06.08.2022
Fulham 2-2 Liverpool: Five things we learned as Reds salvage a point in season opener

Liverpool salvaged a point on the opening weekend of the Premier League season as second-half goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah cancelled out Aleksandar Mitrovic’s brace in an exhilarating 2-2 draw with Fulham. Last season’s runners-up looked out-of-sorts at Craven Cottage as they handed Premier League rivals Manchester City an early advantage in the title race.

Fulham announced their re-arrival in the Premier League with a flourish, asserting their intentions from the off. The Cottagers pressed Liverpool and looked a threat from the get-go, so it came as little surprise to see the hosts open the scoring. Mitrovic set about silencing his Premier League doubters by towering over Trent Alexander-Arnold at the back post and planting a powerful header past Alisson with just over half an hour on the clock.

The setback seemed to spark Jurgen Klopp’s subdued side into action as Andy Robertson nearly inspired an almost-immediate reply, flashing one across the face of the goal, before Luis Diaz struck the crossbar. A disciplined and organised Fulham continued to steal the show into the second half and could have doubled their lead in the second half as Neeskens Kebano struck the post.

Super sub Darwin Nunez then looked to have come to Liverpool’s rescue, levelling the contest just after the hour mark with an inventive flick, only for Mitrovic to put the hosts back in front after coolly slotting home from the spot after being tripped by Virgil van Dijk. There was still time for Mohamed Salah to score his obligatory goal on the opening game of the season, as the Egyptian poked home a late equaliser. Express Sport take a closer look at five things we learnt from an epic clash at Craven Cottage.

JUST IN: Liverpool might have another Luis Suarez or Fernando Torres after opening day Fulham draw

Pre-season was something of a mixed bag for Liverpool as Klopp experimented with personnel and line-ups. Last weekend’s exhilarating 3-1 win over Manchester City in the Community Shield then looked to have allayed any fears that the Reds harboured heading into the new season, however, on Saturday, those fears once again reared their heads.

Klopp’s side looked out-of-sorts in the first half as Premier League new boys Fulham put Liverpool under pressure from the off. The Reds were wasteful in possession as Silva’s side didn’t allow last season’s Premier League runners-up a second to settle on the ball.

Despite a string of injuries, the only tweak to Liverpool’s starting line-up compared with last season was Roberto Firmino leading the line in Sadio Mane’s stead. Though the Senegalese star will undoubtedly be missed this campaign, his absence alone cannot be credited as the reason for Liverpool’s limp start; Klopp’s side were simply sluggish and lacking sharpness. Van Dijk’s uncharacteristic error epitomised the Reds’ unsteady showing.

After a stuttering start to life at Liverpool in pre-season, new star signing Nunez has been used sparingly by Klopp so far. The Uruguayan hitman came off the bench to net his first competitive strike for the Reds against Manchester City in last weekend’s Community Shield and would have felt hard-done-by to have found himself back on the bench at Craven Cottage.

However, Nunez more than made his mark when called upon. Despite attempting to pass when he should have taken on an initial chance, the 23-year-old soon made amends, flicking home – albeit via the aid of a deflection from Fulham centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo.

Nunez was heavily involved after entering the fray as he battled up top and proved himself a constant threat to Fulham with his sharp movement and attacking intent. The time has surely come for the striker to be entrusted from the off. If his Craven Cottage cameo is anything to go by, Nunez will bag a flurry of Premier League goals this season.

The 2022-23 Premier League season will provide Fulham frontman Mitrovic with a third crack of the whip in England’s top-flight as the Serbian striker bids to silence his doubters and prove his worth in the big time. And what a start the forward made to the season.

The 27-year-old was rewarded for this tireless work in the early stages as he thumped in the opener, rising above Alexander-Arnold to power home Kenny Tete’s whipped deep cross. Mitrovic, who was regarded as something of a hot-head during the early years of his career, appears more mature and well-rounded than ever before as he continued where he left off last season – a campaign in which he struck a staggering 43 Championship goals.

Prior to Saturday, 81 of Mitrovic’s 96 strikes for Fulham came in English football’s second tier, but expect his Premier League goal tally to explode this season. Fulham’s No 9 looks every bit ready for the Premier League, as Liverpool will now be able to testify.

