QPR 1-2 Fulham: Player ratings

by Dan on September 30, 2017

Man-to-man marking following Fulham’s west London derby win at Loftus Road …

David Button: Another assured display from the goalkeeper. Button was excellent when called upon – adjusting his feet to make a reaction save as a Luke Freeman corner nearly dropped in, tipping wide a drive from Massimo Luongo and making a superb stop from Freeman in that frenzied finish. He’s coming for far more crosses and distributed the ball well from the back. 8

Ryan Fredericks: An all-action display from the flying full-back. It will be harsh if his first Fulham goal is taken away from him as a result of Jack Robinson’s deflection as, rather like at the City Ground in midweek, his drive forward made a real difference. Always eager to get forward, Fredericks had already made a glorious chance for Rui Fonte and was solid in defence as well, bravely blocking shots from Freeman and Jamie Mackie. 8

Ryan Sessegnon: Looked a little vulnerable defensively during the early exhanges, but the teenager grew into the game and ended up proving a decisive influence at either end of the pitch. His energy carried him into several promising positions, creating an early chance for Sheyi Ojo, and seeing a second half effort deflected wide. Right at the death, the 17 year-old was in exactly the right place to scramble Smith’s header off the line. 7

Tim Ream: Apart from one risky pass out of defence, Ream was immense – as we’ve come to expect since he stepped back into the side during the second half of last season. He was happy to bring the ball out but largely nullified Idrissa Sylla and Mackie with his positioning and communication continuing to be first class. 7

Tomas Kalas: The Czech centre back underlined just what a shrewd capture he was for a second season at this level by being commanding in the air and composed with the ball at his feet. Kalas was on the end of a few rough challenges but remained unruffled – and came into his own during that crazy finale. Showed great agility to get back and bail out David Button after Matt Smith’s header appeared to be about to level the scores. 7

Kevin McDonald: The stand-in Fulham skipper might not have been at his imperious best, but McDonald showed just how crucial he has become to this side as the Whites absorbed pressure. His positioning and reading of the game might that Freeman only flickered rather than running the game as Ian Holloway would have wanted and he used the ball wisely, winning a whole host of physical challenges without going to ground. 7

Oliver Norwood: The Northern Irish international followed up a fine contribution from the substitute’s bench at the City Ground with his most complete display since joining from Brighton on loan. Rangers simply couldn’t get near him in the first half and Norwood proved highly effective in dictating the play, dropping into space to move the ball on and set up a number of speedy counter-attacks. Towards the end, he showed his steel – with a number of vital blocks and a superb defensive shift to protect Fulham’s lead. 8

Stefan Johansen: Just as at Forest, the Norwegian popped up with a vital goal to give Fulham some precious breathing space. It was a sweet finish to a fine move that was crucial in its timing following Rui Fonte’s penalty miss. Johansen was far more involved that he had been in the last few games, offering himself as an offensive option, but getting around the pitch to a great degree that he was combative in deeper areas and regular disrupting QPR’s rhythm. 7

Sheyi Ojo: An already frustrating night for the Liverpool loanee became disastrous when he was stretchered off with a dislocated collarbone after smashing into the turf following a heavy Joel Lynch challenge. The teenager had looked most likely to break the deadlock early on for Fulham, but lacked composure in front of goal, being denied by Alex Smithies in a one-on-one and then hauled down by Robinson, even if the referee gave the decision the other way. He spurned a glorious chance by turning a Johansen cross wide – and now looks set to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines. 6

Yohan Mollo: Slavisa Jokanovic picked the French winger for his energy and endeavour and Mollo buzzed around the Loftus Road like a man possessed. He got through an awful lot of defensive work and found some excellent positions in the final third, but failed to pick the right option on a couple of occasions as a sight of goal opened up. Withdrawn after a lively hour, Mollo still looks like great value having arrived on a free transfer on deadline day. 6

Rui Fonte: The Portuguese striker showed plenty of character by refusing to let a dreadful penalty miss fester and created the crucial second goal moments later instead. Having sprinted to reach Neeskens Kebano’s through pass, he had the composure to cut inside and locate Johansen with a measured pass that allowed the Norwegian to fire home with barely a moment’s pause. Should have got on the scoresheet himself even before skying his penalty, when he ballooned an effort into the Loft from Fredericks’ pass. 6

SUBSTITUTES

Neeskens Kebano: Another telling contribution off the bench from the Congolese winger. Kebano’s pace and trickery totally befuddled the QPR defence – and he played a crucial part in Fulham’s second with a forward pass that set Fonte away down the left. He did superbly to win the penalty from Lynch and was began a few breaks that released the rising pressure on the Fulham back line. 7

Denis Odoi: His introduction as a third centre half was designed to try and combat the aerial threat of Matt Smith but it only succeeded in inviting more pressure from the home side. The Belgian was kept busy but stuck to his task and delivered an assured display, only slipping once to allow Freeman to burst into the penalty area. 6

Ibrahima Cisse: Replaced Fonte in stoppage time – unbelievably whilst Fulham were defending a late corner – and added some physicality to great effect during the nine added minutes. 6

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