Fulham 0-0 West Ham: Dull draw in the rain frustrates Hammers

Lukasz Fabianski (WHU) picks up the ball at the EPL match West Ham United v Burnley, at the London Stadium, London, UK on 16th January, 2021. English Premier League matches are still being played behind closed doors because of the current COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, and government social distancing/lockdown restrictions.

We missed the chance to move into the top four of the Premier League after being held to a goalless draw by struggling Fulham.

In a quiet first half, both sides only managed one shot on target each – Declan Rice having an effort saved by Alphonse Areola and Ivan Cavaleiro heading tamely at Lukasz Fabianski for the hosts.

Vladimir Coufal then headed against the crossbar from Rice’s cross from the left. Tosin Adarabioyo could have given Fulham all three points but narrowly headed over from eight yards out as neither side could make the breakthrough.

We ended the game with 10 men as Tomas Soucek was sent off for elbowing Alexsandar Mitrovic in injury time. Soucek raised his elbow and caught the Fulham striker and, following a lengthy video assistant referee check, referee Mike Dean watched the incident on the pitchside monitor and eventually showed a red card.

We came into this match in a great run of form with seven wins in our past eight – and that one defeat was against Liverpool. Although Fulham had the greater share of possession, the best chance fell to Coufal, but the woodwork denied the Czech defender his first goal for us.

His countryman Soucek, looking for his ninth Hammers goal of the season, should have done better when he met Jesse Lingard’s cross but could not keep his header down.

In the end, we were hanging on and may regard this a decent point. Fulham substitute Mitrovic shot wide late on, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek also missing two chances in the last five minutes for the hosts.

As a result of his red card, Soucek is set to serve a three-match ban – a game against Manchester United in the FA Cup and Premier League matches against Sheffield United and Tottenham.

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