Fulham of England’s Nigerian quintet of Ola Aina, Tosin Adarabioyo, Admola Lookman, Josh Maja and Josh Onomah has failed to save the team from relegation, as they suffered another defeat on Monday and their demotion to the English Championship was confirmed.
Aina was absent, Adarabioyo and Lookman both started, while Onomah and Maja entered from the bench, but Fulham’s relegation was confirmed by a 2-0 loss to Burnley, who guaranteed for themselves another season in the English Premier League with an away win at Craven Cottage.
Megasportsarena.com reports that Fulham’s 18th defeat of the campaign sent them straight back to the Championship at the first attempt, while Burnley climb up to 14th with a victory which sees Sean Dyche deliver a sixth successive season of Premier League football.
Scott Parker’s side needed four wins from their final four games to have any chance of avoiding the drop but were comprehensively beaten as their season-long stay in the top flight ended with three games to spare.
In what was the first of four defining games to save their season, Fulham fashioned the first opening on 12 minutes, but Lookman’s hesitancy when reaching Ivan Cavaleiro’s cross handed James Tarkowski the opportunity to intervene with a last-gasp goal-mouth clearance.
Burnley responded as Ben Mee forced Areola into a save with a header before finding the back of the Fulham net, only for Wood’s effort to be chalked off instantly, with Matej Vydra adjudged to have taken the ball out of play in the build-up.
Fulham’s fate was effectively sealed before half-time as Ashley Westwood’s opener and Chris Wood’s emphatic 50th Burnley goal left the hosts needing to score three unanswered goals – the same they had managed in their previous 11 outings.
Fulham were indebted to Adarabioyo and Antonee Robinson as headers from Wood and Tarkowski were deflected behind for corners in quick succession, but it was only a matter of time before the hosts’ already slim survival hopes were dented.
One became two on the stroke of half-time as Wood’s sumptuous swerving volley found the top corner to leave Fulham with an almost insurmountable task in the second half.
Parker resisted the temptation to make alterations at the break but waiting just nine minutes before introducing January signing Maja, and the addition of an attacking reinforcement resulted in concerted Fulham pressure in search of a lifeline.
Fortune favoured Fulham after the interval when goalkeeper Alphonse Areola avoided a straight red card for a clear handball outside the area, but The Cottagers were unable to take advantage of the reprieve, with Andre-Frank Anguissa cannoning the underside of the Burnley bar with the hosts’ best effort of sparking a comeback.
Fulham felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Charlie Taylor lunged in on Lookman, but he was adjudged to have made contact with both man and ball by referee David Coote and VAR Peter Bankes.