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EPL PIX: Fulham stun Leicester; West Ham rise to fifth

December 01, 2020 10:01 IST
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IMAGE: West Ham's players celebrate after Ademola Lookman scored the opening goal against Leicester City at The King Power stadium, in Leicester, on Monday. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Fulham fixed their penalty jinx as Ivan Cavaleiro's spot kick eased them out of the relegation zone with a shock 2-1 win at high-flying Leicester City in the English Premier League on Monday.

 

Scott Parker’s struggling side were leading thanks to Ademola Lookman’s well-taken 30th minute opener before Cavaleiro beat Kasper Schmeichel from 12 yards.

There was huge relief on the Fulham bench when Cavaleiro netted as the London side had failed to convert their last three Premier League penalties.

Cavaleiro had missed in their last game against Everton while in the game before that Lookman inexplicably attempted a 'Panenka' penalty against West Ham United -- his embarrassing miss costing his team a point.

Leicester squandered their chance to join league leaders Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool on 21 points in a disappointing display, although an 86th-minute effort by Harvey Barnes set up a tense finale.

IMAGE: Ivan Cavaleiro celebrates after scoring Fulham's second goal from the penalty spot. Photograph: Rui Vieira - Pool/Getty Images

Fulham rode their luck in stoppage time as they held out for their second win of the season to climb to 17th place with seven points from 10 matches.

Things might have been different for Leicester had they not been denied by the woodwork twice in the space of seconds early on when Youri Tielemans’s volley struck the post before Wesley Fofana thumped the rebound against the crossbar.

Fulham made the most of their luck to take the lead with a superb counter-attacking goal.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa surged forward over the halfway line and slid the perfect pass through to Lookman who showed great composure to guide his shot past Schmeichel.

Lookman celebrated by going to the side of the pitch and raising a Senegal shirt of former Fulham player Papa Boupa Diop who died, aged 42, at the weekend.

Six minutes later Christian Fuchs clipped Bobby Decordova-Reid in the area and after a VAR check a penalty was awarded.

Cavaleiro strode up and planted his kick high past Schmeichel who had no doubt reminded the Fulham man of his side’s recent pathetic record from the spot.

"I was very pleased and relieved for Cav (Ivan Cavaleiro) that he scored. We've missed some big penalties and it's cost us some big points but we’ve scrutinised everything possible and I’m pleased it worked today," Parker said.

Leicester laboured to try and open up Fulham’s defence after the break but Lookman could have avoided any late nerves when he fired a great chance at Schmeichel.

When Barnes thumped home it looked as though all Fulham's hard work might be undone but they breathed a sigh of relief as Leicester’s Kelechi Iheanacho slipped when in a dangerous position at the death.

"We'll go away and analyse how we could be better but we can't dwell on it for too long," Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. "We've shown some good moments in the first 10 games, now we'll need to dust ourselves off."

West Ham ride their luck to beat Aston Villa

IMAGE: Trezeguet sustains a head injury which leads to a penalty being awarded to Aston Villa during their match against West Ham United. Photograph: Frank Augstein - Pool/Getty Images

West Ham United climbed to fifth in the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Monday as for the second successive home game they benefited from a missed penalty.

Goals by Angelo Ogbonna and Jarrod Bowen at the start of each half earned West Ham the points, although Villa will rue an Ollie Watkins penalty that rattled the crossbar.

West Ham then got lucky again as Watkins thought he had made amends in stoppage time but his close-range goal was ruled out by VAR for a marginal offside decision.

Jack Grealish had levelled with a deflected effort in the 25th minute but it was a frustrating night for Villa who could have gone fourth with a win.

West Ham's third successive victory leaves them on 17 points from 10 games, only four points behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. Villa have slipped down to 10th with 15 points, having played a game less.

Three weeks ago West Ham beat Fulham 1-0 at the London Stadium after a comical last-gasp penalty miss by Ademola Lookman and they got lucky again as they bagged the points, despite being second-best for much of the game.

"We've missed a penalty and had a goal disallowed for a part of his body that can't actually be used to put the ball in the net anyway," Villa manager Dean Smith said.

"The goal Ollie scores they've given offside for his arm, but the only reason his arm is there is because he's being fouled. It's either he scores or it's a penalty."

IMAGE: Jarrod Bowen scores the second goal for West Ham United. Photograph: Neil Hall - Pool/Getty Images

Villa were caught cold as Ogbonna rose unchallenged to head West Ham into the lead after two minutes.

But they responded well and Grealish exploited a hole in the middle of West Ham's defence to burst forward and strike a shot that deflected past Lukasz Fabianski.

West Ham manager David Moyes sent on Said Benrahma for the second half and almost immediately he set up Bowen to head his side back into the lead.

The hosts never looked comfortable though and Villa should have levelled when Grealish released Watkins and he pulled the ball back for Trezeguet who somehow failed to beat Fabianski from point-blank range.

Villa were awarded a penalty, via VAR, when Declan Rice was adjudged to have pulled Trezeguet's shirt but Watkins leant back and sent his spot kick against the bar.

Watkins should have had the last laugh but after breaking free of Ogbonna, who had his arms around the striker's neck, to slot in from a low cross his joy was cut short because, according to VAR, part of his arm was offside.

Moyes was not complaining and pointed to Rice being hard done by for the Villa penalty.

"I'd like referees to toughen up a bit and not give every decision," he said.

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