The Latest Fulham FC Transfer News, Stories and Updates have been added below for 2016 – 2017
Historical Transfer News and Team Gossip has been archived below:
There has been wide speculation this summer over the future of Fulham striker Clint Dempsey as the striker has been a top target for many of the leading clubs in the division. The cottagers have been doing everything they can to keep their prized asset but he now looks set to be leaving the club sometime during the closed season which will be extremely disheartening for fans of the cottagers. The club have been trying to distance themselves from the interest of the other clubs which include Liverpool as they have recently stated that they have received no offers for their player so as far as they are concerned he will remain at the club next season as the American still has two years left to run on his current contract.
A firm target for manager Martin Jol this summer is Chelsea forward Romelu Lukaku who has found limited chances with the first team ever since singing for Chelsea from Anderlect last summer for a fee believed to be around the thirteen million pound mark. Jol feels the striker would be the perfect replacement for Clint Dempsey if the striker does decide to move to Liverpool as is expected and would fit right in the squad for next year. Chelsea are thought to be wishing to offload the forward due to the manager bringing in many new players so Fulham are in with a great chance to land the player they are after.
Striker Andy Johnson has recently moved to QPR after a long running rift with manager Martin Jol and as the player was without contract the London club let the player move without any fuss. Johnson has played down the talk of a major rift between himself and Jol but it is believed the two fell out on many occasions and thus Johnson chose to look elsewhere to ply his trade.
Martin Jol is extremely happy with the capture of former Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega who he has just managed to sign on a three year contract free due to the Bosman ruling. The Colombia international says he was extremely sad to leave the Lactics but he felt his future lied in London and this has now given a massive boost to Jol ahead of the new season.
Republic of Ireland winger Damian Duff has spoken out amid rumours the player may decide to hang up his boots and call it a day as he states he does not know where these rumours are coming from. The player has confirmed to Fulham fans that he will not be quitting this summer and will continue to play football until he drops which is a great result for Martin Jol and his team as Duff has been extremely influential since arriving at Craven Cottage.
And while I was talking you through that, Torino pulled a goal back at Juventus deep into first-half stoppage time through Andrea Belotti. It’s 2-1 to the champions at the interval.
In the Championship, Leeds give us another excuse to overuse the phrase “16-year exile” as they strengthen their position at the top. Ten points from their final five games will put them back in the Premier League. Brentford in third are now only two points behind West Brom, who host Hull tomorrow, and the Bees must fancy their chances of nicking an automatic promotion spot. Fulham are back up to fourth, and Cardiff in sixth now have a three-point cushion to Derby in seventh.
At the bottom Luton and Barnsley played like condemned men today but are still only five and four points respectively from safety and are likely to have Wigan slotted in beneath them when and if the Latics’ points deduction is applied.
So what does all this mean for the league tables? Manchester United are now up to fourth, though Chelsea can go back above them this evening, and Leicester remain third, with currently a four-point cushion to fifth. Bournemouth are still second-bottom, a point from safety but having played a game more than Villa and Watford. Palace have 42 points and don’t much care.
And here’s Jonathan Wilson’s report on Leicester’s win, and Vardy’s century:
And that’s enough to win it for Fulham. They should be good for a play-off place now.
A lovely team goal breaks the deadlock at the last.
Cardiff have clung on to beat listing Bristol City 1-0 and Stoke have beaten Barnsley 4-0.
And Leicester’s lean run has ended - not a performance as emphatic as the scoreline but the manner, and identity, of their goals and scorers will cheer them. Palace thoughts drift closer to that beach.
Leeds have won 3-1 at Blackburn – Bielsa’s side get ever closer - and Reading have walloped Luton 5-0. And Man Utd have beaten Bournemouth 5-2 in another scintillating display.
An absolutely textbook Leicester, and Vardy, goal, Barnes feeding Vardy on a speedy break and the latter doing his thing.
Tom Ince has just curled in a beauty with his left foot to add some more gloss to a victory that has been inevitable for an hour.
Juan Cuadrado has doubled Juventus’s lead against Torino. Second-placed Lazio host Milan later tonight by the way.
Sending off! Wigan’s sub Joe Garner left his foot too high and he has been, somewhat harshly, given a straight red. As injustices go it perhaps pales compared to your club being taken over by people who don’t seem to have the money but nothing is going right for Wigan.
The job Neil Harris has done since taking over at Cardiff has gone a little under the radar, but they look play-off bound at the moment, and they lead now at Ashton Gate, Lee Tomlin feeding Danny Ward with a surging run through the centre before Ward’s low drive.
Jamie Vardy comes out of the nervous 90s and has his 100th Premier League goal at last, profiting from calamitous defending from Palace’s Sakho, who lost the ball, Barnes played in Vary who finished comfortably. An actual Leicester win looks in the offing.
McCarthy has replaced McArthur for Palace, in what is a long way from a classic at Leicester.
There’s no doubt Benrahma meant this, the Algerian sending a crisp instinctive first-times shot into the bottom corner after fine work from Josh Dasilva. What a player, what a side, and what a model Brentford have become for clubs of their stature.