Having either been relegated or promoted in each of the past five seasons and yo-yoed between English football’s top two tiers, Fulham have a point to prove this campaign. The Cottagers are a classic case of the cliche ‘too good for the Championship but not good enough for the Premier League’. However, if Saturday’s display was anything to go by, Fulham may finally be ready to escape football purgatory.

The Whites have fallen foul of poor investment in previous seasons and seen imbalanced squads struggle to adapt to the unique demands of life in the Premier League. This time around though, Marco Silva’s men look up for the challenge.

The Cottagers pressed as a unit in the early stages, not allowing Liverpool a second to settle in possession, while themselves looking slick and sharp on the ball. If Silva’s side can sustain the level of intensity shown against the Reds and maintain their impressive standards of organisation, this may finally be the season Fulham exorcise their Premier League demons and settle among England’s elite.

Manchester United could well be made to rue letting Andreas Pereira go this summer. The Brazilian midfielder showed glimpses of his undoubted potential at Old Trafford but has been forced to seek first-team opportunities elsewhere during a string of loan spells over the past few years.

Having escaped Manchester for good earlier in the window, Pereira will be keen to finally prove his worth in English football’s top-flight on a consistent basis. Against United’s bitter rivals Liverpool on Saturday, the midfielder made an encouraging start in his attempts to show the Red Devils exactly what they may come to miss this season.

Pereira cut a calm and composed presence in attacking midfield as he provided the link to Mitrovic up top, while his fine deliveries were a constant threat. With United struggling to find a solution over Frenkie de Jong, Erik ten Hag could well be made to pay for not affording Pereira an opportunity at United this season. Signed for a fee of around £10m, Fulham look to have bagged themselves a bargain.

Добавить комментарий

Uhtred of Bebbanburg’s (played by Alexander Dreymon) story will soon…
0
The first season finale of Power Book III: Raising Kanan…
0
Mitch Baker (played by Roger Griffiths) could end up pushing…
0
14.08.2022
GB News: EU to use Sturgeon’s IndyRef2 plot to make relations ‘more difficult’ with UK
Michelle Ballantyne went on GB News to discuss the issues she believes Scotland will face if the country becomes independent.…
0
14.08.2022
‘Not realistic’ Jacob Rees-Mogg swats away claims Boris Johnson is plotting return to No10
The Brexit Opportunities Minister, a key ally to the outgoing Prime Minister, claimed it was “not realistic” to think Mr…
0
  • 1 час, 24 минуты назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Timo Werner banishes Chelsea demons just 36 minutes into RB Leipzig return

    Timo Werner scored just 36 minutes into his return to the Bundesliga as 10-man RB Leipzig secured a draw at home to Cologne.

    The striker rejoined Leipzig on a four-year deal for a fee of £25million earlier this summer after enduring two difficult seasons at Stamford Bridge.

    Receiving the ball more than 30 yards away from the goal on his second Leipzig debut, Werner took a touch and launched a strike towards Cologne ‘keeper Marvin Schwabe who fumbled the ball to his left side to put Leipzig ahead.

    Cologne equalised after 40 minutes before Leipzig’s Dominik Szoboszlaito was sent off before the break.

    Despite facing the second half with just ten men, Leipzig again took the lead on 56 minutes with a goal from Christopher Nkunku.

    The away side continued their fightback however, and equalised on 72 minutes when Chelsea target Josko Gvardiol knocked the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear from a corner.

    Werner’s return strike marks his first goal for the Bundesliga side since he scored a brace against Augsburg in June 2020.

    The 26-year-old scored 28 league goals for Leipzig in the 2019/2020 season, finishing second only to Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga top scorer standings.

    Before agreeing to a return to Die Roten Bullen earlier this month, Werner been targeted by Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag, but the striker ultimately decided against a move to Old Trafford.

    0
  • 1 час, 24 минуты назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Australian cricket legend Ian Chappell officially retires from commentating after 45 years

    Australian cricket icon Ian Chappell has called it time with the microphone after 45 years in the commentary game – admitting world series cricket high flyer Kerry Packer wanted to sack the former skipper on many occasions.

