Fulham Defeats Sheffield United 3-1, Injury Shadows Match
|Marc Cucurella of Chelsea and Willian of Fulham in action during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Chelsea FC at Craven Cottage on October 2, 2023 in London, England. (Image-Getty)
Fulham secured a convincing 3-1 victory over Sheffield United at Craven Cottage on Saturday, a result that left the visitors languishing at the bottom of the Premier League table. However, the game was marred by a distressing injury to United's Chris Basham.
Fulham sealed their victory in added time when Willian, displaying his class, initially attempted a cross but then gathered the headed clearance inside the visitors' area. He managed to get his shot away, which the goalkeeper got a hand to but couldn't prevent from finding the bottom corner.
Fulham manager Marco Silva praised Willian, stating, "A class player and incredible to get the goal. I know what he is capable of doing."
Fulham had taken a 2-1 lead in the 76th minute when Tom Cairney, seemingly slipping as he shot from distance, saw his looping effort hit the underside of the bar before going in off the back of goalkeeper Wes Foderingham.
That goal followed eight minutes after the visitors had leveled the score through an own-goal by Antonee Robinson, which came under controversial circumstances. Issa Diop had pulled up injured while in possession, but United's James McAtee gathered the ball before playing it out wide to Yasser Larouci. Larouci's ball across the face of the goal was inadvertently turned into his own net by Robinson.
Fulham boss Marco Silva commented on the team's reaction to the equalizing goal, saying, "I thought our reaction was good to the goal, and we deserved the three points. We played at a good level."
The deadlock was broken in the 53rd minute when Fulham's Andreas Pereira delivered a perfect ball into the path of Bobby Decordova-Reid. Decordova-Reid took his time before firing past Foderingham, putting Fulham in the lead.
The first half witnessed a horrific injury to Chris Basham, who went off seriously injured after twisting his ankle while attempting a cross. Medical staff responded immediately, and there was a lengthy stoppage in play before United's captain was taken off the pitch.
United manager Paul Heckingbottom expressed his concern, saying, "He's where he needs to be, in the hospital with the doctors. No one wants to see that ever; I have been on the pitch with a teammate, when it's one of your players it's tough."
The opening half saw few clear-cut chances, but Fulham appeared more likely to score. Their best opportunity came in the 19th minute when Carlos Vinicius demonstrated his strength in holding off Anel Ahmedhodzic before setting up Willian. However, Willian's shot, despite a good first touch, was met with a fine save from Foderingham.
United failed to create a single attempt on goal in the first half and, although they showed improvement after halftime, it wasn't enough to secure a win, leaving them with just one point and no victories to their name.
Heckingbottom commented on the team's situation, saying, "You get what you deserve, and at the minute, things are going against us, and there is only us who can get ourselves out of it."
Fulham's victory, their third of the season, propelled them to 11 points in the Premier League standings.