Traore delivers blow to Fulham survival hopes with late Wolves winner

Traore delivers blow to Fulham survival hopes with late Wolves winner


Adama Traore ended his goal-drought with a 92nd minute winner for Wolves at Fulham as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side won 1-0 at Craven Cottage. 

In a game that looked destined to finish 0-0, Traore broke away down the right hand side before beating Alphonse Areola at his near post with a powerful and ruthless strike. 

The result means Wolves picked up their first success since mid-February and delivers a hammer blow to Fulham’s hopes of survival.

The undoubted talking point of the first half was Willian Jose’s controversially disallowed goal for the visitors just before the break.

Willian Jose thought he had scored his first Wolves goal at the twelfth time of asking when he headed home Daniel Podence’s cross in the first minute of added time.

As expected, he celebrated like a man relieved to finally get the monkey off his back, but he was left with even more frustration when the strike was ruled out for a marginal offside following VAR review. Podence was adjudged to be the wrong side of the last defender by no more than just a few inches before delivering the ball to Jose, meaning it remained goalless at the break.

There was little else to grab the attention in the opening 45 minutes, with both sides struggling to create chances and managing just five shots between them, although none of those were on target.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek came closest for Fulham just before the half hour mark, guiding a header narrowly wide of the bottom right corner after meeting a well-measured ball in to the box from Antonee Robinson.

Wolves also lost Pedro Neto to injury before the interval, forcing Nuno Espirito Santo into a reshuffle. João Moutinho took his place. 

Despite Wolves suffered a maddening end to the first half, there was unfortunately no sign of an added spark to the game after the restart. There had still been no attempts to trouble either ‘keeper by the time the clock hit 60 minutes.

Wolves were controlling possession, having a 72% share in that 15 minute period, but were lacking the cutting edge required to make use of it.

Fulham made the first move in the way of substitutions as they looked to disturb the pattern of a game they desperately needed to win to boost their survival hopes. André-Frank Zambo Anguissa replaced Loftus-Cheek in the 62nd minute. 

Aleksandr Mitrovic and Harrison Reed were unable to draw Rui Patricio into action with tame efforts in the minutes that followed, before Bobby De Cordova-Reid did well to find space 20-yards out but made a hash of his effort by losing his footing at the crucial moment. 

With just under 10 minutes of normal time remaining, Fulham left-back Robinson sent a dipping volley goalwards just moments later, but Patricio was on hand to smother it.

But it didn’t inspire the hosts to push forward and apply pressure in the dying stages, in fact it turned out to be their last shot of the contest.

And in a devastating blow to Scott Parker’s side, they were denied even a point when Traore clinically dispatched his effort in the 92nd minute.

It leaves Fulham in 18th place and three points behind Newcastle, who have two game in hand. Wolves, meanwhile, look to have pushed away any minimal chance of being dragged into a relegation battle by moving nine points clear of the bottom three with seven games left to play in their season.

 





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