Fulham 3-0 Blackpool

All a bit FA Cup third round.  Fulham jogged to a 3-0 win against a desperately ordinary Blackpool side, and this really should ensure that we’re safe from relegation.

Which is more than can be said for our opponents.  Just like Hull before them, a surprising start to the season has been followed by a ‘told you so’ collapse, and on this form it’s hard to imagine them staying up.  Their famed open, attacking play was sort of evident, in that they kept the ball quite well on occasion, but Mark Schwarzer really had little to do aside from the odd scare (notably when he was beaten legitimately in a Shilton v Maradona style no mans land contest, only for Chris Baird to coolly nod off the line running towards the goal).

The much hyped Charlie Adam was outclassed by Danny Murphy while the match was still a contest, and while the set piece delivery was impressive, the long cross-field passes were less damaging than they might have been, perhaps because everyone in the ground knew what he was going to do.

Fulham, as is often the way against poor opponents, looked strong.  The defence dealt with everything thrown at them with ease, Murphy and Etuhu controlled the middle of the pitch (Etuhu was far too strong for his opponents) and Duff, Dembele and Dempsey all worked well around the returning Zamora.

Zamora scored first.  James Beattie put him through with a nightmare of a pass that wrongfooted his entire team.  Zamora sped off impressively, then crashed a drive high past Richard Kingson in the Blackpool goal.  It was a fine finish.

Zamora scored again soon after, heading home from a right-wing free-kick.  That was about that for the game, and Blackpool saw a lot of possession as Fulham played a little safer, but as we often find ourselves saying, there’s no sense in starting playing at 2-0 down.

Fulham sealed it with a third, Dempsey rising high to head Murphy’s free-kick against a post, Hangeland retrieving, Etuhu converting.  Easy, but a nice reward for a good performance.  Etuhu has now scored twice against Blackpool this season.

It doesn’t get much more comfortable. Everyone did their bit, and nobody felt the urge to celebrate their goal with a moonwalk, so all is well on this fine spring afternoon.  Happy Mother’s Day.

8 thoughts on “Fulham 3-0 Blackpool

  1. Yes, Blackpool weren’t great and they are now in real danger but I’d much rather see them and their ilk survive than the Wolves and Stokes of this world.

    This is just the sort of game we might have made a mess of before Christmas. Zamora, even though he is feeling his way back makes a huge difference. Baird also had a fine match and Etuhu looked as though he’s determined to hold off the challenge of the returning Sidwell.

    Next week at Old Trafford will be interesting. This is not the Manchester United we are used to seeing in the title run-in. It’s just strange that their main challengers have also had the wobbles. I feel there’s a good chance that some team will embarrass United before the season is over and we have as much chance as anyone.

  2. Neat and tidy, all along the ground and hapless in defence, Blackpool were ideal opponents. They do normally score, though, and the way we largely tied them up, despite their plentiful possession, illustrated how much of the Hodgson legacy endures.

    Zamora’s first will linger in memory. Not seen it dispatched so emphatically into the Putney net since Moody’s hatrick goal against Preston — officially the highest velocity penalty kick in the history of Association Football. Absolutely how you want your big centre forward to conduct himself and the kind of thing that makes a talisman a talisman.

  3. Good result. Ho hum performance I thought. Etuhu was dominant throughout. Duff and Bobby good in 1st half. Baird good throughout. Schwarzer looked shaky on at least one occasion and his distribution continues to be poor. But what about Dembele? What ABOUT him? He is starting to frustrate me like Bullard did. He looks good, works hard, beats men, has class, but what does he actually DO. As soon as AJ came on, he won a free kick and we scored, and then set one up for Clint to score (but he missed). I really now think that AJ looks less impressive but achieves more than Moussa. Maybe Moussa just needs time to develop that understanding with Bobby, and it will blossom next season. I’m becoming sceptical. What do you lot think?

    1. I only saw the Sky highlights – about half the match – but Dembele was prominent throughout. Involved in most of our best moves, holding the ball, attracting defenders attention. Causing problems

      I think he’s a class act and his team play will improve with experience and coaching.

      Unlike Bullard he appears to be serious about his football and demonstrates no obvious ego.

      1. Yes he attracts attention and causes problems, typically more in first halves than seconds, and fair to add that he provides more entertainment than, say AJ — pertinent in an entertainment industry. He is also one of our best at holding the ball up — a chore that Bobby can now of course share or take over.
        On the downside is what Mike H. is alluding to: the lack of goals and assists that can be ascribed to him, surely comfortably the least of anyone else nowadays in contention. Maybe he enables others to produce those goods, you’d have to defend him with that thought.
        Other thing….as my non-Gilroy neighbour yesterday started remarking after a while, he quite often held on to the ball too long, failing to spot someone who had made a penetrating run (possibly off-TV screen) so that impetus was lost and the move fizzled out. He’s certainly less visionary than I initially hoped, and is that something that can be coached into you or that grows significantly with experience? Maybe. It does need to.

  4. To me, it was never in doubt once Bobby struck the second time. Simon Davies sighting! I’m thinking 12 points from the last 7 is a fair estimation for the remainder of the season.

    1. Twelve points from the last seven? Wow — that would be quite impressive. I would put Fulham’s mean expected points from the last seven games in the 7-8 range. One more road game than home for a team that has one road win all season. Two of three home games are against clubs in the top seven.

      Maybe I’m underestimating the club, but anything over 45 points at season’s end from this spot would be a good accomplishment, I’d say.

  5. An enjoyable match to watch, to be certain.
    I agree about hoping Blackpool can avoid the drop. A good friend is a longtime supporter on this side of the pond. Love to see brutish Stoke take the drop in their stead.

    United are vulnerable, right now, but as with most things, look for them to right the ship against us at Old Trafford. It’s the Fulham way, it seems. Hope and pray I’m wrong, though.

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