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.