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Fulham beat Middlesbrough to go third in Championship

Fulham beat Middlesbrough to go third in Championship

Anthony Knockaert scored his first Championship goal since September to give Fulham victoryFulham moved up to third in the Championship as Anthony Knockaert's early goal gave them victory over in-form Middlesbrough at Craven Cottage.Knockaert capped a blistering opening half an hour from the hosts with what proved to be the winner, meeting Joe Bryan's low fizzing cross to tap home at the far post.It was the least Fulham deserved for their relentless first-half pressure, with the absence of injured top goalscorer Aleksandar Mitrovic perhaps telling as Scott Parker's side squandered at least three guilt-edged opportunities.
Ivan Cavaleiro and Josh Onomah were most guilty, both failing to hit the target when well placed, while Denis Odoi deflected Hayden Coulson's cross on to his own crossbar on a rare foray forward from Boro.The contest was much tighter after half-time, although Odoi thought he had made the game safe when his glancing header found the corner of the net - only to be flagged offside by the barest of margins.But Fulham were able to see the game out relatively comfortably to leapfrog Brentford and close the gap to the automatic promotion places to four points.
Relive Fulham's win over Middlesbrough
The result also checks Middlesbrough's recent resurgence, with defeat in west London their first in six league matches, after they had clawed themselves clear of relegation trouble.That run included eye-catching wins at West Bromwich Albion and Preston North End, but they never came close to repeating that level of performance against Fulham.Knockaert had already curled one effort wide even before opening the scoring in the sixth minute, while captain Tom Cairney and Bryan also had efforts saved.Paddy McNair came closest to an equaliser in the closing stages, inadvertently guiding a free-kick from out wide towards the far corner and forcing goalkeeper Marek Rodak into a smart save.Fulham manager Scott Parker told BBC Radio London: "I thought we were very, very good first half. And I thought second half we had some big chances but didn't capitalise. "We weren't clinical enough in the first half. I thought everything we've worked on this week worked so well."But we won the game with another clean sheet, we looked pretty solid and for the majority of the game we played some good stuff."Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate told BBC Tees: "Fulham are a good team. They were right on top. But we kept on going."We didn't give up. In the second half, we were miles better."On the signing of goalkeeper Dejan Stojanovic on Thursday, Woodgate added: "His concentration level is very good. He makes important saves, he's quick off his line."It's Aynsley [Pears]'s shirt to lose at the minute so Dejan will come in and challenge Aynsley for the number one spot along with Tommy [Tomas Mejias]. You can't drop Aynsley. He's done really well."
Line-ups
Match Stats
Live Text
Line-ups
Fulham
12Rodak
4Odoi
3Hector
13Ream
23Bryan
10CairneySubstituted forJohansenat 68'minutes
6McDonaldBooked at 60mins[/i]
25OnomahSubstituted forArterat 79'minutes
24KnockaertSubstituted forMawsonat 90+2'minutes
14De Cordova-Reid
19Cavaleiro
Substitutes
1Bettinelli
5Mawson
8Johansen
18Arter
22Christie
36De La Torre
61Stansfield
Middlesbrough
42Pears
16Howson
17McNairBooked at 72mins[/i]
6Fry
29Spence
8ClaytonSubstituted forNmechaat 80'minutes
22SavilleSubstituted forFletcherat 80'minutes
33Coulson
19Roberts
7TavernierSubstituted forWingat 61'minutes
14Gestede
Substitutes
1Mejias
11Fletcher
20Nmecha
21Johnson
25Wood
26Wing
37Liddle
Referee:David WebbAttendance:18,375
Match Stats
Home TeamFulhamAway TeamMiddlesbroughPossessionHome61%Away39%ShotsHome17Away8Shots on TargetHome6Away0CornersHome3Away8FoulsHome10Away6
Live Text
Posted at
Match ends, Fulham 1, Middlesbrough 0.
Full Time
Posted at 90'+7' Second Half ends, Fulham 1, Middlesbrough 0.Posted at 90'+7' Attempt missed. Harry Arter (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.Posted at 90'+6' Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tim Ream.Posted at 90'+5' Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Michael Hector.
Substitution
Posted at 90'+2' Substitution, Fulham. Alfie Mawson replaces Anthony Knockaert because of an injury.Posted at 90'+1' Attempt blocked. Ashley Fletcher (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Rudy Gestede.Posted at 87' Offside, Middlesbrough. Jonny Howson tries a through ball, but Lukas Nmecha is caught offside.Posted at 86' Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Marek Rodak.Posted at 85' Foul by Anthony Knockaert (Fulham).Posted at 85' Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.Posted at 82' Attempt blocked. Harry Arter (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Substitution
Posted at 80' Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lukas Nmecha replaces Adam Clayton.
Substitution
Posted at 80' Substitution, Middlesbrough. Ashley Fletcher replaces George Saville.
Substitution
Posted at 79' Substitution, Fulham. Harry Arter replaces Josh Onomah.Posted at 79' Attempt saved. Denis Odoi (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Anthony Knockaert with a cross.Posted at 78' Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.Posted at 78' Foul by Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough).Posted at 77' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Djed Spence.Posted at 77' Attempt blocked. Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked. Assisted by Joe Bryan.Posted at 77' Attempt blocked. Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ivan Cavaleiro.Posted at 75' Attempt blocked. Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Denis Odoi.Posted at 73' Offside, Fulham. Ivan Cavaleiro tries a through ball, but Denis Odoi is caught offside.
Booking
Posted at 72' Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 72' Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham) wins a free kick on the left wing.Posted at 72' Foul by Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough).Posted at 71' Attempt missed. Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Bobby De Cordova-Reid.Posted at 69' Attempt saved. Joe Bryan (Fulham) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tim Ream.
Substitution
Posted at 68' Substitution, Fulham. Stefan Johansen replaces Tom Cairney.Posted at 66' Foul by Michael Hector (Fulham).Posted at 66' George Saville (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 66' Foul by Josh Onomah (Fulham).Posted at 66' Patrick McNair (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 65' Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Tim Ream.Posted at 63' Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 63' Foul by Lewis Wing (Middlesbrough).Posted at 62' Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Middlesbrough) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Patrick Roberts with a cross following a corner.Posted at 62' Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Kevin McDonald.
Substitution
Posted at 61' Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lewis Wing replaces Marcus Tavernier.
Booking
Posted at 60' Kevin McDonald (Fulham) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
goal
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