Fulham have upped the ante against Birmingham after a lacklustre first half, but can’t make the breakthrough. Likewise for Cardiff at Bristol City.
At the King Power, Praet has come on for the scorer, Iheanacho, a surprisingly defensive substitution perhaps. Leicester need to stay alert at the moment, Cahill having just gone close with a header for Palace.
It’s that man again! Benrahma executes a bit of trickery down the left, cuts in then out, then curls a cross over an out of position keeper. Did he mean it? Whatever, his attacking audacity was rewarded and Brentford continue to breathe down West Brom’s necks and Wigan’s week goes from bad to worse.
And Yakou Meite has scored his fourth of the afternoon against disintegrating Luton.
A goal in Serie A. Juventus aren’t hanging about, Paulo Dybala putting the Serie A leaders ahead in the city derby at home to Torino after only three minutes.
Luton’s defence has totally given up the ghost at Kenilworth Road, George Puscas applying some salt into their gaping wounds with Reading’s fourth.
A couple of bookings to tell you about at the King Power, Marc Albrighton for a foul a few minutes ago for Leicester, and Palace’s James McArthur just now, also for a clumsy foul.
Leeds restore their two-goal cushion, somewhat fortunately. Klich’s shot taking a deflection past the keeper Walton, who fumbled it in but appeared blindsided by a Leeds attacker in an offside looking position. But thems the breaks.
We’ve not talked about Bristol City v Cardiff at all yet have we? As befitting recent form, Cardiff have dominated but haven’t broken through yet. Still goalless. And now it’s 4-2 to Manchester United.
Another fine free-kick at Ewood Park, Blackburn cutting the deficit and opening things up with a lovely Adam Armstrong effort into the top right corner from 25 yards.
Leicester lead! Tielemans gets down the left plays it inside the box, Iheanacho gets there first, controls and finishes from close range.
Jamie Vardy has just gone close with a header for Leicester, while Manchester United have just conceded an absurd penalty through an Eric Bailly handball, it’s been scored and it’s 3-2. Game on?
They’re back underway, around and about the place. Leicester have brought on Ryan Bennett for Ben Chilwell, who’s apparently suffering from foot knack.
Here’s the scores on the doors at the interval:
It’s still not happening for Leicester – they had the better of that half without looking particularly incisive; you’d make them underdogs for a Champions League spot now.
Milivojevic goes close for Palace with a fine, arcing free-kick from distance which just narrowly misses the target, their best – and practically their first – chance so far. Frustration in front of goal continues for Leicester though. Still goalless.
A tremendous free-kick from Kalvin Phillips, from just left of centre is guided into the top corner with forensic accuracy. They’re not wobbling now.
The bottom two are having a nightmare today, Campbell gets a second and Stoke’s third and that’s probably game over.
Nathan Jones doesn’t look as if he’s going to be able to turn things round for the Championship’s bottom club, with Yakou Meite completing a career-first hat-trick for Reading, who are rampant here. A swift return to League One looks ever more likely.
A magnificently farcical passage of play at Craven Cottage, where a swift Birmingham break is foiled by multiple players falling over at inopportune moments and breaking up play. Blues have been the better side mind.
Leicester continue to dominate against Palace, who haven’t fashioned a chance worthy of the name so far, their attacking players anonymous. But they’ve not scored, which is an ongoing problem.
Bamford off the post! A deft move prompted by Luke Ayling culminates in Bamford coming close to his and Leeds’s second at Blackburn but it remains just the 1-0 to the leaders.
Important goals in the big relegation tussle in the Potteries, a deft back-heel finish from Tyrese Campbell after a defensive lapse doubling Stoke’s lead after Sam Vokes had put them ahead.
And Lewis Holtby has just hit the post for Blackburn.
If Leeds win the second-tier this season, that’ll be their first second-tier title win since 1990, when Liverpool were also last top-tier champions. Any historical precedents for this quirk?
The Championship leaders are ahead, though was there a foul in the buildup? Blackburn’s Travis was brusquely dispossessed by Kalvin Phillips but the ref deemed it a fair challenge, and Phillips nudged it onto Bamford who finished coolly.
Anyone watching any of these games in a pub? How’s the atmosphere? Is there one?
Uneventful start at the King Power, though Coyuncu and Benteke already having collided forcefully, which suggests that could be a battle to look out for. Still 0-0.
At Craven Cottage, Birmingham’s celebrated boy wonder Jude Bellingham’s just made a bit of a mess of a chance gifted to him by Fulham doziness. 0-0 there too.
Those whistles are a-blowin’
And here’s Peter Lansley’s report on a dramatic finale at Derby:
Forest will be kicking themselves, having given away a needless free-kick, which Wayne Rooney slung in for Martin to just about force home.
So Forest stay fourth for now, with Derby in seventh and still firmly in contention for a play-off place.
Would you Adam and Eve it! Straight after going down to 10 men, Derby have snatched a point. And that is full-time.
