Premier League - Fulham look doomed after late Hull equaliser

Premier League, Craven Cottage - Fulham (Dejagah 55’ Amorebieta 58’) Hull City (Jelavic 75’ Long 87’)

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Premier League - Fulham look doomed after late Hull equaliser
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2014Hull City's Shane Long (R) celebrates after scoring a goal as Fulham's goalkeeper David Stockdale (L) and Fernando Amorebieta (C) react

Fulham conceded two late goals to Hull City in a 2-2 draw after they collapsed under pressure.

Referee Lee Mason had the greatest impact in the first half: first, he rightly denied Hull a penalty after Ahmed Elmohamady’s obvious dive on the edge of the box, but then blundererd as he refused to award a spot-kick when the defender nudged Shane Long over in the box as the striker faced down Robbie Stockdale.

In the second half, Fulham made three quick substitutions, introducing Ashkan Dejagah, Kieran Richardson and Darren Bent. That proved decisive as Dejagah scored Fulham’s first, curling in a fine effort from just inside the box, and when Richardson’s cross was converted by Amorebieta to double their lead on the 58th minute.

Nikica Jelavic brought about an edgy finale after Sascha Riether’s interception looped off the bar and into his path, and after Hull twice hit the woodwork, Long headed in at the near post to equalise. Despite the point earned, Fulham remain in the relegation zone.

KEY EVENTS

5’ - RIISE SHOT - John Arne Riise fires a typically well-struck shot wide of the post from the edge of the box, after being set up by Hugo Rodallega, who had done brilliantly to control a high ball.

16’ - PENALTY APPEAL NO. 1 - Elmohamady is booked by Mason after clearly diving, having expected a challenge from Amorebieta that never materialised.

28’ - BRUCE CHANCE - Alex Bruce heads from a corner across to the far post, but it’s easily cleared off the line.

41’ - PENALTY APPEAL NO. 2 - Shane Long is through on goal, and goes down under Amorebieta’s challenge from behind. It was a slight touch, but probably a foul, and Mason again decides not to give the penalty.

55’ - DEJAGAH GOAL - Rodallega approaches the box, but is cleaned out by James Chester's sliding tackle. The ball runs to Dejagah, who steps into the box, comes onto his left foot and curls the ball into the top corner.

58’ - AMOREBIETA GOAL - Richardson whips in a cross from deep to Amorebieta at the near post. He glances the cross towards the far post, and squeezes his header in.

75’ - JELAVIC GOAL - The ball flicks up off Riether's lunge to cut out a pass, and it hits the crossbar. The ball bounces back for Jelavic, waiting, whose diving header cuts the lead in half.

78’ - ALUKO HITS THE BAR - He slips outside the box as he prepares to take a shot, and it's deflected, but nevertheless leaves Stockdale rooted to the spot, and it thumps off the crossbar.

81’ - FULHAM CHANCES - Rodallega runs onto a low pass forward down the left. He sends a great pass to the back post for Dejagah, but Harper blocks after rushing out. It comes back out to Bent, but he flashes his shot just wide.

86’ - ELMOHAMADY HITS THE POST - Elmohamady has space on the right of the box, but Stockdale's fingertip save pushes his shot against the post.

87’ - LONG GOAL - Sone Aluko crosses to the back post for Shane Long, who stoops to head in at the near post.

KEY STATS

Fulham have kept a clean sheet in only two of their last 10 Premier League home games.

If Fulham do not draw any of their last three games they will equal the Premier League record for fewest draws in a single season (3, set by Chelsea in 1997-98). The last team to record fewer were Sunderland in 1908-09 (2).

Fulham have played more games than any of other bottom six, and are still one point from seventeenth.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

The relegation battle is frighteningly tight: After a relative revival of fortunes for both Sunderland and Fulham, and poor results of late for Hull and Villa, there are conceivably eight teams at risk of relegation.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Fernando Amorebieta (Fulham): At centre-back in the first half, he performed inconsistently, offering an attacking threat down the wing but lucky to stay on after nudging Shane Long in the box. In the second half, he continued to pose danger, giving Fulham the lead, but also defended far more solidly.

PLAYER RATINGS

Fulham: Stockdale 6, Heitinga 6, Hangeland 6, Amorebieta 7, Riise 6, Riether 6, Parker 5, Sidwell 6, Diarra 6, Holtby 5, Rodallega 6. Subs: Richardson 6, Dejagah 7, Bent 6.

Hull City: Harper 6, Rosenior 5, Bruce 6, Chester 6, Davies 5, Meyler 5, Huddlestone 6, Livermore 6, Jelavic 6, Long 6, Elmohamady 6. Subs: Boyd 6, Sagbo 6, Aluko 7.

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