Fulham 6-2 Bristol City: player ratings, MOTM, heroes & villains as Robins thrashed by the Cottagers

On-the-whistle report from a cold Craven Cottage as action in the English second tier resumed.

Bristol City were given a lesson in West London as fashionable Fulham went to town at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The hosts netted six goals to add to the seven registered at Reading on Tuesday night, and the Robins defence could not stifle Marco Silva’s much-changed team from the side who had toiled against the West Country outfit seven days previously.

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Nigel Pearson’s side have now conceded the second-most goals in the league, after Peterborough shipped four on Saturday.

A power problem saw the match preparation interrupted and a brief floodlight failure, delaying kick-off for 15 minutes, with mayhem in the media section as the WiFi cut out.

But there was no mistaking the electrical energy supplied by Antoine Semenyo who sent a rocket in the near post after seven minutes. The imperious Aleksandar Mitrovic then equalised before Semenyo netted again.

And that was as good as it got, from a Western point of view, as Neeskens Kebano equalised seconds later, and two Mitrovic goals put Fulham in control, before Kebano put the cherry on the icing on the cake.

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Bristol City missed out on the joy of six and another win in West London following five great victories down the other end of the M4, and Pearson now faces problems away from home having seemingly got a tune from his team back in BS3 of late. Much work to do.

Tale of the game

With the home side missing Joe Bryan and opting to not start Bobby De Cordova-Reid, the Cottagers made four changes as they faced the same foes they ousted them from the FA Cup at the first hurdle the week before.

City recalled Jay Dasilva for a first league start since the loss at Coventry last November. Matty James missed out through injury though, as Antoine Semenyo and Andi Weimann came back into the side replacing Chris Martin and Nahki Wells.

An even start saw City counter the first corner of the game with O’Leary collecting the set-piece and releasing Scott to run into the Fulham half. The midfielder’s astute pass played Semenyo in on goal with just Cairney to bypass. A feint and cut to the left saw that task completed before a missile was sent into the top corner of the goal.

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It was looking like another one of those great away days at Fulham, as Kalas charged down Neeskens and Dasilva, stationed on the right, kept Antonee Robinson in check.

Until Mitrovic netted his 25th Championship goal of the season, heading in a deep Wilson cross that should have been cleared as it reached the Fulham no.9.

O’Leary then made smart stops to deny Kebano and Mitrovic before the half hour point as Silva’s side began to take control of proceedings.

Despite those attacks on goal, the Robins retook the lead through the outstanding Semenyo: the 21-year-old turned marker Ream and burst away from Reed tracking back, powering away from the home defence. A rifled right-foot shot thundered in off the far post.

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But the joy was shortlived as Mitrovic again proved too tough to shackle and just 90 seconds later the Serbian was wrecking havoc in the box in the air, meeting Tete’s cross, with Kebano finishing things off from close range.

And five minutes later Fulham took the lead, which they would not relinquish. The impressive Fabio Carvalho carried the ball forward and fired in low, before Mitrovic headed in Cairney’s corner to double the hosts’ lead.

The first half scoring was completed when Mitrovic received another Cairney pass and slammed into O’Leary’s top right corner.

After the break, changes from Pearson as on came Atkinson and Martin to go to a four in defence, and more chances at either end.

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Kebano scored a peach, as he neatly swivelled in the box, taking advantage of a loose ball before lashing high into the net on 57 minutes before Weimann, Atkinson and Semenyo all had chances to net in front of their own, excellently loud, supporters.

Neeskens Kebano of Fulham scores his team’s sixth goal.Neeskens Kebano of Fulham scores his team’s sixth goal.
Neeskens Kebano of Fulham scores his team’s sixth goal.

Somehow, Fulham’s former France youth international winger missed the chance to make it 14 goals in five days, as he sliced a volley wide from just inside the box, the City defence missing for much of the afternoon in West London.

Both sides rung the changes, the game fizzled out though and despite De Cordova-Reid coming on, the scoring was done for the day.


The Bristol City supporters

Some 17,810 supporters attended the game with 1,687 away fans piling in to Craven Cottage. And the Robins supporters were loud and loving the first half an hour of play, but not so much after that. Kept singing, even at 6-2 down, and deserved better.

Antoine Semenyo

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The bustling forward finally found his goal-scoring form, and even evoked shades of Brazilian phenomenon Ronaldo the way he walloped in both goals and proved too tough to stop for the Fulham defence, a runaway wagon hurtling down one of the hills of Bemmie. A coming of age display?

Aleksandar Mitrovic

To keep things balanced, the Fulham hit-man deserves a significant mention: now 27 goals for the season after this hat-trick (in 25 games) and he proved as difficult to keep in check as Semenyo, indeed more. Outstanding in the air and City had no way of limiting the 27-year-old.


The stadium staff

A 15-minute delay was caused following a power cut ten minutes before the game. Floodlights went off while all electronics were cut short, with turnstiles affected and the entire media section unable to work. A 15-minute delay to kick-off was also enforced as a result.

Nigel Pearson

Another bizarre team selection plucked from nowhere. Why didn’t Atkinson start in the middle after being excellent last weekend and drawing praise from his manager? Dasilva on the right? We’re not too sure about that either. A second-half change to a back four came too late to stop the Cottagers going top of the league.

Matty James

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The key midfielder was again missing from the battle in the middle, as the 30-year-old failed to recover from a foot injury for the game.

Callum O’Dowda is tackled by Tom Cairney at Craven Cottage.Callum O’Dowda is tackled by Tom Cairney at Craven Cottage.
Callum O’Dowda is tackled by Tom Cairney at Craven Cottage.

Player ratings

Fulham (4-2-3-1): Marek Rodak 7, Kenny Tete 7, Tosin Adarabioyo 7 Tim Ream 6, Antonee Robinson 7; Harrison Reed 8, Tom Cairney 8 (Nathaniel Chalobah 6, 71’); Harry Wilson 8, Fabio Carvalho 8, Neeskens Kebano 9 (Bobby De Cordova-Reid 6, 71’); Aleksandar Mitrovic 9 (Rodrigo Muniz n/a, 78’)

Bristol City (3-4-1-2): Max O’Leary 5; Tomas Kalas 6, Zak Vyner 6, Cam Pring 5; Jay Dasilva 5 (Chris Martin 6, 50’) , Han-Noah Massengo 6 (Rob Atkinson 6, 50’), Andy King 5, Callum O’Dowda 5; Alex Scott 6; Andi Weimann 6 (Tyreeq Bakinson 6, 75’), Antoine Semenyo 9.

Man of the match


No surprises here and take your pick as to which side you support. Do Bristol City actually need another forward with Semenyo blossoming? Will a bigger fish come for either player in the future, with both players at very different points of their career?

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What’s next?

It’s the Severnside Derby, with Pearson under pressure again and in need of a result. Thankfully City have been better at home and have three wins in their last five games at Ashton Gate.

Fulham entertain Birmingham in midweek.

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