    ‘Chappelli’ began his media tenure in 1977 after knocking 5345 runs in the Aussie test side throughout 75 test matches, 30 of those as captain.

    Chappell said his decision to leave the broadcasting booth was similar to his career retirement call.

    ‘I remember the day when I knew I’d had enough of playing cricket,’ the 78-year-old told the Sydney Morning Herald.

    ‘I looked at the clock and it was five past 11 on a day of play and I thought, ‘S***, if you’re clock-watching at that time, I have to go’.

    The former Channel 9 and ABC grandstand commentator said his sportscasting run almost came to an end before getting under way, due to the mood swings of media tycoon Kerry Packer.

    ‘Kerry wanted to sack me a couple of times. He used to get the shits about one-day cricket, because that was his baby … With Kerry it was just like a storm, you’d let it blow over til the next one came,’ Chappell said.

    Spending the back half of his career with ABC broadcaster Jim Maxwell, Chappell said he loved talking life with Wide World of Sports legend Richie Benaud, who helped craft his skill.

    Chappell’s long television and radio stint has not been without controversy.

    The Australian batsman, part of the Chappell brother dynasty, continued his feud with Englishman Sir Ian Botham off the pitch and into the commentary box, famously ignoring the allrounder during the 1998 Ashes series in the WWOS broadcast, later saying he ‘can’t stand his voice’.

    The South-Australian right hander says listeners of his commentary may remember him as a ‘prick’, but has owned his time behind the microphone.

    Chappell battled with skin cancer in 2019, where he underwent six weeks of intensive radiation therapy.

    He joined the Channel 9 ranks in 1980 and skipped across to the ABC team for the 2020 summer.

    Chappell has recently questioned the future of Test cricket amid the rise of wealthy T20 leagues across the world.

    The author behind ‘Chappelli: life, larrikins and cricket’ and ‘Hitting out: The Ian Chappel Story’ said the 5-day format will come under fire in years to come, as players may seek coin over stature.

    ‘(Test cricket) won’t die in my lifetime. But who’ll be playing it? That’s the big question,’ Chappell told Channel 9.

    0
  • 1 час, 24 минуты назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Man United and Chelsea target Frenkie de Jong was Barcelona’s best player in 0-0 Rayo Vallecano draw

    Luis Garcia claimed Frenkie de Jong was Barcelona’s best player in an otherwise dreadful 0-0 draw against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday – while Spanish media asked: ‘Where has this player been the last three years?’

    Manchester United made the Holland midfielder their No 1 target in the transfer window this summer while Chelsea is also interested in a move.

    Barcelona wants to offload the 25-year-old to balance the books and have enough room in its budget to register new defender Jules Kounde but De Jong appears to want to stay.

    He was a 60th minute substitute by coach Xavi against Vallecano on Saturday night and Garcia saw a player fighting for his future.

    ‘The best one (on the pitch),’ Garcia said as part of his ESPN punditry at the Nou Camp.

    ‘I think he showed today, he wanted to show , “listen, I’m here, I wanted to do something, look what I can bring [to] the table”.

    ‘He definitely was one of the best players in the second half.’

    De Jong received a warm round of applause from Barcelona fans as he came on in the second half – a gesture that Spanish publication Marca said meant the supporters ‘want to continue seeing him as a Barca player.’

    And Barcelona-based publication Mundo Deportivo agreed, albeit writing with a little bit more scrutiny in an editorial about De Jong.

    ‘If Frenkie de Jong ends up leaving for Manchester United or Chelsea in these two remaining weeks of August, one will have to wonder why he did not compete in his first three seasons with the determination he is displaying now,’ it said.

    ‘It seems that feeling cornered by the club for financial reasons has freed the best Frenkie de Jong , the one who only saw the light on a few occasions. It’s all or nothing for him, he no longer has anything to lose.’

    A move to United, however, will only have become less appealing after Erik ten Hag’s side were crushed 4-0 by Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday.

    United legend Rio Ferdinand slammed his old club for ‘begging’ De Jong to join when all the signs suggest he doesn’t want to go to Old Trafford without Champions League football.

