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Fulham v Cardiff City Live Commentary, 27/04/2019

1 - 0
R. Babel (79)
Craven Cottage


That's all from us today folks, we hope you enjoyed the game!
Cardiff are still three points adrift of Brighton, who face Newcastle later today and if the Seagulls win, it would almost certainly confirm Cardiff's relegation due to the goal difference between the two sides. Fulham face Wolves next weekend, in an attempt to make it four wins on the bounce, while Cardiff will face Crystal Palace.
Fulham make it three wins on the bounce, beating Cardiff 1-0 at Craven Cottage after a second-half strike from Babel. The hosts dominated much of the second half, showing more urgency and intent in front of goal, but it took a wonder strike from Babel on 79 minutes to break the deadlock. Cardiff then pushed players forward after conceding and had numerous chances to equalise, Hoilett struck the crossbar and Ward and Morrison went close with headers, but both were denied by Rico.
90' + 4' WHAT A CHANCE! How did he miss? Morrison with a superb opportunity with a free header from close range, but his effort is straight at Rico who makes another good save. Either side of the keeper and that would've been in.
90' + 2' Cardiff are throwing everything at Fulham now, they've got everyone forward and are coming so close to scoring, but Rico is pulling off some fine saves to deny them.
90' There will be a minimum of four minutes added time played.
90' Another good chance! Rico is forced into making a good save to deny Bennett from close range, after the Cardiff man powered a header towards the bottom corner.
F. Ayité
R. Babel
89' Final Fulham change now, as Babel comes off to a standing ovation and he has been replaced by Ayite.
88' OFF THE BAR! So close for Cardiff, but the woodwork denies them! Reid with the first chance, but his shot is blocked and the rebound falls perfectly to Hoilett, who tries to curl the ball into the top corner, but he gets too much on it and it smashes against the bar.
B. De Cordova-Reid
A. Gunnarsson
Cardiff City
87' Third and final Cardiff substitution, a final attempt to get something out of the game as Gunnarsson comes off and he has been replaced by Reid.
A. Mawson
R. Sessegnon
85' Fulham make a change, with Sessegnon replaced by Mawson.
83' Cardiff are showing more urgency now and are pushing forward in numbers, but it looks to be too little too late.
81' SAVE! Rico with a great stop to deny Cardiff an equaliser just moments after going ahead. The visitors had a free-kick close to the byline, which was whipped towards the far post and met by Ward, who powered a header back towards goal and Rico had to be alert to tip the ball over the crossbar.
C. Christie
79' Christie worked the ball into a good area, but it's all about the finish from Babel, a terrific strike.
R. Babel
79' GOOOAAALLL! Fulham finally break the deadlock, it's 1-0! Babel with a stunning goal to put his side ahead. Christie does well, skips past two players and then lays the ball off to Babel, who runs onto it and curls the ball into the top corner, with Etheridge having no chance of saving that.
77' When Cardiff do manage to get on the ball, they haven't been able to get the ball forward to Ward, who looks very isolated up top, just as Niasse did when he was on the pitch.
75' Penalty shout! Cardiff with another look to the referee after a coming together between Healey and Cairney, but there's not much in it and the referee waves away their appeals.
73' Decent effort! Mendez-Laing with a powerful strike towards goal, which Rico has to parry away, unable to catch it due to the swerve on the ball.
R. Healey
Cardiff City
72' Cardiff make their second substitution, with Camarasa coming off and he has been replaced by Healey.
71' Cardiff need to show more ambition to try and go on and win this game, because it's all Fulham at the moment and they look threatening in front of goal.
69' Great defending! Bennett with a terrific stop to deny Bryan, after a superb ball in-behind the Cardiff defence by Cairney. It looked like the left-back only had the keeper to beat in front of goal, but Bennett managed to get across and make the block.
67' Fulham have won their last two Premier League games, last winning three in a row in the competition back in March 2012 under Martin Jol.
65' Great tackle by Mendez-Laing to prevent Christie from breaking through on goal, he had to time that tackle right, otherwise he would've given away a penalty.
63' Gunnarsson launches another long throw into the Fulham penalty area, but the hosts deal with it well. They then break forward quickly on the counter, with Chambers breaking free, but his cross into the box is poor and easily gathered by Etheridge.
