Premier League
FulhamFulham0BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion0

Fulham 0-0 Brighton & Hove Albion: Hosts out of bottom three with point

By Harry PooleBBC Sport
Adam Lallana had a goal disallowed
Adam Lallana was denied his first Brighton goal following a VAR review

Fulham moved out of the Premier League's bottom three on goal difference after earning a point in a goalless draw with Brighton at Craven Cottage.

Both sides had chances to take all three points in a much livelier second half, as Adam Webster's header struck the crossbar and Seagulls goalkeeper Robert Sanchez denied both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ademola Lookman.

Adam Lallana was denied his first Brighton goal four minutes after the restart, a VAR review disallowing his low finish for a handball by Danny Welbeck in the build up.

Attempts in excess of 30 yards by Brighton pair Yves Bissouma and Lewis Dunk were the only shots on target in a cagey opening period, which also saw Welbeck narrowly fail to reach Tariq Lamptey's inviting low cross for the visitors.

Ivan Caveleiro's powerful drive forced Sanchez to tip over as Fulham - back to playing without fans after London was moved into the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday - came alive before half-time.

But neither side could force a winner, as Brighton missed the chance to distance themselves from trouble and remain two points above the relegation places.

Fulham continue steady progress

Scott Parker praises Fulham defence after securing second clean sheet of season

Fulham's hard-earned haul of four points from three difficult fixtures against Leicester, Manchester City and Liverpool had seen Scott Parker's steadily improving side double their points tally for the season.

Indeed, there can be no greater indication of Fulham's progress over recent weeks than Parker's disappointment at only taking a point against the defending champions on Sunday.

But Wednesday's meeting with Brighton posed a very different challenge, with arguably Fulham's most important match of the season to date offering the opportunity to not only exit the bottom three but also pull Brighton into trouble.

Once again deploying three at the back, Fulham retained the new-found solidity that was sorely lacking at the beginning of the campaign to record only their second clean sheet in 13 games.

The main moments of concern for Parker's side arrived from set-pieces, as Dunk and Webster got the better of the hosts on several occasions.

Having withstood pressure immediately after half-time, Ruben Loftus-Cheek was denied by the feet of Sanchez and the introduction of Aleksandar Mitrovic allowed Fulham to pose an aerial threat of their own, but Lookman could not convert from the Serbia international's knock down.

Fulham's place outside the bottom three may be short-lived, with 18th-placed Burnley in action against Aston Villa on Thursday, but this was another result that takes Parker's side in the right direction after just one defeat in their last four.

Missed opportunity for Brighton

Brighton manager Graham Potter praises performance of keeper Robert Sanchez

Brighton's defeat by Leicester three days ago was a rare occasion in which Potter's side have failed to be competitive in a Premier League game this season. However, back-to-back defeats and one win in their past 10 games made this trip to London an important fixture.

The first of two games against sides below them in the standings, with bottom side Sheffield United up next, was first and foremost a must-not-lose for the Seagulls against a Fulham able to leapfrog them in the standings.

Potter welcomed back Lamptey, Lallana and Webster from injury among six changes, which also saw the impressive 23-year-old Sanchez replace the absent Mat Ryan in goal and make a couple of key saves late on.

The speed and delivery of the returning Lamptey offered Brighton's main attacking outlet in a largely uneventful first half, before the visitors emerged from the interval looking much more likely to break the deadlock.

Dunk dominated in the air and twice went close as he followed up his saved header, while Lallana's effort was disallowed due to the ball bouncing up onto Welbeck's arm before rolling into the path of the former Liverpool player.

Having finished in the bottom six for the past three seasons and an underperforming Arsenal the only side within five points above them, this was the first of two golden opportunities for Brighton to distance themselves from trouble. Victory against the Blades on Sunday now appears a must.

'A clean sheet is massive for us' - what the managers said

Fulham boss Scott Parker, speaking to BBC Sport: "I thought we looked a little jaded today and that was probably from the effort the players put in against Liverpool. We did have some massive chances but overall a point felt a fair result.

"In large parts this season we have not given ourselves a platform and have been chasing games down. A clean sheet is massive for us. Overall [there are] a lot of positives but some negatives as well. I felt we lacked a bit of control today.

"This is a team that is moving in the right direction and I am seeing improvements in. We are taking small steps and that is very pleasing."

Brighton boss Graham Potter: "I felt we could have got all three [points]. The second half performance was a strong one. In the end it's a hard-fought match against a team in a good moment."

On goalkeeper Robert Sanchez: "Really good [performance]. He brought his quality, used his feet well and mixed it up. He has huge potential and it's our job to help him fulfil that. Attributes wise, he has everything you need to be a top goalkeeper."