    ‘We’re almost wh**ing ourselves out for this player. For three months in the transfer window, with our cap out begging, “please come to us, please come to us.”

    ‘They’ve walked around behind him, begging him (De Jong), “please turn round and notice us, please turn round and notice us.” And he’s looking around and saying “not for me.”

    ‘And we’re still there; “please give us one chance.” How are we putting ourselves in that position? How are we allowing ourselves to be put in a position like that?

    ‘Do you think Klopp or Pep or Sir Alex or Jose would be following around a player like this? They wouldn’t be doing that!’

    0
  • 1 час, 24 минуты назад 14.08.2022Sport
    What NRL legend Paul Green was REALLY like and the selfless role the Cowboys coach played in Origin

    It was the biggest con job in State of Origin history and Paul Green was in it up to his eyeballs.

    Game III of the 2001 Origin series is always remembered as ‘Alfie’s comeback’ after coach Wayne Bennett secretly flew longtime Queensland halfback Allan Langer back from the UK to inspire the Maroons in the series-decider.

    Less well remembered is the key role Paul Green played in that historic match, and the subterfuge surrounding it.

    As Green’s friends and former rugby league colleagues struggled to come to grips with his tragic death on Thursday morning, shock has slowly begun to give way to happy memories of the 49-year-old’s great success as a player, coach and family man.

    Yesterday, Gene Miles, Queensland’s head of selectors during that historic 2001 series, recalled arguably the Maroons’ most memorable match, and Green’s part in it.

    ‘Wayne always loved that cloak and dagger stuff,’ Miles said. ‘He loved to keep the opposition guessing.’

    And never did Bennett have to pull a rabbit out of his hat more than for that series.

    It all began when Langer, Brisbane Broncos captain and Maroons halfback in 30 matches, suddenly retired after a poor start to the 1999 season.

    The final straw was being taken from the field by Bennett during a Round 8 match against the North Queensland Cowboys, whose halfback was Paul Green.

    Langer and Green were always the best of ‘frenemies’. Fierce competitors on the field, off it their similar outgoing personalities drew them together and they would always share a beer and some laughs whenever they met.

    But there was no laughter for Langer after that game.

    ‘Greeny put Alfie into retirement up in North Queensland,’ Broncos’ coach and Langer’s childhood friend and longtime halves partner Kevin Walters said on Friday. ‘He beat him twice in the one movement. That night Alf officially retired from the Broncos’.

    Gorden Tallis, who would follow Langer and Walters into the Broncos’ captaincy, remembers the night well.

    ‘Wayne pulled Alfie off because he wasn’t having the impact a fresh player could have had,’ Tallis recalled. ‘I don’t think that had ever happened before in Alfie’s career.

    ‘That night we were having a drink at the bar after the game and I noticed there were tears in Alf’s eyes. I went up and asked him what was wrong. He told me everything was fine and that I shouldn’t worry but later I saw him talking pretty seriously with Kevvie.

    ‘When we got on the plane to head home, we knew something was wrong. When we travelled, the players always sat down the back and Wayne sat in business class.

    ‘This time Alf sat up front with Wayne. They must have had a long talk all the way because when we got together for training on the Tuesday, Wayne told us Alf had hung up the boots. Alf had been too emotional to tell us himself.’

    With Langer out of the picture Green and the Roosters’ Adrian Lam shared the number seven jersey for the Maroons under the coaching of Mark Murray in 1999 and 2000.

    The 1999 series was drawn, meaning 1998 champs Queensland retained the trophy, but 2000 was a disaster for the Maroons. NSW secured a clean-sweep with a 56-16 thrashing in Game III during which the Blues taunted their opponents with a pre-rehearsed try celebration.

    The upshot was that Bennett, who had stepped down from the role after winning the 1998 series, returned as Origin coach.

    With Adrian Lam heading to the UK, Green was now the State’s number one halfback. In a 2010 interview, he told me he could sense an immediate change when Bennett took the Maroons for their first training camp.

    ‘Everyone had written us off when the team was announced,’ he told me. ‘We had a lot of young blokes like John Doyle and John Buttigieg that no-one had heard of and some old ones like Kevin Campion.

