacked bite in the final third, so Vieira will need to produce a minor miracle if his team are to salvage anything from this game.
45' + 3' HALF-TIME: CRYSTAL PALACE 0-1 FULHAM
45' + 1' In the first of two stoppage-time minutes indicated by the officials, Guaita claims a rather aimless cross pumped into the area from the left flank by Robinson.
44' Olise picks the ball up from Eze on the right corner of the Fulham area, but after a couple of quick stepovers, slashes at his shot and sends it wide of the right-hand post.
42' From Pereira's corner on the right, Mitrovic stretches out a leg to reach the ball by the penalty spot but can only steer it well over the bar.
41' Reed slips through De Cordova-Reid, but Pereira unthinkingly gets in the way of his team-mate in the Palace area and Fulham have to settle for a corner.
39' A long ball up from the back by Andersen almost finds the run of Ayew in the centre, but Ream covers across well and ensures the ball trickles through to Leno.
37' Fulham not only have a one-goal advantage but now also numerical superiority. Their bossing of the ball continues; leaving Palace largely chasing shadows - the hosts are just hanging on for half-time here.
35' Following the badly mistimed tackle by Mitchell, medical attention is required by Tete. He took quite a blow, but seems to have escaped relatively unharmed and is ultimately cleared to continue. The game gets back under way.
T. Mitchell
Red Card
Crystal Palace
34' OFF! Mitchell must go! The young full-back lunges for a loose ball in midfield, and his reckless studs-first challenge on Tete brings a red card from the referee's pocket. Palace are a goal behind and now down to 10 men!
A. Mitrović
Assist
Fulham
31' After racing down the right flank, Mitrovic picks out De Cordova-Reid in the centre with a perfectly placed cross at head height.
B. De Cordova-Reid
Goal
Fulham
31' FULHAM LEAD! Mitrovic turns provider, as the Serbian striker reverses roles with winger De Cordova-Reid for the opening goal! Fulham's top scorer curls over a cross from the right to meet the latter's well-timed run to the edge of the six-yard box, and a header into the bottom corner puts the visitors 1-0 up!
30' Rather desperately trying to wrangle the ball under his control against the odds, Mitrovic is penalised for a clear shirt-pull on Clyne in the Palace area.
28' Fulham's attacking play has lacked focus, for all their possession in the middle third. Now, Willian curls a harmless cross from the left touchline straight into the gloves of Guaita, who is unchallenged inside his six-yard box.
26' OFF THE BAR! Ayew rattles the crossbar with a powerful drive from the brink of the box! After a direct run down the centre by Olise opens up space, the latter releases the ball to his team-mate, and when it arrives via a couple of deflections he almost slams Palace in front! So close to an opener!
24' Before today's fixture, Crystal Palace had won just one of their last seven Boxing Day games in the Premier League, with the two most recent defeats coming by a 3-0 scoreline. However, only Chelsea and Arsenal have beaten the Eagles at Selhurst Park in their last 13 home games.
22' Under pressure from Zaha, who almost receives the ball on the edge of the box from Ayew's smart pass, Diop stays strong to divert the ball away from immediate danger and concedes a corner.
J. Tomkins
Yellow Card
Crystal Palace
20' For a cynical shirt-pull on Mitrovic while caught out of position in the Fulham half, Tomkins becomes the first player booked.
18' Diop gets the better of a couple of duels with Zaha near the halfway line, and is allowed to take quite a hands-on approach in the process. The Palace fans do not appreciate the referee's leniency, though.
16' Fulham's dominance of possession has somewhat quietened the boisterous Selhurst Park crowd, but they have tested Guaita only once so far - from Pereira's free-kick.
14' Palace come forward again, but once more Robinson is alert to the danger; dealing authoritatively with Olise, who almost escapes past the Fulham defender on the right side of the area.
12' Despite Ayew's best efforts, Robinson shepherds the ball out of play for a goal-kick following a low throughball from Olise towards his attacking colleague.
11' In the first 10 minutes of this capital city contest, Fulham have had 71 per cent of the ball.
9' Fulham are continuing to take the initiative in the early stages here, as they snap into challenges and move the ball brightly. Palace are stuck on the back foot.
7' SAVE! Pereira lines up a 25-yard effort from a centrally-placed free-kick, and his dipping, swerving shot has to be tipped over by Guaita! Reaching up to his right, the Palace goalkeeper just manages to guide the ball over his crossbar!
5' Olise trips Palhinha in midfield; ending Palace's patient build-up by conceding a free-kick. The hosts have not posed much threat to the Fulham goal as yet.
3' After Schlupp clumsily concedes a free-kick deep inside his own half, on the left touchline, Pereira swings over a cross which Mitrovic can't quite turn goalward, and after a spell of penalty-box pinball Palace finally get the ball clear.
1' Following a minute's applause for late Fulham legend George Cohen, who passed away last week, Crystal Palace kick off.
The players are out on the pitch at a sunny Selhurst Park, and kick-off is now just moments away!
Nine-goal top scorer Mitrovic returned from the World Cup with a foot injury, but has been passed fit and is included by Fulham today. USA international Robinson also starts at the back, having overcome his own foot problem. Meanwhile, Layvin Kurzawa and Manor Solomon remain sidelined for the visitors.
As Marc Guehi must serve a one-match suspension for accumulated yellow cards, Tomkins steps into the Crystal Palace back four today, partnering captain Andersen at the heart of the hosts' defence. Sam Johnstone, James McArthur and Nathan Ferguson are all absent due to injury. Alongside Zaha up front, Ayew beats Edouard to a starting place; Mateta misses out entirely.
SUBS: Marek Rodak, Harry Wilson, Daniel James, Shane Duffy, Carlos Vinicius, Tom Cairney, Luke Harris, Nathaniel Chalobah, Tosin Adarabioyo.
FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Bernd Leno; Kenny Tete, Issa Diop, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson; Harrison Reed, Joao Palhinha; Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Andreas Pereira, Willian; Aleksandar Mitrovic.
SUBS: Jack Butland, Will Hughes, Malcolm Ebiowei, Joel Ward, John-Kymani Gordon, Chris Richards, Odsonne Edouard, Luka Milivojevic, Jairo Riedewald.
CRYSTAL PALACE (4-3-3): Vicente Guaita; Nathaniel Clyne, James Tomkins, Joachim Andersen, Tyrick Mitchell; Eberechi Eze, Cheick Doucoure, Jeffrey Schlupp; Michael Olise, Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha.
Following a commendable start to their latest top-flight comeback, Fulham start today's game in 10th place, having played one match more than their hosts - the pair are tied together on 19 points. Losses to both Manchester clubs just before Qatar 2022 intervened saw Marco Silva's side slip a little down the Premier League pecking order, but only Leicester City have scored more goals than the Cottagers' 24 outside of the division's top six this term. They concluded their preparations for today's competitive return with a 1-1 friendly draw against West Ham United.
Returning to Premier League action with an all-capital clash today, Crystal Palace entered the World Cup break occupying 11th place in the table. Defeats to Newcastle United in the EFL Cup and Nottingham Forest in the league - both without scoring a goal - left a sour taste at the end of the first phase of their season, but Patrick Vieira's men beat Real Valladolid 2-1 in their most recent friendly outing. The Eagles are unbeaten in their last five Premier League encounters with Fulham, dating back to October 2013.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of today's Premier League clash between Crystal Palace and Fulham at Selhurst Park!