Full-time at Carrow Road:Norwich have lost 0-1 to Brighton, meaning the former are surely doomed now while the latter are nearly safe. While at Pride Park, Martyn Waghorn has been sent off in injury-time with Forest still 1-0 up
Brentford v Wigan Brentford: Raya, Dalsgaard, Jansson, Pinnock, Henry, Marcondes, Norgaard, Baptiste, Mbeumo, Watkins, Benrahma. Subs: Jensen, Da Silva, Valencia, Dervisoglu, Jeanvier, Fosu, Daniels, Zamburek, Roerslev Rasmussen.
Meanwhile at Pride Park Forest have just twice come close to extending their lead, Lewis Grabban firing narrowly over after a swift counter, then Tiago Silva rattling a post after being fed by Grabban.
In the early games, Norwich, predictably, are losing at home to Brighton after, predictably, starting brightly then fading. Join Scott Murray for MBM fun here. And in the big east Midlands set-to at Pride Park, Nottingham Forest are clinging on to the 1-0 lead given them by Joe Lolley’s 12th-minute long-distance shot. If Forest hang on they’ll leapfrog Brentford into third, for at least a wee while anyhow.
Afternoon everyone. The city of Leicester has bigger things to worry about right now than the fate of its football team, as it grapples with a reimposed Covid-19 lockdown and all the deep anxieties that entails. But within the smaller, less consequential bubble of Premier League football, Brendan Rodgers has had plenty to be mithered by of late too. Leicester haven’t got going at all since the resumption, and the verve of last autumn – with the likes of Jamie Vardy, Ricardo Pereira, Caglar Soyuncu, James Maddison and Ben Chilwell all at the very top of their games – seems a very distant memory.
Still, they remain in the shakeup for the Champions League places and should back themselves against a Crystal Palace side who’ve blown hot and cold since the restart – blowing away Bournemouth before being blown away themselves by Liverpool and blunted by Burnley. They’ve got less to play for today, so they could either play with freedom and confidence or like they’d rather have been in the pub since 6am, which no one actually was this morning.
Stuart Dallas saves Leeds from defeat against bottom side Luton
Brentford keep pressure on top two with fourth successive win
The Championship leaders Leeds needed a Stuart Dallas equaliser to earn a point against the division’s bottom side Luton. Harry Cornick gave the visitors the lead early in the second half with a superb strike to spark hope of a shock victory at Elland Road.
However, 13 minutes later Dallas calmly slotted past Simon Sluga in the Luton goal to secure a draw that extends Leeds’ lead over West Brom at the top to four points – Albion face Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday.
Helder Costa has a golden opportunity to head in a winner in the sixth minute of stoppage-time but leaders Leeds have to make do with a point. Marcelo Bielsa’s side move four points clear of West Brom, five clear of Brentford. Luton, meanwhile, drop to the foot of the division but are just two points from safety with six enormous matches to play. They have a fighting chance!
Leeds are pushing for a winner at Elland Road! Jamie Shackleton has replaced goalscorer Dallas, who appeared to be clutching his hamstring as he left the field. Can Luton hold on for a point?
A humbling defeat for Stoke and Michael O’Neill, with two Jack Butland errors and screamer from Kal Naismith earning Wigan a sixth win in seven matches, a quite extraordinary run of form that has hoisted them eight points clear of the relegation zone. Stoke teeter a point above the relegation zone with six games to play.
Dallas goes close to doubling his and Leeds’ tally – and here comes Ian Poveda, who will be given a run-out off the bench. Can he find a winner? Six added minutes at Elland Road.
Five minutes to go at Elland Road, and even less at Wigan, who are cruising to victory against a Stoke team in all sorts of trouble. Luton are having to contend with waves of Leeds’ attacks.
“Butland has been responsible for a staggering amount of goals this season,” emails Joshua Reynolds. “Maybe Joe Hart is available? ... ” Indeed, here’s what Hart had to say to the BBC this week. “I am under no illusions that Real Madrid are [not] going to knock my door down, get [Thibaut] Courtois out and bring me in. But there is plenty more to come from me,” Hart said. “I just need someone to believe in me and I will repay that faith.”
Leeds go close – but Patrick Bamford brushes the side-netting! Alioski crossed from the left, Bamford took it on first time and almost pounced. Might we see Poveda?
Leeds are gunning for victory but Luton, too, haven’t given up hope of taking victory away from Elland Road, with striker and top scorer James Collins introduced a few moments ago. Elsewhere, Stoke have made a raft of changes, with Michael O’Neill presumably fuming at his side’s defending. Nathan Collins, Ryan Shawcross and Stephen Ward have been hauled off. James Chester, Tommy Smith and Bruno Martins Indi enter. Just as well no Stoke fans are there to see it ... an abysmal performance, littered with individual errors, none more so than those by Butland.
A worldie in every sense of the word. The substitute drives inside on to his left foot and then lets fly ... and it zooms into the corner.
From bad to worse for Stoke and Michael O’Neill. And it is another blooper from Jack Butland, who fails to deal with a hanging cross. England goalkeepers have form for high-profile errors but his fall from grace rivals the best of them.
Ah, hang on a minute ... Leeds level. The substitute Pablo Hernández, two minutes after coming on, works the ball to Alioski and he feeds Dallas, who calmly slots home.