    ‘In Sydney the papers were calling us Dad’s Army and all the rest of it. They were right into us and as far as we were concerned that was all the better. The whole theme of that camp was to put in for your team-mates. We weren’t focused on the result, more the process.

    ‘We spoke a lot about the concept of the team, Ian Healy was involved, and he spoke to us a lot about playing cricket for Australia and what it was that made it special to be part of that team. Little by little it all started to come together for us.

    ‘There was a change of attitude to other Origin camps I’d been in. All Origin camps are intense but this one wasn’t so much about beating NSW, it was more about putting in for each other and for Queensland.’

    Everything went perfectly for Queensland from the start of Game l, with Lote Tuqiri slicing through the NSW defence the first time the Blues kicked downfield, before passing to Darren Lockyer who scored.

    ‘I remember thinking, ‘how good is this?’ and it just kept going,’ Green recalled. ‘It was one of those nights when everything seems to go perfectly.’

    The final score was 34-16.

    Queensland captain Tallis said he was ‘walking on air’ as he left the field.

    ‘I couldn’t wait for Game II,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t wait to see what we could achieve.’

    For Tallis, Game ll would never come. Two weeks later he was playing for Brisbane against the Northern Eagles when he suffered a serious neck injury in a seemingly innocuous tackle.

    Without their inspirational leader the Maroons lost the second match 26-8, leading Bennett to make one of the biggest – and sneakiest – calls of his career.

    Before the 2000 season Allan Langer had received an offer to play for the Warrington Wolves club in the UK. Bored with life on the sidelines, he accepted and away from the pressure of the NRL, had started to regain his mojo.

    Knowing he needed something special to get the Maroons faltering campaign back on track, Bennett reached for the phone.

    By all reports it was a short conversation. Bennett asked Langer if he would make a mercy dash across the world to play one game.

    Langer answered, ‘What took you so long?’

    Bennett hung up the phone and made another call. To Paul Green.

    When a player gets a call from the coach a few days before a team is announced it is rarely with good news. Especially after a loss.

    When Green heard Bennett’s voice on the other end of the line he feared the worse, especially when the coach’s opening words were, ‘Greeny, we’re making a change …’

    With Langer coming into the side, the obvious move would be to drop Green or, at the very least, move him to the bench. Instead, the selectors gambled on playing him in the unfamiliar role of hooker.

    One of the journalists writing about Green in the past few days said Green gave him the impression that he felt his playing skills were undervalued.

    That obviously wasn’t the case amongst the Queensland selectors in 2001.

    ‘There was no way Greeny wasn’t going to be in the side,’ Miles said. ‘We knew he wouldn’t let us down. He had those beautiful soft hands, and he could read the play as well as anyone. He was all about the team, and when Wayne told him about the change, he jumped at it.’

    Far from being intimidated at the thought of playing such a big game in an unfamiliar position, Green was excited at the thought of playing alongside his longtime rival.

    ‘I knew before the team was announced,’ he said. ‘Wayne contacted me and said I’d have to shift positions. Then he told me that Alfie was coming back into the side and geez I was happy.

    ‘I didn’t give my situation a second thought. Everyone was committed to getting the result, not thinking about themselves, and this was Alfie Langer we were talking about; a great bloke to have around, a great bloke to have in camp, and one of the best players of all time.

    ‘We were all so excited and the hype was unbelievable. It all made it such a bigger occasion.’

    For Green, the hardest part was not letting anyone know what was going on. Wanting to keep NSW in the dark, Bennett refused to divulge his side until the last possible moment.

    When reporters raised the outrageous possibility of bringing Langer back for the game, Bennett and the other selectors laughed them off.

    Even when Langer was in the air – flying under a false name – the Queensland brains-trust continued playing ducks and drakes.

    The initial team released to the press left the halfback position blank and had Green at five-eighth.

    With journalists waiting outside the Maroons selection room for the team list, Miles walked out and headed for the lift.

    When one asked what was happening, he told them, ‘Sorry fellas, can’t stop. I’ve got to pick up Alfie at the airport.’

    ‘They all laughed,’ he recalled, ‘but I was telling the truth.’

    By the next day the cat was well and truly out of the bag and the media frenzy was off the scale. One outlet led its front-page coverage with exclusive news that Alfie’s mother had made him bacon and eggs for breakfast.