A first Craven Cottage game without a goal in nine years - the stats

  • This was Fulham's first goalless draw at home in league competition since August 2011, ending a run of 196 consecutive games with at least one goal scored.
  • Brighton have won just two of their last 17 away Premier League matches in London.
  • Only Sheffield United (seven) have failed to score in more Premier League games than Fulham (six) this season.
  • Fulham have won just four of their last 25 Premier League matches in December.
  • Brighton defender Lewis Dunk had five attempts at goal in this match - the most by a defender in a Premier League game this season.
  • Brighton have won just one of their last 11 Premier League matches.

What's next?

Fulham are away to Newcastle on Saturday at 20:00 GMT, while Brighton host Sheffield United on Sunday at 12:00.

Player of the match

LallanaAdam Lallana

with an average of 8.16

Fulham

  1. Squad number5Player nameAndersen
    Average rating

    6.42

  2. Squad number1Player nameAreola
    Average rating

    6.23

  3. Squad number16Player nameTosin
    Average rating

    6.03

  4. Squad number19Player nameLookman
    Average rating

    5.97

  5. Squad number34Player nameAina
    Average rating

    5.77

  6. Squad number29Player nameZambo Anguissa
    Average rating

    5.74

  7. Squad number14Player nameDe Cordova-Reid
    Average rating

    5.65

  8. Squad number33Player nameRobinson
    Average rating

    5.64

  9. Squad number21Player nameReed
    Average rating

    5.61

  10. Squad number15Player nameLoftus-Cheek
    Average rating

    5.52

  11. Squad number9Player nameMitrovic
    Average rating

    5.46

  12. Squad number18Player nameLemina
    Average rating

    5.45

  13. Squad number17Player nameCavaleiro
    Average rating

    5.18

  14. Squad number47Player nameKamara
    Average rating

    4.74

Brighton & Hove Albion

  1. Squad number14Player nameLallana
    Average rating

    8.16

  2. Squad number26Player nameSánchez
    Average rating

    7.18

  3. Squad number8Player nameBissouma
    Average rating

    6.80

  4. Squad number2Player nameLamptey
    Average rating

    6.78

  5. Squad number3Player nameWhite
    Average rating

    6.73

  6. Squad number5Player nameDunk
    Average rating

    6.68

  7. Squad number20Player nameMarch
    Average rating

    6.53

  8. Squad number17Player nameAlzate
    Average rating

    6.13

  9. Squad number18Player nameWelbeck
    Average rating

    6.08

  10. Squad number4Player nameWebster
    Average rating

    6.05

  11. Squad number34Player nameVeltman
    Average rating

    5.57

  12. Squad number11Player nameTrossard
    Average rating

    5.57

  13. Squad number16Player nameJahanbakhsh
    Average rating

    5.39

  14. Squad number13Player nameGroß
    Average rating

    5.34

Line-ups

Fulham

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Areola
  • 34Aina
  • 5Andersen
  • 16Tosin
  • 14De Cordova-ReidSubstituted forKamaraat 62'minutes
  • 29Zambo Anguissa
  • 21ReedSubstituted forLeminaat 63'minutes
  • 33RobinsonBooked at 76mins
  • 15Loftus-CheekSubstituted forMitrovicat 77'minutes
  • 19Lookman
  • 17Cavaleiro

Substitutes

  • 4Odoi
  • 9Mitrovic
  • 10Cairney
  • 12Rodák
  • 13Ream
  • 18Lemina
  • 47Kamara

Brighton

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 26Sánchez
  • 3White
  • 5Dunk
  • 4Webster
  • 2LampteySubstituted forVeltmanat 78'minutes
  • 8Bissouma
  • 17Alzate
  • 20March
  • 14LallanaSubstituted forGroßat 85'minutes
  • 11TrossardSubstituted forJahanbakhshat 79'minutes
  • 18Welbeck

Substitutes

  • 7Connolly
  • 9Maupay
  • 13Groß
  • 16Jahanbakhsh
  • 23Steele
  • 33Burn
  • 34Veltman
Referee:
Robert Jones

Match Stats

Home TeamFulhamAway TeamBrighton
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home9
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home1
Away8
Fouls
Home15
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Fulham 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Fulham 0, Brighton and Hove Albion 0.

  3. Post update

    Danny Welbeck (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Joachim Andersen (Fulham).

  5. Post update

    Foul by Joël Veltman (Brighton and Hove Albion).

  6. Post update

    Ademola Lookman (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Pascal Groß replaces Adam Lallana.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ademola Lookman (Fulham) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  9. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ademola Lookman (Fulham) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Aleksandar Mitrovic with a headed pass.

  10. Post update

    Steven Alzate (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Mario Lemina (Fulham).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) header from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Alireza Jahanbakhsh replaces Leandro Trossard.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Brighton and Hove Albion. Joël Veltman replaces Tariq Lamptey.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leandro Trossard (Brighton and Hove Albion) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Yves Bissouma.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Aleksandar Mitrovic replaces Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

  17. Booking

    Antonee Robinson (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Post update

    Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Antonee Robinson (Fulham).

  20. Post update

    Ben White (Brighton and Hove Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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