Lallana and co. pile more misery on the Cottagers…
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Fulham’s new striker, Greek international Konstantinos Mitroglou, may have wished he hadn’t signed after his side went bottom of the Premier League on Saturday after a 3-0 defeat to Southampton.
Mitroglou, signed for £12.5million ($20.5million) on Friday, didn’t play but he will have not been encouraged by what he saw as Southampton weathered a first-half storm to run out easy winners and record only their third ever win at Craven Cottage and first since October 1947.
Southampton consolidated their ninth spot and moved to within two points of Newcastle, who lost 3-0 at home to Sunderland earlier on Saturday, while Fulham’s fifth defeat in their last six league matches sees them trail second from bottom Cardiff by two points.
Fulham were the sharpest side at the outset with Scott Parker, Darren Bent and Dan Burn all going close without really testing Artur Boruc.
Fulham didn’t let up in the opening 25 minutes as they piled the pressure on Saints, although their shooting accuracy let them down with Steve Sidwell and German Lewis Holtby, signed on loan from Spurs this week, ruining their good work by firing wide.
However, Boruc had to be at his best to deny Brede Hangeland, whose powerful header was going into the top corner before the former Celtic stopper somehow got a hand to it to turn over for a corner.
Boruc kept the visitors in the game by producing two more superb saves, both from Bent while Southampton’s only effort of note was Jay Rodriguez’s flashing header that went wide.
Pocchettino made a change at the break taking off Kenyan international Victor Wanyama, who had looked rusty after having a long spell on the sidelines with an injury.
However, there was nothing rusty about his team-mates in the second-half as having been let off the hook somewhat by Fulham they took full advantage.
First Adam Lallana fired home his eighth goal of the season, set up by fellow England international Rickie Lambert, in the 64th minute on what was his 250th appearance for the club.
Lambert too got on the scoresheet six minutes later finishing off a simply tremendous move, started by Nathan Clyne, who did a 1-2 with Steve Davis, before he sent the ball into the area where Lambert was on hand to hammer it home after Rodriguez had generously left it for him.
It was the third successive Premier League match between the two sides that Lambert had scored in.
Extraordinarily it was 3-0 five minutes later as Rodriguez deservedly got one of his own, found by Lambert wide out on the touchline he looked unlikely to make much out of it but having cut inside he looked up and beat Dutch ‘keeper Maarten Stekelenburg.