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2017/18 English League Championship, Regular Season
  • Stefan Johansen (66')
  • Tom Cairney (70')

Promotion-chasing Fulham keep pressure on top two with victory at Norwich

Fulham maintained their push for automatic promotion from the Sky Bet Championship with a hard-fought 2-0 win over mid-table Norwich at Carrow Road.
The Cottagers secured the points thanks to two goals in four minutes midway through the second half, with midfielders Stefan Johansen and Tom Cairney on target.
The Canaries had their moments, but it was a deserved victory for the visitors who kept the pressure on Cardiff and Wolves in the battle for a top-two finish.
Fulham dominated possession in the first half with their neat passing game, but never seriously troubled Angus Gunn.
They had a decent shout for a penalty on nine minutes when Ivo Pinto appeared to shove Floyd Ayite - but that was a rare moment of excitement.
The visitors only mustered one shot on goal over the course of 45 minutes, and Cairney's effort from the edge of the area was comfortably gathered by the Norwich goalkeeper.
Pretty passing patterns were constantly breaking down on the edge of the box and it was a similar story at the other end when the Canaries had occasional bouts of possession.
Daniel Farke's team did finish the half strongly, however, and would have had a clear sight of goal but for poor passes from first Mario Vrancic and then Josh Murphy, while Dennis Srbeny fired just wide after robbing Cairney as he dwelt on the ball.
The hosts also started the second period brightly and it took a superb fingertip save from Marcus Bettinelli to deny Srbeny after the German striker took aim from just outside the box.
Fulham introduced highly rated 17-year-old Ryan Sessegnon from the bench seven minutes after the restart as they attempted to assert some authority on proceedings, but Norwich continued to press and Murphy was only just wide with a sweetly struck volley.
Sessegnon almost made his presence felt just after the hour mark when the ball fell kindly for him after Gunn had missed a high ball, but his goal-bound effort was blocked by Christophe Zimmerman, who was covering on the line.
Fulham did make the breakthrough on 66 minutes however. Gunn made a fine stop to keep out Alexsandar Mitrovic's close range header from a Matt Targett cross but Johansen was on hand to fire home the loose ball.
The Cottagers swiftly doubled their lead with Cairney making it 2-0 on 69 minutes. This time Lucas Piazon sent in a low cross from the right and the ball deflected off Zimmerman into the path of the influential midfielder, who drilled home past an exposed Gunn.
Murphy fired just wide after being put in by James Maddison as Norwich looked for a response, but there was to be no final flourish as the Canaries' indifferent season continued.

English League Championship Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Norwich City 44 +34 88
2 Sheffield United 44 +35 85
3 Leeds United 44 +24 82
4 West Bromwich Albion 44 +26 77
5 Aston Villa 44 +22 75
6 Derby County 43 +11 67
7 Middlesbrough 44 +6 67
8 Bristol City 43 +7 66
9 Sheffield Wednesday 44 -1 63
10 Swansea City 43 +3 62
11 Nottingham Forest 44 +5 60
12 Preston North End 44 +3 60
13 Hull City 44 -2 60
14 Blackburn Rovers 44 -4 59
15 Brentford 44 +10 58
16 Stoke City 44 -7 53
17 Birmingham City 44 +6 50
18 Wigan Athletic 44 -14 48
19 Queens Park Rangers 44 -18 48
20 Reading 44 -16 46
21 Millwall 43 -14 43
22 Rotherham United 44 -29 40
23 Bolton Wanderers 44 -47 32
24 Ipswich Town 44 -40 28