Fulham smash, grab three points from wasteful Brighton
In a game that was virtually all Brighton all the time, Fulham continued their incredible push for European qualification with a 1-0 victory at Amex Stadium on Saturday.
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The victory not only keeps Fulham (38 points) 6th in the Premier League table, but it puts them within striking distance of the top-four, now just three points behind Newcastle. It also puts a three-point gap between themselves and Brighton (35 points - 7th place), with whom they entered matchweek 24 level on points.
After 87 frustrating minutes (for both sides, it should be said), super-sub Manor Solomon capped a lightning quick counter-attack with a perfectly placed finish past Robert Sanchez for the game’s only goal.
Stats… who needs em? Who cares?
Fulham were out-shot 21-5 (7 on target, to just 2), out-xG’d 2.20-0.31 and out-possessed 65-35, and not one bit of it mattered. Marco Silva’s side registered 0.00 xG on zero shots in the first half, as Brighton had their way everywhere but in front of goal (as they so often do). Never before has a newly promoted side had this many points at this point of a Premier League season — an incredibly far cry from the last time the Cottagers were in the top flight.
Stars of the show
Kenny Tete: Kaoru Mitoma has been in sensational form of late for Brighton, but Tete corralled the Japanese speedster as he locked down the right side of defense from minute 1 to 90.
Pahlinha: He was a ball-winning machine (4 clearances, 2 interceptions, 8 recoveries, 6 total duels won) in central midfield, where Brighton typically find so much joy.
Solly March: March’s fingerprints were all over many of Brighton’s scoring chances (5 chances created, 0.28 xG himself and 0.27 xG on chances created) despite the frustrating lack of end product.
Fulham will host Wolves at Craven Cottage on Friday with a chance (perhaps) to overtake Tottenham for 5th place. Brighton, meanwhile, will be out of action due to Newcastle’s participation in the League Cup final with that fixture to be rescheduled at a later date.
How to watch Brighton vs Fulham live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, SaturdayTV channel/online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Key storylines & star players
Kaoru Mitoma has been catching the eye and the Seagulls are still spreading the goals around since playmaker Leandro Trossard moved to Arsenal. Look for Pascal Gross and Solly March to continue to drive the bus.
The Cottagers are the worst team in the Premier League in expected goals against by some distance (3.64 goals worse than Bournemouth and 4.7 worse than Everton). Fulham’s making a living on corner kicks, scoring 10 times, and Brighton will have to be ready even with Aleksandar Mitrovic expected to miss out. The Seagulls have conceded six times off corners, scoring just once.
Brighton team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Adam Lallana (thigh), Billy Gilmour (knock), Danny Welbeck (calf), Jakub Moder (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Levi Colwill (undisclosed)
Fulham team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Tom Cairney (ankle), Neeskens Kebano (achilles) | QUESTIONABLE: Aleksandar Mitrovic (foot), Antonee Robinson (illness), Willian (calf)