If you’re going to sell your soul it had better be worth it. Wolves got nothing, deserved less, and hopefully will have much to ponder on what we must hope is a long, slow journey home. If your entire game plan can be summed up by the words ‘persistent fouling’ then something’s missing. There was nothing to admire in anything they did today and I hope they get relegated.
For Fulham it was a mixed day with much to admire, but the bottom line is that Bobby Zamora has a broken leg and won’t be back quickly. His usual physical work was going well until he was upended by Karl Henry, in a tackle we’ll have to judge when we’ve seen it on TV. Bob slammed his hands into the turf, presumably in agony. On came the stretcher, off went Zamora, on came Gera.
Fulham let Wolves get to them. Phil Dowd, the referee, hadn’t been firm enough to begin with and Wolves were free to offend as they felt like it. The fouls were not violent, just constant. Dowd should have carded players earlier, stopping the carnage, but too often he played on and didn’t return to the scene of the crime afterwards. Fulham’s attacking work was stilted, Dempsey and Dembele not really gelling, Gera looking promising but not quite at 2009/10 levels, and Etuhu didn’t impose himself immediately (he had a good second half). Simon Davies was the bright spark, and much of what was good went through him. He might have earned three penalty kicks in fact, but none were given. He really is back to his best.
We went a goal down when the ball slipped across the penalty area between Schwarzer and Paintsil, and was turned in at the far post. Soft.
Hughes must have given the players the proverbial rocket at half-time. We were much better afterwards and soon scored, Moussa Dembele slicing home from the edge of the area with a delicious finish after good work on the left by Kelly. We kept playing after that, and aside for a few quiet spells were more or less dominant. Gera bicycled over from close by, Dembele send a screamer just wide, but pressure wasn’t really leading to chances.
We eventually got a Wolves red card (Dowd had had enough and was carding them left-right-centre), and finally, finally, a free-kick was awarded 25 yards out and in the middle of the pitch. That man Dembele (how good is he? Seriously, this man’s a top 4 talent) stepped up and thwanged it home, Hahnemann giving up on the ball like a cover fielder beaten by a Michael Vaughan drive. Pandemonium, and let’s face it, a sense of justice. F*ck you, Wolves.