Crystal Palace vs. Fulham: Final score 1-4, things looking dire for Palace

Julian Finney

Fulham didn't generate a large volume of scoring chances against Palace, but they didn't need to. They finished the ones they got in spectacular fashion.

Fulham have preserved Martin Jol's job for now, and in spectacular fashion. They were mildly disappointing for most of the first half of their game against Crystal Palace, but managed to come up with a pair of truly spectacular goals. In the beginning of the second half, they were dominant. By the hour mark, they had put the game away, and they ran out very comfortable 3-1 winners.

Adrian Mariappa got Palace off to a surprisingly excellent start in the seventh minute and made Brede Hangeland look bad in the process. The Fulham defender was caught out of position during the attack that led to the corner he conceded, then again on the set piece, where Mariappa headed in off a deflected cross.

However, Palace's lead did not last long, with Fulham grabbing an equalizer in sensational fashion. Pajtim Kasami scored what should go down as the best goal of the year to this point, stunning Selhurst Park 12 minutes after Mariappa's opener. He controlled a long pass from Sacha Riether on the right side of the penalty box, popped the ball up for himself and unleashed an unstoppable volley, placed perfectly from a narrow angle and executed perfectly as part of one fluid movement.

Not much happened between then and the end of the half, but Steve Sidwell sent his side into the locker room with a bang. In the 45th minute, a free kick deflected out to him at the top of the box and he unleashed a perfect volley to the top corner at the near post from 20 yards, sending Fulham into the break up 2-1.

Fulham were all over Palace from the start of the second half and only needed 10 minutes to effectively end the game. Palace's woes started in the 49th minute when Speroni punted the ball off Dimitar Berbatov's backside, leading to a good chance for Darren Bent. His shot was blocked and rolled behind the endline, but Fulham capitalized on the ensuing corner, with Berbatov heading in from just outside the six-yard box.

Five minutes later, Phillppe Senderos scored Fulham's fourth in an unlikely fashion. On another corner, Senderos peeled off at the back post and was left completely unmarked. As the ball fell to him, he struck a first-time volley that Speroni failed to keep out. Unsurprisingly, with a three-goal lead on the road, Fulham backed off after that and held on for an easy win.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Delaney, Moxey, Mariappa, Ward, Campana (Thomas 45'), Jedinak, O'Keefe, Bolasie, Puncheon (Chamakh 56'), Gayle (Phillips 69')

Goals: Mariappa (7')

Fulham: Stekelenberg, Richardson, Hangeland (Amorebieta 45'), Senderos, Riether, Ruiz, Parker, Sidwell, Kasami, Bent (Duff 77'), Berbatov (Rodallega 90')

Goals: Kasami (19'), Sidwell (45'), Berbatov (50'), Senderos (55')

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