Tim Ream revelled in the joy of returning to competitive action with a win and a clean sheet and his first Premier League goal after Fulham cruised to a comfortable victory at Crystal Palace this afternoon.

The 35 year-old defender, who continued his fine form from the World Cup at Selhurst Park, rifled in the crucial second as the Cottagers ended up easy victors at Selhurst Park after their hosts had two men sent off.

Ream – one of the most reliable centre halves in the top flight at the moment – told Amazon Prime Video Sport that even Aleksandar Mitrovic was appreciative of the quality of his finish.

“We were joking just now that it was a top striker’s goal. Just a little turn, swivel and hit it as hard as you can. I saw it drop and it is one of those where you just turn and hit it. I didn’t know what to do afterwards to be honest. I was so concerned [that it would be ruled out]. I was looking at him [referee Andy Madley] and I was like, ‘Oh no, come on’. I was happy that I didn’t go too crazy with the celebration because then it wouldn’t have felt so bad.”

Ream, jettisoned for almost the entirety of Fulham’s last Premier League campaign under Scott Parker, reiterated that he is loving every minute of an outstanding season.

“I’m loving football right now. I’m loving playing every week; the confidence is soaring through my body. We have such togetherness as a group. The guys who have come in are all outstanding. We did a lot of really good things in the first half. As the game went on, we had much more of the ball. Overall, a great team performance and to come away with a clean sheet is a big bonus for us.