Friday 23 March 2018

Fulham throw away a lifeline

Fulham 2 Hull 2

Hull's Shane Long celebrates after equalising against Fulham at Craven Cottage
Hull's Shane Long celebrates after equalising against Fulham at Craven Cottage
Fulham's Ashkan Dejagah scores against Hull City at Craven Cottage
Hull's Jake Livermore gets past Fulham's Lewis Holtby
Fulham's Hugo Rodallega is challenged by Hull's Curtis Davies
Hull City's Liam Rosenior is closed down by the Fulham defence

Tom Allnutt

Manager Felix Magath believes Fulham need to win their last two matches after they threw away a two-goal lead in the last 15 minutes at Craven Cottage yesterday.

Hull's Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long cancelled out Ashkan Dejagah and Fernando Amorebieta's earlier efforts, denying Fulham a glorious opportunity to get out of the bottom three.

"We have to win the two last games," Magath said, a trip to Stoke first, before a crunch home game against Crystal Palace on the final day.

"We lost two points and that was not what we wanted but as long as there is a chance we will keep trying and I am sure we can get two more wins."

An uneventful contest sprung into life after 55 minutes when Dejagah bent a left-footed shot into the top corner and just three minutes later, Amorebieta doubled the advantage with a header.

It looked like Fulham would go on to clinch a vital victory but Jelavic pulled a goal back with quarter of an hour remaining before Long nodded home in the 87th minute.

Magath insists he is not concerned about the psychological effects of his team's late collapse and has called for his players to stand up and be counted when they play Stoke next weekend.

"They were quiet and disappointed (after the game) but I said it's too late now to win that game and we have to stand up and get ready for the next game," Magath said.

"A victory would have given us confidence going into the next match but we have to take the situation as it is."

Hull also have two league matches left and are almost certainly safe with six points now separating the Tigers from the bottom three.

Steve Bruce insists survival is not guaranteed yet but says his team's fightback was typical of the character his players have shown all season.

"The reason we're 13th and in the FA Cup final is we don't give up, we have a crack at it and we keep on going and we rightly got the rewards today," Bruce said.

"If we hadn't have got the point today we might have still been in it – 37 points might be enough but we've got three games to go and to get ourselves into this position is all credit to the players."

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