Nathan Jones has certainly breathed life into Luton, whose chief executive, Gary Sweet, warned they needed “to hit the ground sprinting” if they had any chance of staying up. If they eke out another victory at Elland Road this evening, they would have taken seven points from the last available nine:
Well, then: bottom-of-the-table Luton lead top-of-the-table Leeds. It can only be the Championship ... meanwhile Wigan still lead Stoke with half-hour to play but Michael O’Neill has made changes. Lee Gregory and Tyrese Campbell came on a few minutes ago, in place of Jordan Thompson and Tom Ince.
Half-time sub Harry Cornick makes an instant impact. A wonderful strike by the former Bournemouth man, who curls a beauty into the corner. As a pointless aside, Cornick, who attended Poole Grammar school, got the better of on-loan Ben White, who went to Queen Elizabeth’s school up the road in Wimborne.
Leeds are back under way at Elland Road! And Marcelo Bielsa has tweaked things at the interval, with the substitute Gaetano Berardi replaced by Ezgjan Alioski, who celebrated victory over Fulham last weekend by thanking the 15,000 ‘crowdies’.
Stoke are in a real hole at half-time. They made six changes this evening – but Michael O’Neill must be tempted to ring the changes at the interval. They trail to Wigan and are in grave danger of being sucked into the relegation zone. “There was a brief period of hope when O’Neill took over but that has evaporated,” emails Joshua Reynolds. “We are Sunderland without the TV series.”
Leeds 0-0 Luton Wigan 1-0 Stoke
Some soundbites from earlier results. “In every department Brentford were stronger than us,” says Reading’s manager, Mark Bowen. “We didn’t lay a glove on them all night.” Elsewhere, the Barnsley boss Gerhard Struber is feeling understandably chirpy. “We are still in the relegation zone, but the change is our very good mindset,” he says. And in the top flight, Manchester United lead ...
Stoke are in real trouble, aren’t they? For Jack Butland that was, what they call in the business, an almighty clanger:
Cyrus Christie’s screamer from distance settles it.
Kieran Dowell shoots from the byline and – somehow – drills it beyond the Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland, who will not want to see that again. Ever. “As a Stoke fan I’m not sure what stage of the five stages of grief I’m in right now but it’s not acceptance, sadly,” emails Joshua Reynolds. “Probably denial.”
QPR rattle the crossbar! Ryan Mannings heads against the bar from a corner. Rodak had no chance with it but it cannons off the woodwork. We are into second-half stoppage-time at Loftus Road but elsewhere, Kal Naismith has replaced Michael Jacobs, whose had to go off injured for Wigan v Stoke.
Up at Leeds, Bielsa is barking at his players and the drinks break provides another opportunity to get instructions on. Luton had a header at goal saved. Meanwhile Barnsley’s form should be of real concern to those around them, having won five of their past seven. Their next three games? Stoke, Luton and Wigan.
A rocket from Cyrus Christie. After a fairly underwhelming team performance, Christie lights up the game at Loftus Road by hammering in from distance. A big goal that might just keep Fulham in the hunt for automatic promotion.
Helder Costa volleys over for Leeds at Elland Road! Tyler Roberts also went close a moment ago and Leeds have had a couple of early half-chances but Nathan Jones’s Luton, who drop to bottom after Barnsley’s win, are looking pretty compact.
Another cracking result for Lee Bowyer’s Charlton. Elsewhere, a blow for Leeds, whose captain, Liam Cooper, has been forced off 13 minutes in against Luton. He has been replaced by Gaetano Berardi after failing to shake off a back injury.
A priceless win in Barnsley’s fight for survival, with Chaplin and Brown striking to condemn Blackburn to a disappointing defeat.
Mbeumo, Dasilva and Valencia strike as Thomas Frank’s free-scoring side cruise to a fourth successive victory. They move within two points of West Brom, who take on Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow before hosting Hull on Sunday.
Game over. Joel Valencia lashes in from 20 yards.
Peeeeeeeeeeep! They’re under way at Leeds, where Marcelo Bielsa’s side host Luton, and Wigan, where Stoke are the visitors. Barnsley’s form continues to wreak havoc for Stoke and co.
That second Barnsley goal is very bad news for a number of clubs in the muck, notably Hull, Huddersfield, Stoke and Middlesbrough, even if Neil Warnock will surely work his magic there ...
An extraordinary few minutes at Oakwell and an outrageously composed finish by Jacob Brown. Barnsley are heading for three h-u-g-e points! Blackburn are heading for successive defeats.
Ben Brereton has made an immediate impact: the Blackburn forward has been sent off within a couple of minutes of coming on. It’s not clear why – a possible stamp – but, purely by coincidence, the referee is Tony Harrington, who failed to spot Aleksandar Mitrovic’s elbow on Ben White last weekend ...
Er, Blackburn have just made a
quadruple change at Oakwell, where they trail 1-0. Ben Brereton, Danny Graham, Jacob Davenport and Sam Gallagher replace Dominic Samuel, Adam Armstrong, Joe Rothwell and Lewis Holtby. Elsewhere, Charlton’s Dillon Phillips saves well to prevent Albert Adomah from nudging Cardiff in front. Hang on a minute, more drama at Barnsley ...
