Crystal Palace 0-0 Fulham: Scott Parker’s side left to rue missed chances
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Whilst the point moved Crystal Palace one step closer to securing their ninth consecutive season in the Premier League, the point for Scott Parker's Fulham side, feels more like a defeat.  

The match  

The best chance of the opening 10 minutes, fell to game winner from Monday night's 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion, Christian Benteke.

Jordan Ayew, who was operating out on the left-hand side, spotted Benteke making a darting run through the heart of the Fulham defence.  

As Ayew chipped the ball over the top of the bewildered Fulham back line, Benteke controlled the ball with his chest, setting his body in a shooting position.

However, Joachim Andersen deprived Benteke of any opportunity with an expertly timed tackle. 

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While Fulham controlled the game, with Harrison Reed and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa dominating the midfield battle, Palace continued to carve out the clear-cut opportunities.  

On the 26th minute, Andros Townsend whipped in a devilish cross with his left foot for the eagerly waiting Christian Benteke. Andersen, yet again, was in the right place to thwart the towering Belgian from opening the scoring.  

But Fulham’s impressive tempo, which they were making Crystal Palace dance to, nearly opened the scoring on the 33rd minute.  

Jordan Ayew scythed down Kenny Tete, who was making a marauding run from right-back, on the edge of the Palace area. The resulting free-kick, which was taken by Ademola Lookman, created confusion in amongst the Palace defence.  

As the ball hung in the air, Andersen leaped highest to plant a header with venom at goal. But much to the annoyance of Scott Parker, the 24-year-old failed to keep his effort down, as it sailed over the bar.  

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Second half

With an intense run of game on the horizon, Scott Parker sent his side out in the second half with one mission, claim all three points.  

The Fulham front three, which had a rather subdued first half, came alive in the second 45.  

With Ademola Lookman on one wing, and Bobby Decordova-Reid on the other, Josh Maja drifted into pockets of space with his artillery in waiting.  

Lookman, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Maja continued to pile on the pressure - taking turns to pepper Vicente Guaita’s goal in the early stages of the second half - but they were unable to beat the stubborn goalkeeper. 

Maja continued to be a thorn in the Palace defence, and was inches away from giving the Cottagers the lead.  

Ivan Cavaleiro, who had a point to prove after being dropped following the 1-0 win over Sheffield United, sent in a pinpoint cross for Josh Maja.  

As the ball zipped towards goal, Maja evaded Gary Cahill and directed the ball towards the net.

However, with the ball destined for the back of the net, Guaita pulled off a astonishing save, clawing the ball off the line and away from danger.  

With the clock ticking down, a glorious opportunity fell at the feet of Ademola Lookman.  

Harrison Reed picked up the ball just past the centre circle, with no hesitation, Reed immediately played a sweeping pass into the area.  

Whilst Maja drew Cahill and Kouyate towards him, Lookman waited patiently at the back post. At the first time of asking, Lookman swept a shot towards goal, but he could only direct the effort just wide of the post. 


Benteke feeding off scraps  

After scoring the winner against Brighton on Monday night, and etching his name into Palace history in the process, Christian Benteke was feeding off scraps this afternoon.  

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The stubborn Fulham defence nullified any Palace threat - denying the space and swarming the Eagles’ midfield in numbers - when Jairo Riedewald or Luka Milivojevic had the ball. 

Although Benteke has the capabilities to shine on the Premier League stage, his attacking prowess is controlled by a style of play that culls creativity. 

Josh Maja offers salvation to the Fulham faithful  

Scott Parker has transformed this Fulham side into one that looked destined for immediate relegation, to a side that deserves to stay in the top-flight.  

A large part of their survival plan has been finely balanced on the shoulders of Josh Maja, who arrived during the January window. 

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The former Palace academy player can be the beacon of hope that the Fulham faithful needed to reignite their survival hopes. 

Although he missed an abundance of chances this afternoon, his positional awareness will get him a number of goals needed, which could possibly keep the west Londoners in the Premier League.