Free-scoring Fulham surge to third huge win in succession



Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2022 by PA

Free-scoring Fulham surge to third huge win in succession

Fulham moved five points clear at the top of the Championship table thanks to a relentless 6-2 win at home to struggling Birmingham.

It was a third high-scoring encounter in the space of a week for Marco Silva’s side following a 7-0 romp at Reading and a 6-2 home success at Bristol City’s expense.

Neeskens Kebano, Fabio Carvalho and Tom Cairney added to an own-goal opener, with Birmingham’s Ivan Sunjic pulling one back to make it 4-1 at half-time.

Gary Gardner gave Blues brief hope of an unlikely comeback with a 74th-minute second before Carvalho scored his second and Antonee Robinson helped himself to a sixth.

Fulham’s first came in the 10th minute when Tom Cairney’s deflected pass put Harry Wilson into a crossing position on the right.

The Welshman’s delivery looked perfect for Aleksandar Mitrovic to add to his 27-goal tally but Blues defender Marc Roberts, with doing nothing not an option, got there first to deflect the ball past ex-Fulham keeper Neil Etheridge and into his own net.

Wilson saw a drive ping behind off a defender on the half-hour mark and though Birmingham had kept their shape well since suffering the early setback, their defence was breached again in the 35th minute.

Again Wilson was involved on the right, this time sending defender Denis Odoi forward to launch a cross. Birmingham were caught flat-footed and Kebano raced in ahead of Maxime Colin to fire home a first-time effort past Etheridge.

Goal number three quickly followed in the 38th minute. Kebano was involved again but it was Robinson who claimed the assist as Carvalho nipped in ahead of Teden Mengi to send a glancing header into the bottom corner.

Carvalho fired an effort at Etheridge straight after when Birmingham failed to clear their lines but Cairney scored from their next attack. Wilson, Kebano and Carvalho exchanged passes before the Fulham captain slotted in off a post while falling on his backside.

Birmingham pulled one back straight away through Sunjic, whose powerful drive from outside the box gave Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak no chance as it too went in off an upright.

Blues defender Kristian Pedersen was booked early in the second period for a lunge on Wilson and Lukas Jutkiewicz forced Rodak into a save with a low drive.

Etheridge did well to deny Carvalho at the other end before Fulham’s Harrison Reed was booked for lunging in on Gardner.

Birmingham made it 4-2 in the 74th minute through Gardner’s precision finish. Hernandez robbed substitute Nathaniel Chalobah of possession to allow Pedersen to advance and set up Gardner for a low drive between Rodak and his left-hand post.

Fulham restored their three-goal advantage within seconds, however, when Carvalho danced along the edge of the box before planting a low drive beyond Etheridge’s reach.

Robinson fizzed in another from the edge of the box in stoppage time to complete the rout.

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