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Fulham answer key questions – and potentially turn their season around

This was a night when everything went right for Scott Parker and Fulham, who have now moved out of the relegation places with this 2-1 win.

Until now, their season has been dogged by penalty misses and defensive instability – but those issues were emphatically, at least for now, put to bed at the King Power Stadium.

Fulham’s defence was excellent all night, keeping a Leicester attack at bay and they were only breached in the final four minutes when Harvey Barnes fired home inside the box.

Before that the likes of Joachim Andersen, captain for the night, kept Jamie Vardy and the Foxes quiet, while at the other end Fulham’s forwards did the business.

Their first goal was a lovely counter that was finished by Ademola Lookman, while the second was a cooly-taken penalty from Ivan Cavaleiro.

The words ‘coolly taken’ and ‘penalty’ have not been uttered in the same sentence by Fulham fans this season – who have already seen their side miss three – but Cavaleiro was able to stop the rot. Against Everton the other week he slipped and fluffed his lines; this time he found the top corner.

Both those goals came before half-time, but before Lookman had fired Fulham in front it was Leicester who had looked the most threatening.

They somehow hit the woodwork twice in the space of seconds as Youri Tielemans struck the bar from outside the box and then Wesley Fofana crashed the rebound into the bar.

Perhaps that was a sign this was to be Fulham’s night and sure enough, 12 minutes later, they went ahead on the half-hour mark.

It was a lovely counter, one that was started by Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa striding with the ball and covering half the pitch.

The marauding run was akin to that of Papa Bouba Diop – the former Fulham midfielder who tragically died at the weekend at the age of 42 – and it was fitting the goal was dedicated to him.

Lookman, who was slid in by Anguissa, calmly slotted the ball past Kasper Schmeichel and ran over to the Fulham bench after to hold aloft one of Diop’s Senegal shirts.

Fulham kicked on from there, doubling their lead eight minutes later after VAR intervened. Christian Fuchs brought down Bobby Decordova-Reid in the box and, once referee Simon Hooper had checked the pitch-side monitor, a penalty was given.

Parker’s side have struggled with spot-kicks all season, with Lookman’s infamous Panenka against West Ham a particular lowlight, but Cavaleiro made no mistake. The ball was fired into the top corner and Schmeichel had no chance.

Leicester were desperate to turn things around at half-time and duly threw on Barnes and Cengiz Under.

They, however, could make little difference as Fulham soaked up pressure with ease. And in truth it was they who looked mostly likely to score again, and they almost did with 15 minutes to go, but Schmeichel used a strong hand to deny Lookman.

Leicester did, however, manage to setup a nervy finish thanks to Barnes, who fired home from inside the box after Vardy had knocked the ball down.

Fulham weathered the storm, though, and left the King Power with three points and belief the tide is turning.


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