João Palhinha’s second half strike the difference as Fulham battle back to spoil Pascal Groß’s 200th Premier League appearance.Embed from Getty Images
The home side took the lead early when with his first shot of the game, teenage starlet Evan Ferguson finished off a well worked attack, converting his chance to put the Seagulls ahead in the 26th minute.
Brighton’s lead lasted until the 65th minute when Fulham’s third shot on target in the second half resulted in Palhinha firing home to equalise for the away side.
Throughout the second half, frustrations for the Seagulls mounted as Fulham appeared to be taking every opportunity to slow the game down.
Speaking to SkySports after the match, Fulham manager Marco Silva asserted the opposition can “think how they want. I don’t want to spend time with 10 men.”
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi indicated some frustrations with the performance of the referee particularly in the second half and how he handled Fulham players taking their time.
De Zerbi told SkySports “The referee was today not in his best moment. But I would like to speak about football and not the referee.”
Fulham struggled to get going throughout the first half, failing to register a shot on target with their only real chances coming from corner kicks which were well defended by the home side.
Brighton controlled possession 71%-29%, with 810 passes to Fulham’s 327 however once losing their lead they struggled to create any real chance for a winning goal.
The Cottagers however had a much improved second half performance and at times outplayed Brighton with all five of their shots on target coming after the second half whistle.
Silva credited his side’s second half to an important half-time speech, telling SkySports “We weren’t at the level that we should in the first half, didn’t reach the standards that we need to compete at this level.
“Much more on the front foot in the second half. Much more belief and confidence on the ball, more aggressive, took risks and second half was completely different.” He added that the substitutes made all the difference.
After a well-earned draw, Fulham will aim to carry this momentum into a midweek EFL Cup tie against Ipswich Town.
De Zerbi echoed the frustrations felt around the stadium, saying “We lost two points and we are frustrated.”
When asked about goal-scorer Ferguson, De Zerbi said “he is not in the best moment for him. I think he can play better but he played a good game.”Embed from Getty Images
Next up for Brighton is a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton in the Premier League next weekend, where they will hope to return to winning ways.