D. Ward
O. Niasse
Cardiff City
61' Here is the Cardiff change, with Niasse coming off the pitch and he has been replaced by Ward.
59' The pressure is building from Fulham, with consecutive corners now as Cardiff fail to deal with the balls into the box. You can only see one side scoring at the moment.
57' It looks like Cardiff are about to make their first change of the game, with Ward getting ready on the sidelines and the striker is likely to replace Niasse, who has hardly been involved today.
55' Good effort! Not sure he meant it, but Cairney forces Etheridge into making a good save after his cross almost flies into the top corner. The Cardiff keeper had to be alert and tips the ball over the bar.
54' Mitrovic has scored the winning goal in five of Fulham’s six Premier League victories this season. The Serbian has scored the highest percentage of his side’s winners among all players in the competition this season (83%).
52' Cardiff are yet to get going in this second half, but they do now have a free-kick which Camarasa is standing over and they've brought everyone forward from the back. However, Fulham defend the set piece well.
50' Fulham are keeping the ball well, as they did in the first half and pressing forward, but this time with more pace and intensity, they've certainly upped their game.
48' CHANCE! Mitrovic with a great opportunity to break the deadlock after Cairney squares the ball to him just inside the penalty area, the striker should be getting the ball on target, but he leans back and sends the ball high over the crossbar.
47' Good counter attack by Cardiff, after sloppy play by Fulham in the visitors half of the pitch and Camarasa brings it away, he looks up and tries pass to a teammate, but there was no one up with him. Fulham get players back and clear the danger.
46' The second half is underway!
Cardiff may push further forward in the second half in search of a goal, as Fulham dominated the ball in the opening half and the relegation threatened Bluebirds, need to get something out of this game.
It's goalless at the break between Fulham and Cardiff, with very little goalmouth action from either team. Fulham went closest early on, with Mitrovic forcing Etheridge into making a good save down to his left. It's been a scrappy game so far, with a lengthy stoppage in the middle of the half, after Odoi suffered a bad head injury and had to be stretched off the pitch.
45' + 8' Decent chance! Good play by Babel, he sprints into the box, outpaces Peltier, crosses the ball to Sessegnon at the near post, but the winger fires the ball well wide of the Cardiff goal.
45' + 6' Fulham have lost just one of their last eight meetings with Cardiff in all competitions (W3 D4), though it was the reverse fixture back in October (2-4).
45' + 4' Neither team look like scoring as we approach the end of the first half, Fulham are certainly seeing more of the ball, but Cardiff are keeping them away from their dangerzone.
45' + 2' The game is quite open at the moment, with both teams unable to keep the ball and losing it in poor areas. Mitrovic loses the ball deep inside the Cardiff half, they counter up the pitch, but it comes to nothing.
45' There will be a minimum of nine minutes added time played.
43' There is likely to be a lot of additional time played at the end of the first half, but can either side break the deadlock before the half-time whistle?
41' Babel does well down the left wing, he cuts insides onto his right foot and powers the ball towards goal, but it's blocked by Morrison. Fulham keep the ball alive, with Chambers playing it out to Sessegnon, but the winger is unable to play a one-two with Cairney and it goes out of play.
39' The game is still very scrappy, with very little goalmouth action and the only real save we've seen, is when Etheridge denied Mitrovic early on in the game.
37' Fulham have kept a clean sheet in their last two Premier League games, as many as they had in their previous 37 games in the competition.
35' Cardiff have a better spell and work the ball into the box, it falls to Camarasa in a good position, but he's unable to sort his feet out quickly enough and Fulham clear the danger.
34' Fulham work a corner short, with the ball eventually coming out to Cairney on the edge of the box, but his chipped ball towards the far post is well cleared by the visitors.
32' Cardiff haven't yet been able to get Niasse on the ball and in-behind the Fulham defence, it's all in front of the hosts and they are defending well.
30' The game resumes with Fulham keeping possession in the middle of the pitch, just trying to regain their rhythm after a lengthy stoppage.
C. Christie
D. Odoi
28' Here is the change, with Odoi replaced by Christie, a straight swap at right-back.
27' The game is still paused at the moment, with both sets of medical teams treating Odoi, making sure all precautions are undertaken before they take him off the pitch.
25' The home side hasn’t lost any of the last 23 Premier League meetings between two promoted clubs (W15 D8), since Leicester won 1-0 at Burnley in April 2015. The last seven sides to win away at a fellow promoted side have all avoided relegation.