Brentford are breathing down West Brom’s necks now – victory would take them to within two points of Slaven Bilic’s side. Neither Cardiff or Charlton have registered a shot on target in south Wales with half-hour left to play. A late change for Luton at Elland Road. Glen Rea misses out having been named as a starter. Martin Cranie steps in and Jacob Butterfield comes on to the bench.
Josh Dasilva, who was brilliant without scoring in victory over West Brom on Friday, doubles Brentford’s advantage at the Madejski.
Chaplin has been mustard since Struber took charge in November; that’s his 13th goal of the season and his 12th since the Austrian’s arrival. There is a reason the 23-year-old made the below list:
That is a huge goal, and one that keeps the great escape alive for a Barnsley team rejuvenated under Gerhard Struber. Chaplin has particularly blossomed under Struber and, within seconds of stepping off the bench, the former Portsmouth forward heads home to open the scoring. That goal takes them to within one point of safety. Elsewhere, it’s QPR 1-1 Fulham at half-time.
Rhian Brewster speaks after helping Swansea to a point:
I’m disappointed we didn’t come away with the three points but we take the one and we move on to Sheffield Wednesday [on Sunday]. Against Luton we were very, very poor and that set the mood for the whole weekend. We worked a lot harder today, we ran a lot harder and we take the point and move on. I want to hopefully get promoted, that’s the aim, I don’t know if I’m going to be here next year, or with Liverpool next year, but I just want to finish the season strong. Big congratulations to the boys – they fully deserved it – and I know they are not going to dwell on being champions and they will try to win every game between now and the end of the season. I know what they are like.”
Stoke travel to Wigan tonight in what is a massive game. They head into it a point above the relegation zone, while Wigan could not be in better form, having won five of their past six matches, as well as keeping clean sheets in all of those. “There is a lot at stake for both teams,” said manager Michael O’Neill, who has made six changes. Nathan Collins, Ryan Shawcross, Stephen Ward, Jordan Cousins, Tom Ince and Sam Vokes come into the side, while Nick Powell is suspended against his former club. “They will be coming into the game knowing they are a victory, or a couple of victories away from securing their own Championship future.”
Rhian Brewster’s free-kick – officially a Bartosz Bialkowski own goal – cancels out Mason Bennett’s opener. That result doesn’t do a lot for either side. Millwall – winless since the restart – stay in mid-table, while Swansea are three points off the play-offs, though Cardiff could stretch that gap with victory over Charlton.
Scott Parker’s side level things up. Arter, the manager’s brother-in-law, wallops a left-footed effort at goal from 20 yards and it squeezes beyond Liam Kelly at the near post. The QPR goalkeeper will not want to see it again. That’s Arter’s first league goal since he scored for Bournemouth against Huddersfield in November 2017.
Millwall rattle a post! With less than a couple of minutes to go, Murray Wallace sends a header against a post. Millwall are asking questions of Swansea as stoppage-time approaches. Matt Smith is also on for Gary Rowett’s side. Can they find a winner?
Team news at Elland Road: Leeds are unchanged, with Pablo Hernández again on the bench after injury. Robbie Gotts also returns to the bench for Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Meanwhile Luton make four changes, with Danny Hylton among those to start. Callum McManaman, James Bree and Ryan Tunnicliffe replace James Collins, Elliot Lee, Harry Cornick and Jacob Butterfield.
Concern for Swansea and Ben Wilmot, the Watford defender who went to ground smacking the pitch in agony. After a period of treatment, Wilmot was back up and moving but has since hobbled off. His knee seemed to be buckle in an innocuous coming together. Swansea, manager Steve Cooper confirmed, are already likely to be without Wales defender Joe Rodon for the rest of the season. Marc Guehi, the Chelsea loanee, is on in Wilmot’s place.
Millwall go close to taking the lead! Murray Wallace arrives unmarked at the back post but heads just wide. Swansea get off the hook. Elsewhere, the QPR goal will doubtless have been gladly received by West Brom, and Leeds, who kick-off against Luton in an hour’s time. Fulham are sliding down the table as it stands ...
QPR are piping crowd noise into the stadium and, within 50 seconds, it had the desired effect, with Hugill rising above Tim Ream to nod in. Elsewhere, Cabango collides with Tom Bradshaw on the edge of the box and Millwall are adamant it’s a foul. They are incensed but, even if it was given, it would have been a free-kick.
A blistering start at Loftus Road. Not what Fulham had planned.
That is Brewster’s seventh strike since joining on loan from Liverpool in January – and what a priceless goal it could prove. Saying that, a draw does neither Millwall or Swansea too many favours in their pursuit of the play-offs. Elsewhere, Cardiff are being kept at bay by Lee Bowyer’s Charlton, who have won their past two matches. Robert Glatzel has been promoted to the starting lineup after scoring in his last two matches. Marlon Pack and Mendez-Laing are also in from the off.
A beautiful free-kick! Stunning strike. The Liverpool loanee takes aim from 20 yards and curls a right-footed shot beyond Bartosz Bialkowski, who couldn’t keep it out. It was not in the very corner but the power took it past the Millwall goalkeeper.
