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Fulham 1-1 West Brom: Baggies stay unbeaten after Ajayi leveller at Fulham

Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli complained that he had been fouled by Charlie Austin
Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli complained that he had been fouled by Charlie Austin

West Bromwich Albion maintained their unbeaten Championship record as they came from behind to rescue a point with a draw in the south west London sunshine at Fulham.

Both goals owed a good bit to fortune, as Semi Ajayi's controversial late headed equaliser cancelled out a left-foot attempted chipped cross from Anthony Knockaert which deceived Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone in flight and dipped in at the far post.

Knockaert's 49th-minute goal - his second in three home games - looked likely to earn all three points for the hosts at Craven Cottage.

But, from deadline signing Matheus Pereira's 80th-minute corner, home keeper Marcus Bettinelli was distracted by Albion striker Charlie Austin attempting to lay his hands on him on the line.

The indignant Bettinelli could only parry the ball tamely, allowing Nigerian international Ajayi to nod in at the far post for his first goal for the club.

Slaven Bilic's Baggies have gone behind in six of their seven games and yet still not lost in the league - earning them the most points from losing positions in the Championship this season (12).

But Scott Parker's Fulham, who remain two points behind Albion, were the better side for the first hour and went closest to breaking the deadlock before the break.

Tom Cairney evaded the linesman's flag to get free inside the box and latch onto Harrison Reed's pass, but his left-foot strike was touched onto the bar by the outstretched fingertips of Johnstone.

Reed was then also denied by the alert Baggies keeper, who reacted sharply to keep out his close-range header.

Austin, still to score his first league goal for Albion, volleyed over, then could only direct a tame header straight at Bettinelli.

And the visitors were still second best before the second-half introduction just before the hour of their first two substitutes Filip Krovinovic and Kyle Edwards, followed by Hal Robson-Kanu.

Albion even went close to a winner right on 90 minutes but Darnell Furlong's header flew wide.

Summer loan signing Anthony Knockaert scored his second goal in three home games
Summer loan signing Anthony Knockaert scored his second goal in three home games

Fulham boss Scott Parker:

"I'm disappointed with the result and the way the match ended because for 60 minutes we controlled the game. I don't think anyone would have begrudged us if we had been 2-0 up at half-time.

"But then we stopped doing it. We went from front to back very early and played into the hands of a team that has a lot of pace on the break.

"We kept turning the ball over and, if we turn games into basketball games, we are going to be beaten because we haven't got the players to play like that.

"I want the players to understand the best way was for us to be successful is how we played in the first hour."

West Bromwich Albion head coach Slaven Bilic told BBC WM 95.6:

"We knew we would have to defend aggressively with numbers but, for the first hour, we lost the majority of the 50-50 balls.

"Then we changed the mindset to what we wanted it to be at the start and then we could smell that it was only a matter of time before we capitalised.

"They ended up more happy to hear the final whistle, which means something, especially here away, but we have to be that way from the very first minute.

"We were in their box with numbers and Semi was hungry to score. The lad is totally focused. He has been marvellous for us."

Line-ups

Fulham

  • 1Bettinelli
  • 43S SessegnonBooked at 41minsSubstituted forOdoiat 90'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 5Mawson
  • 13Ream
  • 23Bryan
  • 14De Cordova-ReidSubstituted forOnomahat 85'minutes
  • 21Reed
  • 10Cairney
  • 24Knockaert
  • 9Mitrovic
  • 19Cavaleiro

Substitutes

  • 4Odoi
  • 6McDonald
  • 8Johansen
  • 12Rodák
  • 20Le Marchand
  • 25Onomah
  • 47Kamara

West Brom

  • 1Johnstone
  • 2FurlongBooked at 56mins
  • 6Ajayi
  • 5Bartley
  • 36Ferguson
  • 8LivermoreSubstituted forKrovinovicat 59'minutes
  • 19Sawyers
  • 10PhillipsSubstituted forEdwardsat 59'minutes
  • 12Costa Pereira
  • 29DianganaSubstituted forRobson-Kanuat 69'minutes
  • 15Austin

Substitutes

  • 4Robson-Kanu
  • 7Krovinovic
  • 9Zohore
  • 11Brunt
  • 21Edwards
  • 23Bond
  • 27O'Shea
Referee:
David Webb

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamWest Brom
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home17
Away9
Shots on Target
Home6
Away3
Corners
Home13
Away3
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Fulham 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Fulham 1, West Bromwich Albion 1.

Booking

Denis Odoi (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Denis Odoi (Fulham).

Filip Krovinovic (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Nathan Ferguson.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Denis Odoi replaces Steven Sessegnon.

Attempt missed. Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Matheus Pereira with a cross following a corner.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Tim Ream.

Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ivan Cavaleiro.

Foul by Josh Onomah (Fulham).

Matheus Pereira (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Fulham. Josh Onomah replaces Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

Harrison Reed (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Filip Krovinovic (West Bromwich Albion).

Attempt blocked. Matheus Pereira (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Charlie Austin.

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Anthony Knockaert with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

Goal!

Goal! Fulham 1, West Bromwich Albion 1. Semi Ajayi (West Bromwich Albion) header from very close range to the bottom left corner following a corner.

Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Alfie Mawson.

Marcus Bettinelli (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Hal Robson-Kanu (West Bromwich Albion).

Foul by Harrison Reed (Fulham).

Nathan Ferguson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Hal Robson-Kanu replaces Grady Diangana.

Attempt missed. Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Grady Diangana.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Nathan Ferguson.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Kyle Bartley.

Attempt missed. Joe Bryan (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Sam Johnstone.

Attempt saved. Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Tom Cairney.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Kyle Edwards replaces Matt Phillips.

Substitution

Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Filip Krovinovic replaces Jake Livermore.

Booking

Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Joe Bryan (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Darnell Furlong (West Bromwich Albion).

Foul by Anthony Knockaert (Fulham).

Nathan Ferguson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Swansea7511125716
2Charlton7421116514
3Bristol City7421139414
4Leeds6411103713
5Preston7412137613
6West Brom7340118313
7QPR74121211113
8Birmingham741278-113
9Nottm Forest7331106412
10Fulham7322116511
11Blackburn731377010
12Sheff Wed63038629
13Middlesbrough72328809
14Cardiff7232810-29
15Millwall723259-49
16Luton72141213-17
17Reading721489-17
18Brentford721456-17
19Derby7142710-37
20Hull7133811-36
21Barnsley612349-55
22Wigan7124613-75
23Huddersfield6015511-61
24Stoke7016717-101
View full Championship table

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