23' It looks like Odoi is going to be coming off, despite his eagerness to continue, the medical team are still assessing him after a heavy blow. The stretcher is now on the pitch.
21' Odoi has a problem, he's just had to come off the pitch after a contact lense issue. Then as soon as he comes back onto the pitch he his involved in a collision with Le Marchand as they try to stop Niasse from breaking through on goal. The physios are concerned due to a head injury and the manner in which he went to the floor.
19' Babel has been lively so far for Fulham, the winger has been in good form since joining the club in January and he looks like a threat today.
17' Almost! Gunnarsson launches a long throw-in deep into the Fulham penalty area, which catches everyone out and Rico has to parry the ball away in a dangerous position, before Fulham finally clear it.
16' Cardiff are getting into some positions in the Fulham half, but they are lacking an attacking threat in front of goal, so far their best opportunities look like coming from set pieces into the box.
14' Better from Cardiff now, they've managed to string a few passes together and make Fulham defend, but the game is quite scrappy so far.
12' SAVE! Good stop by Etheridge to deny Mitrovic from the edge of the penalty area. The striker took a touch to control it and then tried to curl the ball into the bottom corner, but the Cardiff keeper got down well and pushed the ball around the post and out for a corner.
11' Cardiff have won all three of their Premier League meetings with Fulham, picking up a 2-1 victory in their only previous visit to Craven Cottage in the competition.
9' Penalty shout! Mitrovic had his arms all over Morrisson as a long free-kick was lifted into the box and the Cardiff skipper tried to jump for the ball, but he was unable to under the pressure from the Fulham striker. Nothing given.
7' Babel sticks out a leg and brings Camarasa down inside the Fulham half and the visitors have their first chance to get the ball into the penalty area. Camarasa whips it into the box, but no one is there to meet it and it flies all the way out for a Fulham throw-in.
5' There's a cracking atmosphere here inside Craven Cottage, with the away supporters making their voices heard. They know their side need to win today, if they are to stand a chance of staying up.
3' Fulham are enjoying the early possession here, keeping the ball in the middle of the pitch, with Cairney dropping deep to try and get involved. They win a free-kick in a decent position, after Odoi is brought down by Gunnarsson. However, Cardiff defend the set piece well and clear the danger.
1' We're underway!
The teams are out at Craven Cottage and kick-off is just a few minutes away, stay tuned for all of the match action!
Both teams make just one change to their starting line-up, Fulham welcome Cairney back into the team after he missed last weeks victory over Bournemouth due to personal reasons. Seri drops to the bench, whilst Mawson returns to the substitutes bench in replace of Andre Schurrle. Meanwhile Joe Ralls drops out of the Cardiff squad, after he picked up an injury during the defeat to Liverpool last week and Bacuna replaces him in the starting XI.
CARDIFF SUBS: Brian Murphy, Jazz Richards, Greg Cunningham, Kadeem Harris, Rhys Healey, Bobby Reid, Danny Ward.
CARDIFF (4-2-3-1): Neil Etheridge; Lee Peltier, Sean Morrison, Bruno Ecuele Manga, Joe Bennett; Leandro Bacuna, Aron Gunnarsson; Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Victor Camarasa; Junior Hoilett; Oumar Niasse.
FULHAM SUBS: Fabri, Cyrus Christie, Alfie Mawson, Harvey Elliott, Jean Michael Seri, Floyd Ayite, Neeskens Kebano.
FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Sergio Rico; Denis Odoi, Maxime Le Marchand, Tim Ream, Joe Bryan; Calum Chambers, Andre-Frank Anguissa; Ryan Sessegnon, Tom Cairney, Ryan Babel; Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Cardiff gave their survival chances a big boost with victory over Brighton, but then suffered a 2-0 defeat against Liverpool last weekend. The Bluebirds played well against Liverpool, keeping the league leaders at bay until midway through the second half and then had chances of their own to score, but couldn't convert. They currently occupy the final relegation spot, three points behind Brighton.
Fulham have won both of their matches since relegation was confirmed with a 4-1 defeat at Watford three weeks ago, they've beaten Everton and Bournemouth in those two games, having previously not won a Premier League game since the end of January.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE match commentary of the Premier League clash between Fulham and Cardiff City at Craven Cottage.