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Palace push Fulham deeper into the mire

Crystal Palace 2 Fulham 0

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Crystal Palace's Jeffrey Schlupp celebrates with Michy Batshuayi and James McArthur after scoring their second goal. Photo: Reuters

Crystal Palace's Jeffrey Schlupp celebrates with Michy Batshuayi and James McArthur after scoring their second goal. Photo: Reuters

Crystal Palace's Jeffrey Schlupp celebrates with Michy Batshuayi and James McArthur after scoring their second goal. Photo: Reuters

Fulham's hopes of survival suffered a fresh setback with this defeat, which leaves them seven points adrift of safety. An improved display against Tottenham and victory over Brighton had given Claudio Ranieri's some momentum, but they were outplayed by Palace and again contributed to their defeat, which was secured by goals from Luka Milivojevic and Jeffrey Schlupp.

Fulham's next eight league fixtures consist of four away games and home clashes against Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City.

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Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew gets between Fulham's Joe Bryan and Denis Odoi. Photo: Reuters

Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew gets between Fulham's Joe Bryan and Denis Odoi. Photo: Reuters

Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew gets between Fulham's Joe Bryan and Denis Odoi. Photo: Reuters

Roy Hodgson's improving Palace had responded to Wilfried Zaha's suspension and an injury to Cheikhou Kouyate by switching from a 4-3-3 formation to 4-4-2 and recalling Schlupp and Christian Benteke. New signing Michy Batshuayi was on the bench.

Cyrus Christie was at fault for the opener with a clumsy handball as he jumped for a ball with Benteke. The reliable Milivojevic stepped up to score his seventh goal of the season. Goalkeeper Sergio Rico did well to get a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.

Benteke then came close to scoring his first goal since April 28, smacking a bicycle kick against the crossbar.

Palace dominated the second half, forcing a series of chances without getting the goal to make the game safe.

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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson. Photo: Reuters

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson. Photo: Reuters

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson. Photo: Reuters

Batshuayi, making his debut as an 82nd-minute substitute, needed only five minutes to make impact when holding off Denis Odoi in the area to skilfully turn and shoot at Rico, who palmed into the path of Schlupp, leaving the midfielder with a routine finish that took the Eagles up to 14th.

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