Fulham edged home - again.
This time Nottingham Forest were the fall guys. Here's a few thoughts from another hard-fought three points.
Three cheers for the Africa Cup of Nations
Remember Neeskens Kebano against QPR at the Cottage in October? A gaping goal and a header well wide by the DR Congo international that would have won a point.
Now a trip to Egypt has seen the rebirth of the player bought from Genk in August with two crucial goals in four days.
His stock is rising.
The fiercest battle for a place is between the Fulham full-backs
Ryan Sessegnon was a vital outlet down the left, and it’s got to the stage where either the 16-year-old or Scott Malone is a good fit.
The same with the other flank. Ryan Fredericks or Denis Odoi? There’s not a lot in it.
Ragnar looking ragged
Apologies if Sigurdsson was carrying a knock we don’t know about – but after handing Forest the lead, Slavisa Jokanovic had the Icelander off quicker than you can say ‘mistake.’
It just hasn’t worked yet for a player who looked pretty good playing for his country in Euro 2016, but the manager doesn’t take prisoners.
Four minutes later Whites were in the lead.
A game of two halves? More like a game of two 15 minutes
Fulham were awful at the start. Forest couldn’t believe their luck as a shaky side handed them the league.
And then like a switch being flicked, Fulham came back into it and ran the show to score twice in three minutes.
It’s a microcosm of the season.
When Fulham turn it on they are world beaters.
When they sag they look relegation fodder. Talk about black and white, or is that white and black?
Dress it up any way you want – central defence is a weakness if Tomas Kalas is absent
Michael Madl, Tom Ream and the aforementioned Sigurdsson have been OK…sometimes, but would you say the same about the full-backs or the midfield with Tom Cairney at the heart?
The last two are strengths. That gaping gap in the centre where Ben Brereton scored the Forest second needs Kalas’s hip to recover tout suite so he can resume.
And the match...
For the second time in four days Fulham won a pulsating duel by the odd goal in five.
For the second time in four days it was Neeskens Kebano who provided the winner.
The man who claimed the points against Wigan on Saturday did the business again deep into the second half as a sub, even if the goal was officially labelled an own goal.
However, a porous Whites defence made life tough for the team in another spate of deja vu as they often hung on by the seat of their pants.
It didn't start well.
You might have guessed a former Fulham striker would score against his old side.
Not Ross McCormack as expected, but Patjim Kasami, who flitted in and out of the side between and 2011-14.
Whites defence committed hara-kiri in the second minute as they failed to clear with fingers pointed at recalled Ragnar Sigurdsson to let Kasami rifle home left footed from the edge of the box.
David Button nearly handed a second to Ben Osborne after a woeful kick-out from the Fulham keeper saw the Forest man hit back first time only for the custodian to perform a scrambling rescue.
Sigurdsson's recall lasted all of 28 minutes when Michael Madl took over having made way after Saturday's defensive woe against Wigan.
Ryan Sessegnon's lightning pace with one-twos as he went saw him pull back from the left for Cairney to sweep home and level from 15 yards.
Dancing feet from Lucas Piazon as he bypassed three bemused Forest players saw him through like a knife through butter to plant it past Vladimir Stojkovic for the lead.
Danny Fox's cross two minutes after the restart and Ben Brereton header as he rose between two defenders saw him head home into the bottom corner.
Kebano was an inspired substitution when he put Whites back in the lead after sprinting into the box on 72 minutes to beat the keeper to the ball, although Jack Hobbs was officially landed with an own goal.
Right at the death, Kebano thumped the post, but it didn't matter. His moment came earlier and breathed life into the play-off chase.
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