Fulham 0 - 2 Burnley | PL | 10.05.21

Burnley's ruthless first-half performance was enough to triumph 2 - 0 over Fulham on Monday night. The win condemned their hosts to the Championship and ensured a sixth consecutive Premier League campaign next term.

Fulham 0 - 2 Burnley | PL | 10.05.21

Burnley's ruthless first-half performance was enough to triumph 2 - 0 over Fulham on Monday night. The win condemned their hosts to the Championship and ensured a sixth consecutive Premier League campaign next term. Despite Fulham's second-half rally, goals from Ashley Westwood and a fine strike from Chris Wood separated the sides at Craven Cottage.

The hosts came into this game looking to prolong their stay in the top division. Experiencing a poor run of form with no wins in their previous 6, they were keen to impress themselves on the tie early on; Decordova-Reid and Ademola Lookman moved well, in between the Burnley lines, to receive play and force the issue. From their approach play, they were able to fashion the first striking opportunity. Anguissa cut inside from the right flank and whipped a well-directed strike which stung the palms of Pope. Minutes later, if not for some outstanding defending from Tarkowski, Fulham would undoubtedly have broken the deadlock. Anguissa floated a ball into Cavaleiro, occupying a position wide of the Burnley box, his volleyed cross perfectly placed for maximum danger across Pope's six-yard area. The Englishman was grateful his countryman was on hand to nick the ball away, ahead of Lookman, poised to tap in.

Sean Dyche's men grew into the game as the half went on, putting in a couple of dangerous crosses, which Areola claimed. Their plight has nothing to do with the Frenchman, who has been a stalwart throughout; on loan and unquestionably too good for the Championship. He'll be a big miss next season.

Much of Fulham's best play came down their flanks, primarily with the slick link-up play between Lookman, another loanee, and Robinson on the left. But from a rare foray down the right, they got another sight on goal. Cavaleiro, lively throughout, darted inside two Burnley defenders, who his feint had sold, and struck on goal, but the attempt, on his weaker foot, was too tame to beat Pope.

Just after the half-hour, Fulham got a lucky break. Burnley were able to expose the home side, exploiting space down their left side. Wood stooped unchallenged to head home from McNeil's cross, but his header struck Adarabioyo, well-positioned, and bounced just wide of the Fulham goal. They weren't so fortunate just a few minutes later. Vydra chased down a simple diagonal from Mee. After standing up Andersen near the byline, he turned inside and played an inviting cross to Westwood to score into an empty net. The midfielder, scoring in back to back games, showed great desire to make up the ground and strike an early blow to the Cottagers. With a historically poor home record, their hopes of survival seemed little more than a fantasy.

The away side refused to let up, their second coming just before the break. Mee won a contest on the halfway line, which fell to Brownhill. His crisp pass found Wood, who, after a clever flick and fortunate ricochet, smashed the bouncing ball into the top corner of the net from the edge of the area. A wonderful strike for the man in form, his 50th goal for Burnley. Coming into this one, Fulham had scored just three goals in the last 11 outings; they needed three in 45 mins to avoid the inevitable.

Fulham moved to a back three shortly after the break, bringing on Josh Maja for full-back Tete. The change saw Cavaleiro redeployed to wing-back. His runs forward carried some threat, delivering a series of threatening crosses which Mitrovic could only head wide or into Pope's grateful arms. The Portuguese winger continued to trouble Charlie Taylor and really should have won a penalty for his side. After beating his man for pace, he turned inside Westwood for a shot on goal. Taylor, rushing back redeem, lunged at the ball from behind the Fulham man. The full-back made contact with the ball but went through the winger to do it. No decision came, but the referee evened it up shortly afterwards.

Pushing desperately for a goal, Fulham were opened up by another simple long ball. Lemina, the last man, failed to control the looping pass, and after Vydra looked to have headed the ball onto the right arm of Areola, well outside his area, Fulham feared the worst. The keeper was fortunate not to see red, but after the Cavaleiro incident, maybe justice was done.

Energised, Fulham pushed again; Anguissa's brilliant effort on the edge of the Burnley box beat Pope but smashed the upright and bounced clear - their luck was out. Cavaleiro persisted in threatening from the right, but Fulham's inability to score paid again. A game that summed up their season, good pay but toothless in attack. 2-0 it finished at the Cottage.

So for Parker's men, their fate is confirmed. The failure to turn draws into wins saw them come up short. Eddie Nketiah's last-minute winner for Arsenal, a few weeks back, felt like a final nail in the coffin, and they were unable to recover from that mental blow. For Burnley, it's another season in the Premier League. Sean Dyche continues to draw attention from the 'bigger sides' as his clarets claim the tag as an established top-flight team. The only question for them is whether they'll be able to keep hold of him next season.