Palace and Fulham clash ends in goalless draw


Crystal Palace and Fulham cancelled each other out in a dreary goalless draw at Selhurst Park.

The visitors had the better opportunities in a first half lacking in guile, but Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone parried Andreas Pereira’s angled drive to safety before diving low to his left to keep out Willian’s effort.

Raul Jimenez, who has yet to score a competitive goal for Fulham since his move from Wolverhampton Wanderers, also stung Johnstone’s palms with a powerful shot after taking Pereira’s long ball in his stride.

Eberechi Eze was Palace’s biggest threat, firing a long-range free-kick straight at Bernd Leno before drilling narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area.

Chances were few and far between in an equally disjointed second period, Willian shooting at Johnstone from the corner of the six-yard box before substitute Jean-Philippe Mateta sent a tame effort into Leno’s gloves late on.

Both teams climb a place in the table after Nottingham Forest’s defeat at Manchester City, with Palace rising to eighth and Fulham up to ninth.

Eagles manager Hodgson was back in the dugout at Selhurst Park after missing last weekend’s defeat at Aston Villa through illness.

The 76-year-old confessed himself pleased with the Eagles’ showing in the 3-1 reverse at Villa Park, but there was little for Hodgson or the vociferous Palace supporters to get excited about here as the hosts failed to score for the second time in three home matches.

Eze, making his 100th appearance for the club in all competitions, went closest for Palace when he sidestepped a challenge on the edge of the box and drilled narrowly past Leno’s left-hand post.

The former Queens Park Rangers man wanted a penalty in the second half after being sent tumbling to the floor by Fulham midfielder Harrison Reed, but referee Paul Tierney waved play on.

Odsonne Edouard, who has scored four of Palace’s six league goals this season, had a shot deflected onto the roof of the net by Leno, but the Frenchman’s effort would have been disallowed as he was in an offside position from Eze’s pass.

Fit-again Marc Guehi was recalled at centre-back but Hodgson remains without several first-team players through injury, including Michael Olise, Jefferson Lerma and Matheus Franca.

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“We all understand that to have a really strong team, you need a really strong bench,” the Palace manager told BBC Match of the Day. “The starting XI was good and more than capable of winning it, but we lacked a bit of what they had in the last 20 minutes, bringing players on.

“I came here with high hopes that we could dominate more than we did and that we could be more clinical in the final third of the field. That is where we let ourselves down, with the final pass [and] the final ball.

“The good work that got us there didn’t get any reward.”

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