    On the Sunday night, Langer played a blinder, scoring a spectacular try and inspiring a series winning 40-14 victory.

    At hooker – but wearing the number six five-eighth jersey as per the original team list – Paul Green was everything the selectors had gambled on, his play-making and kicking skills providing a one-two punch with Langer.

    ‘It was a huge time,’ Green said. ‘There were plenty of reasons for us to want to win: Gordie getting injured, Alfie coming back and it was Wendell Sailor’s last Origin before going to rugby union.

    ‘Most of all, I’d playing the series the year before. I hadn’t played in the third game, but they’d given us a flogging and they were very arrogant about it.

    ‘There was all this stuff in the papers about Origin being dead and Queensland not being able to compete and all that other shit we’d heard before. That all made us more focused as a team.

    ‘We knew how important it was for us to win. For the game, and for Queensland.’

    Langer and Green would never get another chance to play together after that night, but they remained close mates until Green’s untimely death.

    Like everyone who knew him, Langer was hit hard by the tragedy.

    ‘I was at home by myself when I heard the news and I cried,’ he told journalist Robert Craddock. ‘It’s devastating. I still can’t believe it.’

    With Green’s death leading to calls from the likes of Waye Bennett and Kevin Walters for the NRL to pay more attention to coaches’ and ex-players’ mental health, Gene Miles spoke the thoughts of many.

    ‘He was such a good bloke,’ he said. ‘Great company and a very clever man. He had so much going for him, and when I heard what had happened I just thought, ‘no that’s not Greeny, that’s not who he was’. I think that’s the thing about mental health issues. That’s what it can do to you. That wasn’t Greeny. Not the Greeny we all knew.’

    If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact Lifeline 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

    0
  • 2 часа, 38 минут назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Erik ten Hag agents left furious by Man Utd treatment as behind-scenes issues grow at club

    Erik ten Hag’s entourage are reportedly fuming at the nature of his first summer as Manchester United boss. The Dutchman’s camp supposedly feel that he has been let down badly in the transfer market and forced to put on a brave face with club hero Cristiano Ronaldo battling to leave behind the scenes.

    It didn’t take long for reports to emerge indicating that Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong was made Ten Hag’s top target after taking control at Old Trafford. The pair previously worked together at Ajax and despite a £72million agreement being in place for weeks, they have struggled to haul the deal over the line.

    The new boss is also being forced to scour the transfer market for new attacking players after Cristiano Ronaldo asked to leave the Red Devils last month. Ten Hag publicly maintains that his chats with the Portuguese have been positive, but talks to try and change Ronaldo’s mind over the past few weeks have supposedly failed to change his mind.

    According to The Mirror, Ten Hag’s advisors are furious at the way his first summer at the club has unfolded. The 52-year-old is believed to have handed transfer chief John Murtough a five-man wish list, but only three new faces are in the squad with less than three weeks left in the window.

    Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia were signed from Ajax, Brentford and Feyenoord respectively but none of the trio could make a telling impact against Brighton on the opening weekend, as the Red Devils stuttered to a humiliating 2-1 defeat.

    A host of players left Old Trafford at the end of last season including Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata and Edinson Cavani. That shed a huge chunk of the wage bill, but Ten Hag is still waiting for his marquee midfield signing.

    Time is running out to sew up a deal for De Jong amid a dispute between the player and Barcelona over £17m of deferred wages. Ten Hag may soon have to switch his full focus onto alternative targets and Murtough met with the mother and agent of Juventus star Adrien Rabiot in Italy this week to try and finalise a £15m deal.

    Attacking recruits are also a high priority for United and could become even more so if Ronaldo manages to find himself a new club and Marcus Rashford follows through on links to Paris Saint-Germain. The Red Devils missed out on Slovenian teenager Benjamin Sesko and withdrew interest in Marko Arnautovic after complaints from fans, which leaves them scrambling for options that started the summer way down their wish list.

    Rangy Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic remains one of the club’s realistic striker targets, although former United boss Ralf Rangnick has subtly advised the 6ft 7in star against moving to Old Trafford.

