Excited by the prospect of a Boxing Day watching the Whites, I volunteered myself to take over the role of player rater for the trip to Selhurst Park. It was a joyous assignment as Marco Silva’s side strolled to a comfortable victory over a Crystal Palace side who looked ponderous before the first red card and concerningly clueless as Patrick Vieira’s game plan crumbled in the second half.

Bernd Leno: The German goalkeeper didn’t have anything to do. Palace didn’t muster a single shot on target – although Jordan Ayew did whack the crossbar on a rare foray into the Fulham penalty area in the first half. Leno’s been brilliant since he replaced Marek Rodak for the dramatic win over Brentford back in August; but in terms of marking, I am torn. You can’t give a goalkeeper a high mark if their services were not required, but I think it is harsh to leave Leno on an average score. I did notice he was vocal throughout and he dashed off his line to claw a short back header from Diop away from Wilfred Zaha – so that’s worthy of commendation 7

Kenny Tete: The Dutch defender had a game that George Cohen would have been proud of. He flew up and down the right flank liked he was powered by Duracell batteries. Not only did he seize on a sloppy pass from Joachim Andersen but he played a ball along the wing for Aleksandar Mitrovic that allowed the Serbian to arrow in a cross first time. There was a lovely floated cross for Willian that led to third – and Tete showed precisely why he’s Marco Silva’s favourite right back. 7

Issa Diop: Aside from the header that had everyone wincing at 1-0, Diop demonstrated why Silva was so keen to snare him from West Ham with a composed display that comprised of physicality and finesse. There were a couple of lovely switches of play out to either flank, but the most impressive element of this performance was that Zaha and Ayew were utterly anonymous. Were it not for a scrambled second half save from Vincent Guaita, he might have had another headed goal. 7

Tim Ream: We’ll be running out of superlatives for the awesome American soon. He just seems to get better and better with age. There was a brilliant bit of skill in front of the away fans that utterly befuddled Ayew in the second half, but the evergreen centre back’s day got a lot better in the closing stages. Tom Cairney would have been proud of the connection on his half volley from seven yards and, after an agonising wait, Ream’s first Premier League goal was confirmed. His contract extension is thoroughly deserved. 9

Antonee Robinson: Our other American defender recovered from the injury concerns to turn in another all-action appearance at left back. Raiding forward at pace throughout, Robinson adds a different dimension to Fulham’s attack on account of his blistering pace but he has also dovetailed well with the wily Willian. There was no joy for either Ebere Eze or Michael Olise, who were both peculiarly positioned on the right of a lobsided Palace side at times, as ‘Jedi’ continued his stellar campaign. 7

Joao Palhinha: This probably wasn’t one of Palhinha’s finest performances – as he seemed to catch the home side’s passing virus in the first period – but it was perfectly serviceable, and arguably better than that. The energy with which he bounds into challenges is endearing and that vitality allowed the Whites to take control of the engine room from the first whistle. He remains remarkably underrated by what passes for Premier League punditry these days. 7

Harrison Reed: Gareth Southgate wasn’t at his former stomping ground and I’m one of the people who feels that if our ginger dynamo played for a more fashionable club he might have already featured for his country. Reed covered every blade of grass with his customary endeavour, utterly dominating poor Cheick Doucoure and Jeff Schlupp, who looked horribly exposed in central midfield. Reed’s raids in the opposition territory have proved very rewarding this season and it is great to see him fully embracing his new role as a box-to-box marauder. 8

Bobby Decordova-Reid: Fulham’s very own Bobby dazzler was magnificent. It wasn’t just the gloriously guided header from Mitrovic’s measured cross to break the deadlock, it was everything else that we’ve come to take for granted from Decordova-Reid. He justified his selection with the work ethic that meant neither Zaha nor Tyrick Mitchell found any space in which to operate, but also used the ball intelligently almost sumptuously creating a goal for Andreas Pereira in the second period. 9

Willian: I wasn’t exactly bowled over by the prospect of an ageing Brazilian winger, who had been the subject of hate campaign at Corinthians, coming back to English football after his awful spell with Arsenal. But Willian has sparkled from the outset. He’s been there and done it before, but has the football brain to bamboozle full backs and carries the ball exceptionally in tight areas. He’s a work horse, too, and has understandably nailed down the left wing spot. 7

Andreas Pereira: Pereira was peerless from the first whistle. He looked up for it from the outset, eager to try out a few more of the tricks that had worked against West Ham last weekend, and was unfortunate not to open the scoring with a fine free-kick from long range. He buzzed around brightly behind Mitrovic, but wasn’t afraid to get beyond the number nine. He probably should have grabbed a goal for himself – with two poor misses in the second half – but Pereira offers so much without the ball that he is a vital component of this very watchable outfit. 8

Aleksandar Mitrovic: The doubts about his fitness weren’t a red herring, but the Serbian striker stitched together an irrepressible display to remind everyone that he is back from bothering international defences. The quality of his cross for Decordova-Reid’s opener was eye-catching and it was no surprise that he flicked on Pereira’s corner for Ream to slam high into the net. There was a deft header of his own to round off the scoring but, as ever, Mitrovic’s all-round play was of the highest quality. 9

None of Fulham’s substitutes had a great deal of time to shine – but this was a performance full of purpose that showed just how comfortable the Whites are at English football’s top table. Long may it continue.