A corner is kept alive and Mbeumo heads in from close range! Brentford are back at full strength, with Mbeumo returning to the starting lineup to complete their exhilarating “BMW” attack, which also comprises Ollie Watkins and Saïd Benrahma:
Not an awful lot to report around the grounds, as Millwall continue to keep Swansea at arm’s length. Bersant Celina, who was left out last weekend, has replaced Yan Dhanda, once of Liverpool, approaching the hour mark. The Queen is in attendance at the Den:
Let’s get stuck straight in, with Swansea already trailing at Millwall in the (even eerier) 5pm kick-off courtesy of a Mason Bennett goal on the counter-attack. Swansea came close to an equaliser through Rhian Brewster, only for Jake Cooper to clear off the line, but they need to turn things around in the second half if they are to stay in the mix for the play-offs. As for Millwall, that three points would be most welcome after a fairly disappointing restart for Gary Rowett and co. And yes, there are another six matches – including league leaders Leeds v Luton – to come this evening. Reading warmed up for their match with Brentford with a poignant tribute to those who lost their lives in the Forbury Gardens terror attack 10 days ago. We will be keeping an eye on the following matches:
So Arjen Robben to come out of retirement to rejoin his first club? That would be marvellous. Here’s a spindly young Arjen playing for Groningen first time round, replete with full head of hair. No, really:
Here’s our report from Elland Road, where Leeds waved a gleeful two fingers at anyone calling them chokers:
Hipsters assemble! Something to feign interest in: our roundup from the Bundesliga’s rather tasty final day, featuring FOUR goals from Andrej Kramarić – and plenty more besides. What is it about the final day of a season and bananas results?
Some fan mail from Simon McMahon: “Afternoon Alex. It’s Clockwatch that’s made the difference. Never fails to entertain. Who needs fans? Long live Clocko!!!”
Mum, is that you…?
Peep peeeeeep! Leeds beat Fulham to go three points clear. Hull climb to 20th, two points above the drop zone, but will rue letting their lead against Birmingham slip at the last. Boro go above them by beating Stoke in their first game under Warnock. And Wigan are one point ahead of that after a priceless win against Blackburn.
And Wigan make safe a massive three points, Michael Jacobs latching on to a long punt, cutting inside Stewart Downing and rifling a low shot inside the keeper’s near post.
Stoke’s Nick Powell receives his marching orders, his second yellow, for hacking down an opponent as Boro play keep-ball. Champagne stuff in Warncok’s first game.
And then the same thing happens at Elland Rd, Neeskens Kebano picking up his second booking for a pointless late foul.
I take it back! Football without fans is just as entertaining as ever. Hull let a vital lead slip from their grasp as Jérémie Bela clips in a lovely ball from the right and Gary Gardner pops up, totally unmarked, to nod a firm header into the bottom corner. What a game!
Deadlock broken at the DW. Robinson swings in a cross from the left, and defender and keeper both go to clear it, getting in each other’s way in the process. Lee Evans helps himself to the loose ball and proceeds to batter it in off the bar. That would be a big win for Wigan – they’d go five clear of the drop zone.
Alarming news from Germany: it appears former Leicester striker Andrej Kramarić has scored four goals away at Borussia Dortmund, where his Hoffenheim side have won 4-0. Always rated him.
A sensation bit of football as Pablo Hernández channels his inner Riquelme to send a sublime first-time pass between full-back and centre-back to put in Jack Harrison, who rolls the ball under Marek Rodak without breaking stride. And that, surely, is that.
Blackburn inches away from taking the lead at Wigan, Dominic Samuel throwing himself at a great whipped corss from the left but just can’t make contact. Gazza-against-Germany stuff.
The St Andrew’s seesaw takes another swing! Herbie Kane lines up a fre-kick on the edge of the box and – brilliantly – sends it under the wall and into the bottom corner. Wonderfully mischievous stuff from the Liverpool loanee.
The Warnock Bounce! Marcus Tavernier cuts in from the right and wallops a great left-foot shot into the bottom corner. Stylish.
And just like that, Hull’s two-goal cushion disappears – as does any daylight between them and the relegation zone. Daniel Crowley’s stooping header evens it up at St Andrew’s.
Alioski’s instant impact continues! A great breakaway from Leeds ends with Ayling powering down the right and mis-hitting his cross – but in doing so he wrongfoots all three Fulham defenders, who flail vainly in cartoon style while Alioski collects the loose ball and slots coolly home.
Ezgjan Alioski picks up the spirit of the game quickly: he’s barely set foot on the pitch before ploughing into Dennis Odoi and getting a well-earned booking. Then a terrific chance for Leeds to go 2-0 up, Jack Harrison on the edge of the box but Harrison Reed gets out just in time to hurl himself at the shot and deflect in inches wide. Top-notch Harrison on Harrison action.
A potentially huge three points for Hull becomes less certain: Harlee Dean send a rasping drive into the bottom corner to halve the deficit.
Double change at the break from Leeds: Bamford and Costa off, Alioski and Hernandez on.
