Fulham 3-2 Wolves: Cottagers edge past stubborn Wolves in penalty-dominated five-goal thriller

Premier League action returned to Craven Cottage on Monday evening following the international break, with both sides in desperate need of points to stay clear of the bottom three. Fulham were the victims of a 3-1 defeat at Villa Park last time out, while Wolves defeated Tottenham Hotspur late on at Molineux

FUL: Leno; Robinson, Ream, Bassey, Castagne; Cairney, Reed; Willian, Iwobi, Pereira; Jimenez

WOL: Sa; Bueno, Toti, Kilman; Ait Nouri, Gomes, Lemina, Bellegarde, Semedo; Cunha, Hwang

A cold evening down by the River Thames saw the Cottagers almost off to the perfect start as Alex Iwobi found Andreas Pereira in the Wolves box, with the Brazilian sending a cross in low towards former Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, but his back heel failed to trouble Jose Sa.

Fulham knew they needed a quick start, and they got just that in the 7th minute, as Marco Silva’s side manufactured an excellent team goal. Antonee Robinson received the ball down the left hand side and raced at the Wolves defence. The American then got past Max Kilman and fired the ball in low towards Alex Iwobi, who steered the ball home from close range.

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It almost got even better moments after for Fulham, but Tom Cairney’s low strike from a corner was saved by Jose Sa in the Wolves goal. Andreas Pereira’s free kick was also collected comfortably by the Portuguese international.

Gary O’Neil’s charges may have been under constant pressure in the opening minutes, but it slowly eased when Hwang Hee-Chan raced through on goal and saw his effort crash back off the crossbar. But that was only a sign of things to come, as Wolves got their equaliser with just 22 minutes gone. Nelson Semedo’s burst of pace found Jean-Ricner Bellegarde in the Fulham box. The Frenchman then got past Antonee Robinson and whipped the ball in towards the far post, where Matheus Cunha was waiting to head home past Bernd Leno – a goal that had been coming since Iwobi’s opener.

Fulham looked to respond quickly following Cunha’s leveller, as Alex Iwobi raced towards goal, before cutting inside and dragging his shot just wide of the bottom corner, in what proved to be the final clear-cut chance of the first half.

The second half started out on quite an even note, with both sides looking to catch each other out. However, Wolves could have taken the lead in the 53rd minute, only for Timothy Castagne to prevent Matt Doherty – who came on for an injured Rayan Ait-Nouri in the first half – from putting Wolves in front.

Although, just minutes after at the other end, Fulham were awarded for a foul on Tom Cairney by Nelson Semedo, albeit with some help from VAR. Willian then took on the spot kick, and from the spot, the veteran kept his composure and rolled the ball past Jose Sa to put Fulham back in front.

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Alex Iwobi could have had a second to his name in the 68th minute, but instead of opting for a low finish, the Nigerian fired high towards the top corner, only for Jose Sa to produce an excellent save to prevent Fulham’s third. 

Mario Lemina could have haunted his former employers just moments after, as he got in behind the Fulham backline, but his shot was kept out well by Bernd Leno. 

With just under 20 minutes to go, Wolves were awarded a penalty of their own after Tim Ream brought down Hwang Hee-Chan in the Fulham box. It was Hwang who then picked himself and smashed the ball past Bernd Leno to level the game up again. 

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Tom Cairney had the chance to put Fulham in front for the third time, only for the captain to fire his attempt wide. Alex Iwobi then saw his low effort saved comfortably by Jose Sa. 

As the game ticked into stoppage-time, after VAR consultation, Michael Salisbury gave Fulham another penalty after Joao Gomes was adjudged to have fouled Cottagers substitute Harry Wilson. Willian then stepped up again, and the outcome was the same, as Jose Sa watched the ball fly into the bottom corner.

Wolves could have snatched a third equaliser right at the death, only for Hwang Hee-Chan’s ambitious volley to fly just over the bar, and leaving Marco Silva to breathe a huge sigh of relief as Fulham picked up their first win in four league games.

Next time out in the Premier League, Gary O’Neil’s side head back to London to take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday at 3pm, while Fulham head up north to face Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool the following day at 2pm.