Barnsley 1-3 Fulham: Player ratings

by Sarah on January 28, 2018

Marks out of ten from Oakwell as Fulham survived a tough test, coming from behind in south Yorkshire to move into the play-off places following their fourth straight league win …

Marcus Bettinelli: Found himself far busier than last weekend as Barnsley attacked Fulham from the off. Had a difficult start with his kicking and distribution but made a number of good saves. He was furious with the referee after the Barnsley goal as he looked to have been impeded on the goal-line after a handball from Liam Lindsay. Bettinelli found himself under less pressure in the second period but game up with a big save from Ryan Hedges with the score at 1-1 with ten minutes remaining. 6

Ryan Fredericks: Struggled to get into his usual rhythm during Fulham’s disjointed first half and initially found it difficult to nullify the movement of Barnsley’s wide men, especially Adam Hammill. Found things much easier in the second half as Barnsley’s ten men struggled to put the visiting defence under pressure and began to rampage forward effectively. His superb run for the equaliser including two nutmegs in quick succession before smashing a shot against the near post and a deep cross led to the goalmouth scramble that proceeded the vital second in injury-time. 7

Tomas Kalas: Endured a difficult first half with Barnsley’s January addition Kieffer Moore posing plenty of problems. Moore’s movement and exquisite touch created an early sight of goal for Mallan and he pulled the Czech centre half all across the back line during the first 45 minutes. Played some sloppy balls out from the back – although the context of the contest changed just before the break with Dmitri Cavare’s senseless sending off, which relieved the pressure somewhat in the second half. 6

Tim Ream: Given the American’s outstanding form of late, this was a below-par performance. Both he and Kalas appeared bewildered at times by the movement of Barnsley’s front three, but the home side’s high pressure also unsettled the Fulham back. Ream looked rushed in possession and frequently failed to find a team-mate with those usually reliable passes that can start an attack. Dealt with the more isolated threat of Moore in the second half well as Fulham pushed the ten men back. 6

Denis Odoi: Something of a surprise selection at left back following the arrival of Matt Targett last week, the Belgian turned in a woeful display and was rightly hauled off at half time. Found himself unable to cope with the clever movement of Tom Bradshaw, who kept drifting into dangerous positions having started on the right of an interchangeable front three, and frequently donated possession generously back to the home side. 5

Kevin McDonald: Captain in the absence of Tom Cairney and the Scottish midfielder showed his leadership qualities in abundance. Looked up for the fight during a first half where Fulham were distinctly second best, battling for the ball and breaking up several Barnsley attacks. Become more of an attacking force in the second period, exhorting his team-mates for more and playing a number of progressive passes. Might have scored twice before he finally did, prodding the ball home after an almighty scramble on the line. 8

Ollie Norwood: Not a game the Northern Ireland international will look back on terribly fondling. Fairly error-strewn in the first half as he tried to provide the creativity Fulham were missing without Cairney, but left too much on several passes. Looked as he if was trying to hard at times and was perfectly neat and tidy in the second period as Slavisa Jokanovic’s men began to exploit their numerical advantage. 6

Stefan Johansen: The Norwegian charged about chasing shadows for much of the first half and appeared to pay for it as he ran out of gas before being substituted on the hour mark. His main contribution in the first half was to produce the late tackle – for which he was booked – that sparked Cavare’s crazy reaction and gave Fulham a lifeline at a time when the Whites were being comprehensively outplayed. 6

Lucas Piazon: Struggled to replicate the devastating impact he had against Burton Albion last weekend. Was always trying to create something, but had very little to work with in the first half – looking horribly isolated out on the right flank. Toiled manfully throughout, but it was his replacement Neeskens Kebano who made use of the space as the game opened up. 6

Ryan Sessegnon: We will soon run out of superlatives for the tremendous teenager. His composure and ability to read the game is exceptional and Sessegnon proved his worth as a left winger here once more, by moving into the centre forward position on two occasions to grab crucial goals. He’d had a quiet first half but made the most of the space available once Barnsley were reduced to ten men. Poached superbly after Fredericks’ fierce shot had come back off the post, sensibly taking a touch to steady himself first, and arrived late to profit from Kebano’s excellent run and cross to put a more convincing gloss on the scoreline right at the death. 9

Rui Fonte: Worked exceptionally hard throughout without getting the reward his intelligent runs and selfless link-up play deserved. This was a far more tricky assignment that polishing off Burton, but Fonte kept the Barnsley back four on the toes even during the first period where Fulham failed to make much of an impression in the opening 45 minutes. His hold-up play in the second period brought several team-mates into play and showed that he can be an option when the going gets tough. 7

Substitutes:

Matt Targett (on for Denis Odoi, 45): Looked every inch the natural left back Fulham have missed for much of this season when he stepped off the bench at the start of the second half. Displayed an excellent first touch and always provided an option down the left – with his hit and miss crossing likely to improve with further game time. Created a good chance for Kebano shortly after the winger had entered the fray. 7

Neeskens Kebano (on for Lucas Piazon, 62): Provided a missing spark when he was introduced for Lucas Piazon just after the hour mark. Looked eager to attack the Barnsley defence at every opportunity and swapped sides to great effect. Dovetailed well with Targett down the left, curling an effort over the bar, and then demonstrated both his exceptional pace and composure, skipping away from a wild challenge, and supplying the perfect cross for Sessegnon to settle matters right at the end. 7

Aboubakar Kamara (on for Stefan Johansen 69): The French forward didn’t had another goal when he came on as a substitute but his presence certainly made life more difficult for the Barnsley defence. Was denied when his powerful header was turned aside by Andrew Davies and played a decisive role during that scramble when the keeper kept out his volley, allowing McDonald to apply the finishing touch from the rebound. 6

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