Millwall 0-3 Fulham: Player ratings

by Dan on April 21, 2018

Marks out of ten for Slavisa Jokanovic’s men as Fulham ended Millwall’s long unbeaten run with a big win at the New Den …

Marcus Bettinelli: The only reason the Whites were in the game after the shakiest of starts in the south London cauldron was due to the Fulham number one’s decisive keeping. His superb reflexes to push Jake Cooper’s early header onto the woodwork proved absolutely vital and, looking vulnerable against some teasing Ben Marshall crosses, Bettinelli kept Jokanovic’s men afloat until their passing game began to function. Another clean sheet. 8

Ryan Fredericks: The adventurous right back, who enjoyed a successful loan spell with Millwall back in 2014, found it difficult to get on the front foot initially as the Lions put their prey under serious pressure early on. He had to be defensively disciplined as Marshall’s excellent crosses posed a serious threat, but bombed with great success once Jokanovic’s men took control in the second 45 minutes. Fredericks is such an asset at both ends of the pitch and will be sorely missed if Fulham fail to make it back to the top flight. 8

Matt Targett: Another splendid showing from the Southampton loanee. Offered width and a rare chance to get forward in a first half were Fulham’s forays into attacking territory were few and far between. Fashioned the first chance with a floated cross that found Mitrovic and clipped the top of the bar on the stroke of half-time with fine drive from distance. Had little serious defending to do after the break but oozed Premier League quality as he has since January. 8

Tim Ream: The former Bolton centre back was as commanding as ever at the heart of the Fulham defence looked unflustered by the raucous Den atmosphere that has tested many a top player in the past. The Whites were indebted to Ream for his terrific anticipation and agility as to clear off the line with Bettinelli beaten – another pivotal moment – and he was always on hand to distribute the ball with confidence from the back. 9

Denis Odoi: Outstanding at centre back, repelling the aerial threat of Morison and Gregory time and time again, which is no mean feat for a diminutive defender, who is more regularly seen at full back. Became more assertive as the evening wore on and relieved the pressure that the Fulham back four were under with a willingness to knock the ball around and carry it forward on occasions. 8

Kevin McDonald: The Scot’s sensational strike from fully 25 yards showed that he certainly has the ability to produce a moment of magic usually credited to his midfield colleagues. McDonald’s magnificent second gave Fulham the comfort of a two-goal cushion, which they never really looked like relinquishing, and capped an excellent night for the key man at the base of the visitors’ midfield. His positional sense and calmness counted for plenty when the Whites were under the cosh during a difficult first half. 9

Stefan Johansen: The Norwegian’s energy and verve helped Fulham survive Millwall’s frenetic start and gradually gain a foothold in the contest. He played a lovely defence splitting ball to send Ryan Sessegnon in after Jokanovic’s side had enjoyed their first serious spell of possession in the Millwall half, but will rue his lack of composure in front of goal when he snatched at a volley off his normally trusty left peg right. It mattered little – as the Whites went on to dominate regardless. 7

Tom Cairney: Had to come through the usual physical battering before being able to dictate his side’s pretty passing football from his deep-lying midfield position, but the Fulham skipper is made of strong stuff. As soon as Cairney got on the ball, you could see his team-mates start to relax and his influence only increased once Sessegnon put the visitors in front seconds after the break. This wasn’t a game where Cairney’s importance as Fulham’s creative hub was glaringly obvious but he managed proceedings brilliantly. 8

Lucas Piazon: The Brazilian was the only one in a Fulham shirt who failed to really impose himself on this encounter. Didn’t have the pace to threaten a spirited Millwall side in behind and struggled to have much of an impact between the lines. You can’t fault the Brazilian’s desire or passion but it hasn’t really happened for him since he came back into the side. 6

Ryan Sessegnon: The teenager found it tough to start with against Millwall’s promising full back Mahlon Romeo, one of the few defenders in the division who looked like he might be able to match the seventeen year-old stride for stride. But Romeo’s reactions were nowhere near as quick as Sessegnon’s when Jordan Archer failed to hold Mitrovic’s speculative shot and his fifteenth goal of the season was absolutely critical in the final reckoning. He could have scored twice more after that and the Den was reverberating to the Fulham fans singing his name following the final whistle. 8

Aleksandar Mitrovic: The Serbian had to feed off scraps in a first half where he was largely nullified by former Fulham defender Shaun Hutchinson, but he needed less than half a minute to make an impact in the second period. Just like against Brentford, there seemed little danger when he turned a hopeful pass forward into a shooting chance – and Sessegnon pounced to put the Whites ahead. Both Huchinson and Cooper failed to disrupt his fine hold up play to another degree after half time and the Newcastle loanee added a third before the end with an unerring finish into the top corner. 8

Substitutes:

Tomas Kalas (on for Lucas Piazon, 82): Brought on to ensure there would be no repeat of Fulham’s folding from a winning position in their two previous London derbies, the on-loan Chelsea defender ended up making a real difference at the other end of the pitch. Nothing appeared to be on when he picked up the ball on the halfway line but Kalas’ sense of adventure carried him to the edge of the Millwall box – where he had the presence of mind to slip in Mitrovic for the third. 7

Cyrus Christie (on for Ryan Fredericks, 90): Sent on to see out stoppage time with Fulham in front – a decision that went a little better than when Jokanovic tried it last week.

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