So as it stands Leeds go three clear at the top and Fulham’s hopes of automatic promotion are slipping – they’re seven points off. But with the league’s top scorer somehow still on the pitch for Fulham – and looking up for it – that could all change before the afternoon is out.
“Those Leeds supporters at Elland Road look just the same as they did before the lockdown,” writes Justin Kavanagh. “Rigid with the terror of Bielsa’s team taking a 1-0 lead and knowing what’s probably going to happen next.” Boom-tish.
This time it’s Leeds who want a penalty, after Patrick Bamford is bundled to the ground while chasing a through-ball. He appeals in vain as the world’s smallest violin provides the soundtrack.
To continue a theme from earlier, another member of the Championship’s nearly-but-not-quite brigade, Tom Ince, has just come on for Stoke. An pre-halftime change from Michael O’Neill.
Fulham appeal for a penalty after the ball strikes Tyler Roberts’ hand in the box. The ref rightly waves away the claims. Then Anthony Knockaert and Alex Mitrovic hit good effort from range, the first flying just wide, the second stinging Meslier’s hands.
I have seen quite a bit of Harrison Reed since the restart. He certainly gives off the impression of being the very definition of a ‘tidy player’.
Warnock is having an impact! Former Manchester United striker hits the first goal - and it could be a crucial one - of the Warnock era.
NO PENALTY! Fulham have claim for a penalty as Arter lays it off to Decordova-Reid six yards out but the Fulham man takes a bad touch and then chucks himself to the floor. The referee is having none of it.
Mitrovic claims for handball after heading the ball against White’s back. Admittedly, the referee has missed him elbow the defender in the face already, so there is a chance he could have agreed with the striker again. Instead the Serb gets a corner and laughed at by Ayling.
Here is the Leeds opener ...
He's had his critics this season, but Patrick Bamford has just struck the opening goal for #LUFC!
Patrick Bamford scores Leeds' first goal in June since Allan Clarke against Juventus in the 1971 Fairs Cup final.
Costa does well down the right, gets into the box before puling it back for an onrushing Bamford who calmly slots it into the corner.
Mitrovic has a more positive impact by flicking it out to Knockaert but he drags his show well wide from the edge of the area.
Will we ever get over what Mitrovic has just done? It is possibly the stupidest thing I’ve seen all season. At least the striker has had a haircut.
HOW IS THAT NOT A RED?! Mitrovic casually wanders over to White and whacks him across the face with his elbow but the referee misses it.
A very good start for the struggling Tigers as Magennis puts them into the lead.
The 3pms have started!
The final whistle sounds at Oakwell and Pride Park. On another day that might look like a good point for Barnsley. On this particular day it looks like two dropped: Luton’s shock win leaves them bottom of the league. Derby, meanwhile, are three points off the play-offs.
Right – just time to make yourself a cuppa before the slew on 3pm kick-offs.
New Middlesbrough honcho Neil Warnock brings in Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher for his first game in charge, at Stoke. Boro have also announced this afternoon that non-scoring striker Rudy Gestede has left the club – his contract was up at the end of the month.
And it’s full-time in the early games: Cardiff beat Preston to tighten their grip on sixth, and two massive wins in and around the bottom, for Charlton against and for Luton against Swansea.
Cardiff makes the points safe. Robert Glatzel pounces on some hesitant defending, scurries towards goal and fires home via a defender’s shin.
Reading pull one back against the play-off hopefuls, Ben Hamer’s weak punch punished by Andy Rinomhota, who heads over the stranded keeper into an unguarded net.
And Cardiff retake the lead with another great goal – Nathaniel Mendez-Laing haring down the right, playing a one-two and slotting a tidy finish inside the near post. Superbly simple and simply superb.
Scenes at Swansea! It all kicks off after a truly magnificent succession of one, two, three, four, five vicious tackles! In the resulting melee Jordon Garrick puts in a left hook and is sent off. Marvellous stuff.
Thick and fast! Preston equalise almost immediately. It’s a bit of a scramble, with Joe Bennett initially doing well to block a shot from close range, but the ball breaks to Johnson who sweeps confidently home. All square.
And a potentially huge goal for the division’s bottom club. Izzy Brown crosses for James Collins to head in. Woodman gets a hand to it but can’t keep it out.
Cardiff boost their promotion hopes with a great head for Joe Ralls, who leaps high at the back post to meet Dion Sanderson’s deep cross. A very pleasing header.
Charlton cling on to their lead, Dillon Phillips making a point-blank save from Jordan Hugill. He should have put that away.
And just like that, it’s two. Bogle steams gloriously down the right and square into the box, Waghorn draws a clumsy foul from Moore, and Wayne Rooney rattles home the spot-kick. London buses.
Lovely strike to break the deadlock at Pride Park: Tom Lawrence latches on to Chris Martin’s layoff to curl home from the edge of the box for his 10th goal of the season.
JR writes in: “Does Junior Hoilett count as an almost but never was? I seem to remember people thinking he was real hot stuff about ten years ago. How about Andreas Weimann? I’m not sure what the expectations were for him but I remember thinking he was going to be pretty good a long time ago.”
