Sunday 18 August 2019

Babel cracker a kick in teeth for Warnock

Fulham 1 Cardiff City 0

Fulham's Ryan Babel (left) in action with Cardiff City's Bruno Ecuele Manga. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire
Fulham's Ryan Babel (left) in action with Cardiff City's Bruno Ecuele Manga. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire

Andy Sims

Ryan Babel dealt Neil Warnock another blow in what the Cardiff manager admits has been a season of "kicks in the teeth".

The Bluebirds were shoved closer to the drop after a 1-0 defeat at Fulham, courtesy of a 25-yard wondergoal from Babel.

With 11 minutes remaining and a stalemate on the cards, the Dutch winger collected the ball from Cyrus Christie and hit a fierce first-time shot which curled away from goalkeeper Neil Etheridge as it flew into the top corner.

"He was probably the only player on the pitch who could have scored it," said Warnock. "It was a great finish and I can't complain about that. That's the Premier League for you.

"You get what you pay for. For me it brings home the Emiliano Sala tragedy. I thought he could have got us 10 goals. It's been blow after blow for us.

"We've been kicked in the teeth up hill and down dale but I just told the players to keep going. They are trying the best they can. At least I can't blame the ref."

Fulham's Ryan Babel (centre left) celebrates scoring his side's goal. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire
Fulham's Ryan Babel (centre left) celebrates scoring his side's goal. Photo: Steven Paston/PA Wire

It's now three wins out of three, with three clean sheets, for Fulham which is too late to save them but will do Scott Parker's chances of landing the permanent job no harm at all.

"It was a moment of brilliance and sheer class from Ryan," said caretaker boss Parker. "With some of the chances we missed I thought maybe today was not going to be our day but Ryan has come up with a wonder-strike which deserved to be the match-winner.

"Fulham fans want to see fight and desire and the team are giving themselves a good representation with hard work. It's paying off with three clean sheets and three wins."

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock. Photo: Tony O'Brien/Reuters
Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock. Photo: Tony O'Brien/Reuters

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