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Match Reports

REDS THUMPED BY LEAGUE LEADERS

20 November 2021

It was a tough day in the nation's capital for Barnsley, easily beaten by promotion-hunting Fulham at Craven Cottage.

An afternoon to forget for the Reds, in front of their new head coach, comfortably seen off by a Fulham side who moved top of the table with this latest victory.

It had been an even opening quarter, in West London to be fair to the Reds, and the game's first major incident arrived on 10 minutes as an impressive Barnsley move saw us go close through Romal Palmer, whose first-time effort from the edge of the box was touched over the crossbar by Marek Rodak. 

Our hosts hit back 10 minutes later when a well-worked free-kick from deep resulted in a defensive clearance that reached only Michael Hector, and the centre back struck the foot of the post from 20 yards out.

Fulham did take the lead on 24 minutes, however, as a wonderful Kenny Tete cross from the right flank was met perfectly by Aleksandar Mitrović, towering above his marker to nod home from eight yards out. His 21st goal of the season. The Reds had it all to do, after what had been a promising start.

That start seemed a long time ago when Fabio Carvalho netted the Whites' second on the half-hour, curling home from inside the box after a mazy run off the left wing. 

Welsh international Harry Wilson should have probably added a third goal five minutes before the break but he blazed high and wide from 10 yards out with the goal at his mercy. The promotion-chasers were carving the Reds open time and time again at this stage, with Barnsley begging for the interval.

But there was another chance for Fulham before then, with Brad Collins out quickly to deny Wilson who'd scampered through unopposed. 

HALF-TIME: Fulham 2-0 Barnsley

Service resumed in similar fashion after the break, with Fulham skipper Tom Cairney seeing an effort deflect against the bar, before Collins pulled off a terrific one-handed save to deny Mitrović's header from inside the six yard box.

After a tweak in system and the introduction of Aaron Leya Iseka, the Reds began to enjoy more possession and Cauley Woodrow saw a smart effort turned behind by Rodak on the hour-mark.

But the home side clinically responded, a quick break forward via Wilson on the right, and after being allowed to check back inside onto his stronger side, he found the run of Neeskens Kebano, who hadn't been tracked at the far post and he half-volleyed home from 10 yards out for 3-0.

The Reds supporters had something to cheer though when substitute Victor Adeboyejo - on for Morris - was on-hand to fire home a rebound after Woodrow's initial header came back off the post, but it was only brief respite from reality.

Wilson grabbed Fulham's fourth just two minutes later as he finished one-on-one after an inch-perfect Jean Michael Seri ball had picked him out. 

It could have been five for the hosts, but somehow Carvalho missed an open goal in the game's dying embers, after Mitrović had unselfishly put one on a plate for him a few yards from goal. 

Another defeat then, and the Reds remain four points adrift of safety, with the spectating Poya Asbaghi taking the reins from Monday morning, knowing there's a lot to work on in his attempts to steer this side out of relegation trouble.

FULL-TIME: Fulham 4-1 Barnsley

Collins, Sibbick, Helik, Andersen, J.Williams, Benson, Styles, Palmer, Woodrow, Morris, Frieser.

Unused: Walton, Vita, Oduor, Oularé.


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