You can have Hoilett, not so sure about Wiemann. Deal?
We’ve got a fairly decent sample size to work from now, so can we conclude that football without fans is of a much lower quality? As in, the football itself, rather than the atmosphere. One goal in five games in the Championship today, not a whole lot of excitement last weekend – and two watchable Premier League games out of 22 so far. Are players less fired up? Scared of getting injured? Taking fewer risks?
A flash of class at Pride Park, where Ovie Ejaria jinks past his marker on the byline and side-foots against the post. Great footwork to beat his man.
Millwall hit the woodwork at Oakwell, Shane Ferguson firing a free-kick against the crossbar.
Almost entirely goalless so far, and half-time in all the early kickoffs. Oh football, how we’ve missed you.
In the meantime, a good question from Joshua Reynolds: “Who are all the ‘almost but never were’ players currently plying their trade in the Championship besides Ravel Morrison, Jack Rodwell, and Scott Sinclair?”
And those fans are witnessing a decent performance – Charlton could easily be 2-0 up, but Macauley Bonne’s effort is matched by a decent save from Liam Kelly.
We’ve heard a lot about ‘plastic fans’ in recent years. Here’s some cardboard ones, at the Valley:
Remember when Scott Sinclair played for Man City? Alongside Jack Rodwell?
Or remember when he played for Plymouth? And did this:
Spurs loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers puts in a heroic bit of defending to keep Luton on level terms, winning a towering header in his box before charging down a shot. Just the sort of bravura battling our old friend Jose likes in a centre-back.
And we’ve kicked off at Pride Park and Oakwell. Barnsley need a win today.
Great chance for Junior Hoilett to give Cardiff the lead: the ball breaks to him on the edge of the box, but he snatches at the shot and slices it wide.
Some goings-on at Swansea, where Andre Ayew draws a great save from Simon Sluga, before Harry Cornick flashes his shot over the bar following a breakaway.
Wayne Rooney starts for Derby, who would be in touching distance of the play-off places if they win today. One last hurrah for the former golden boy? (One last season in the top flight…?)
Exclusive snap from Pride Park:
The first goal of the afternoon comes from south London, as Darren Pratley nods home from a corner to take the Addicks, as it stands, four points clear of the drop zone.
Down the other end at Deepdale, Adomah cuts in from the right and engineers shooting space, but scuffs the shot wide of the near post. The Bacuna larrups one from range, deflected wide. Goalless all round so far.
One to keep an eye on: Rhian Brewster, who has six goals for Swansea since joining on loan from Liverpool in January and scored twice in half an hour at the Riverside last weekend. There’s been lots of hype around him since he won the goalden boot at the U17 World Cup three years ago – this is the first run of games he’s had at senior level.
We’re under way in the early kickoffs. Early penalty appeal for Preston as Scott Sinclair takes an ostentatious tumble under a clumsy tackle.
As a selfless service to you, the reader, I will do my best to see out this five-hour blog without using the terms “eerie”, “unprecedented times” or “the new normal”. No mean feat in these, erm, unparalleled times.
The race for Championship playoff spots is a fascinating one. Only three points separate the teams from Preston in sixth to Derby in 12th and the latter certainly have the quality in their squad to put a run together.
This is what happened last night in the Championship:
History was both made and respected in Elland Road’s first game with the renamed Norman Hunter Stand but the most fitting tribute to Leeds’ late great may come next month. Eight points clear of third-place Brentford with seven games to go, Leeds are on course to end their 16-year exile from the top flight.
One of the biggest games Elland Road has staged in that time was the emptiest, with Marching On Together broadcast from the PA to an audience of 15,000 cardboard cutouts, The piped-in chants of Patrick Bamford’s name were rather louder than those from the supporters at many a match but the much-maligned striker, along with Ezgjan Alioski and Jack Harrison, delivered an ultimately emphatic win.
Wayne Rooney's penalty proved the difference as Derby beat Reading 2-1 to boost their play-off hopes. A quick-fire double late in the first half from Tom Lawrence and Wayne Rooney oput Councty inchargeat the break. Andy Rinomhota's header pulled a goal back before Lawrence and Reading's Matt Miazga were shown red cards following a confrontation.
Wed, 28 Jun 2017 15:26:51 +0000: Ex-England midfielder Parker retires - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Fulham | BBC Ex-England, Charlton and Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker announces his retirement from football.
Wed, 28 Jun 2017 15:23:55 +0000: Sessegnon signs new Fulham contract - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Fulham | BBC Fulham youngster Ryan Sessegnon signs his first professional deal, keeping him at the club until June 2020.
Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:50:48 +0000: Adams takes Under-18 job in non-league - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Fulham | BBC Former Premier League manager Micky Adams takes on a role as Under-18 boss at non-league club Harborough Town.
Wed, 21 Jun 2017 08:00:34 +0000: Championship fixtures in full - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Fulham | BBC Find out your team's fixtures in the Championship during the 2017-18 season.
Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:19:02 +0000: Sunderland to play Bury in EFL Cup - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Fulham | BBC Sunderland will travel to Bury in the EFL Cup first round following their relegation from the Premier League.