Bah. One of those annoying games that you wish hadn’t happened. A decent looking encounter was spoiled by the needless dismissal of renowned hard-man Moussa Dembele, whose wayward arm sent Wisla’s Nunez spiralling into deep agony. That Dembele barely touched Nunez, that the touch was on his shoulder, not in his face (as suggested by Nunez in his distressed state), perhaps suggests a mistake by the referee, and with that mistake went the game: we lost 1-0 to a team that lost to Odense.
Another argument is that Fulham’s attacking ‘force’ essentially amounts to Danny Murphy controlling attacks, and Bobby Zamora and Clint Dempsey finishing them off. These three were all rested tonight, so it became a case of “Hangeland from a corner or nothing”. We can look woefully unimaginative on occasion, and while the ten men thing didn’t help, we played more as if we were down to nine. There was no cohesion, the midfield, with Etuhu and Gecov sitting and Duff supporting Sa and Johnson (Dembele absent, of course), seemed so distant from everything, neither fish nor fowl. It’s hard to remember us creating any good chances, much less missing them.
So set pieces became crucial, but we wasted those. We even ended up with the bizarre site of Andy Johnson shooting from a free-kick. Senior pro perhaps but there are others in the team (or are there?) who can do that better. It all feels a little chaotic.
Reasons to be cheerful: another game (albeit a quiet one) for Gecov, who looks tidy; ditto Kerim Frei; Briggs looked alright again; Aaron Hughes back in; Kelly looked decent; Etuhu passed well; we should still qualify anyway.