    “It is important that Sasa stays injury-free this season and trains and plays at the highest possible level,” he told Sky Austria. “If he stays in Stuttgart this season, it will not be a disadvantage for his development.”

    0
  • 3 часа, 25 минут назад 14.08.2022Sport
    Wolves 0-0 Fulham: Aleksandar Mitrovic sees his penalty saved during draw at the Molineux

    Aleksandar Mitrovic has endured his fair share of frustration playing Premier League football. A prolific goalscorer in the Championship, the Serb has been unable to perform at England’s highest level.

    His double against Liverpool last weekend, however, suggested this time might be different for the throwback of a centre forward.

    Alas. His late penalty here was repelled by Jose Sa and Fulham had to be satisfied with just a single point from Wolves. It was a reminder of the harshness of Premier League football: on a high one week, down in the dumps the next.

    After his penalty miss, Mitrovic’s fury bubbled over in stoppage time. He dashed back and brought down Morgan Gibbs-White from behind. The Wolves man understandably took exception to the foul and the pair engaged in an entertaining tete-a-tete.

    The Molineux fans howled for the red card that would have compounded Mitrovic’s misery. In the end, both players were shown yellow, although the Wolves boss, Bruno Lage, said he thought they should have both gone.

    In truth, Mitrovic had done very little in the 80 minutes before the penalty. He’d barely had a kick all afternoon, let alone a sniff of a decent chance. Early on, he cleared about 20 rows of the Sir Jack Hayward Stand with a shanked shot. His penalty lacked the necessary power or direction, and Sa guessed correctly.

    Fulham manager Marco Silva backed him. ‘Mitro knows the next penalty he will take and score,’ he said. ‘That is part of the game. Last week he had one and scored; this afternoon, it was the moment to win the game but it is part of Mitro’s job. Missing penalties is part of the life of a football player.’

    On the bust-up with Gibbs-White, he said, ‘It was a reaction from both players, not just from Mitro. I know there will be attention on Mitro as always, it will be nothing new for him.

    ‘If the player from Wolves had stayed on the grass and not reacted, it would not have happened.’

    Fulham couldn’t complain with a point on the road, however, especially to follow up their excellent performance against Liverpool last weekend.

    Admittedly, they didn’t create all that much; Mitrovic’s penalty was just their second shot on target. But then, neither did Wolves. It’s now nine without victory in the Premier League for Lage’s side and when at home to a newly-promoted opponent, they really must produce more.

    Lage introduced £27.5m signing Goncalo Guedes for the final half-hour, but the Portugal international couldn’t spark them.

    ‘We deserved to win the game but we need to put the ball in the net. We had plenty of chances to do that,’ Lage said.

    ‘I thought here we lost two points. It was another good performance with personality and I could see by the way the fans responded at the end they enjoyed it.’

    It might have been a happier afternoon for Wolves had they taken presentable early chances. Daniel Podence twice picked the perfect ball from midfield in the opening four minutes but Marek Rodak stood tall at his near post to deny Pedro Neto and then Hwang Hee-Chan.

    But Rodak spilled the ball when he collided with team-mate Tosin Adarabioyo, allowing Neto a run at goal. Tim Ream did enough to put the Wolves forward off and Podence skewed the rebound wide.

    With the game played in 30-plus degrees heat, the contest was mostly languid and uninspiring. Andreas Pereira showed some neat touches and Neeskens Kebano was Fulham’s biggest threat.

    Wolves should have led, but Gibbs-White failed to connect properly with the goal gaping as he met Rayan Ait-Nouri’s second-half cross.

    When Ait-Nouri clipped Bobby De Cordova-Reid in the penalty box with 10 minutes left, Fulham had their golden chance.

    But Mitrovic couldn’t take it.

    0
  • Загрузить еще
03.08.2022
The Fed’s global problem
The Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight inflation threaten to send the U.S. economy into a recession. They could also spark…
0
29.07.2022
Biden enters the Always Be Closing phase of his first term
Somehow, someway, Joe Biden is back in the game. After enduring a brutal year dominated by economic angst, legislative setbacks…
0

Sport Fulham 2-2 Liverpool: Five things we learned as Reds salvage a point in season opener