Fulham Match Report vs Leicester City 30/11/20

A struggling Fulham desperately needed something from this game against a Leicester side who could have gone top with a win. Leicester were unchanged from last week’s game against Wolves and played in their usual 3-4-3 formation with wingbacks and inverted wingers. Fulham dropped start striker Mitrovic in order to have a forward line that is more suited to play on the counter-attack. Fulham played a pacey front three in a 4-3-3 formation, but out of possession they altered their formation to play five at the back with winger Bobby Cordova-Reid playing Right Wing as well as Right Back depending on whether Fulham have the ball.

Fulham’s game plan was mastered in the first half when they scored a goal on the break through in-form Ademola Lookman. They then doubled the lead from the penalty spot before the break. In the second half, Leicester changed to a back four and dominated possession. They attempted over double the amount of Fulham’s passes and had 60% of possession, Fulham were solid in defence and they limited Leicester to zero big chances in the second half. The game ended 2-1 to Fulham after a late Leicester goal in what is a huge three points for Fulham.

Ratings:

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for their level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Ademola Lookman

Player Profile

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 23
  • Date of Birth: 20/10/1997
  • Current Club: Fulham, on loan from RB Leipzig
  • Career: Charlton, Everton, RB Liepzig, Fulham (L)
  • Position: Left Wing
  • Secondary Position: Right Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

The 5’9″ winger continued his good start to the season with another goal today. It came on the break where Lookman can harm teams the most with his electric pace and composure. He was very composed when 1v1 vs the keeper and opened up his body well to bend his shot into the bottom corner of the net. He also had the ability to strike the ball powerfully when lining up a shot as well as curling shots.

Lookman was always dangerous when he combined his pace with dribbling, his dribbling was generally good by maintaining close control and being able to weave in and out of players. Although, sometimes Lookman failed to lift his head when dribbling which resulted in him running into traffic. Lookman was capable of mixing up his dribbling in order to beat the defender, he could go round the outside by stopping and starting using his acceleration, and he was also able to cut inside whilst beating the player with a quick burst of pace.

One disappointing aspect of Lookman’s game was his passing. He often misplaced simple passes by either misjudging the weight or direction of the pass. He needs to be more careful of his passing as Fulham need to make the most of their attacks and they cant afford to give the ball away on the counter either.

Defensively, Lookman put in maximum effort but often with little reward. He stuck to his job well for the majority of the game, marking the Leicester wing back but he sometimes lost track of him. Lookman uses his pace well to track back and keep up with opposition dribbles however his physicality lets him down here; his slim build means he struggles to win 50/50 shoulder challenges and when he tries to apply physical pressure to the opposition, they often ignore him like he isn’t there due to little body strength.

To his credit however, he never gave up. The English winger will be a big asset for Fulham this season if they get the ball to him on counter attacks. His defensive effort is solid, but I wouldn’t trust him to do his duties for the whole 90 minutes. If Fulham decide to park the bus and play on the counter, then I would be inclined to play him up top rather than on the wing due to less defensive duties. But it was overall a very good performance from Lookman who showed promising signs compared to his Everton and Leipzig days.

Rating – A2

Antonee Robinson

Player Profile

  • Nationality: American
  • Age: 23
  • Date of Birth: 08/08/1997
  • Current Club: Fulham
  • Career: Everton, Bolton (L), Wigan Athletic, Fulham
  • Position: Left Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

The American international had a solid game after a shaky start. His body positioning when defending a 1v1 situation was poor early in the game. He was far too upright and failed to move his feet which easily and allowed his opposite man to dribble inside of him without any pressure. Since that moment, he defended very well and got the better of his opposite man; he stayed on his feet well and didn’t dive in. Robinson had a good reading of the game and had good general positioning, he anticipated where the ball was going to be played which led to a few good interceptions. One thing he could have improved on was his sharpness to get out to the ball to stop the cross, he often jogged to stop the cross and allowed the ball in too easily.

Robinson was also very good going forward, he liked to get forward on the overlap and him and Lookman caused lots of problems for the Leicester defence. He didn’t tend to get in positions to cross the ball in, which may have been because target-man Mitrovic wasn’t playing. However, he did get into good positions and he picked out a lovely cut back to Lookman who could have scored. Robinson’s passing in general was very solid; he was comfortable passing on both feet and he liked to cut back inside and pass the ball inside with either feet, as well as passing down the line.

Robinson played well today and did well to defend the overlap when Lookman wasn’t tracking back, he was equally effective at the opposite end of the pitch and got in to good positions to assist and score, including a good chance to score but he got his feet stuck under the ball and the pass to him wasn’t ideal to shoot first time.

Rating – A2

Tosin Adarabioyo

Player Profile

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 23
  • Date of Birth: 24/09/1997
  • Current Club: Fulham
  • Career: Manchester City, West Brom (L), Blackburn Rovers (L), Fulham
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Secondary Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Adarabioyo was up against a potentially tricky opponent today in Jamie Vardy, but the fact that Vardy barely had a sniff was testament to Adarabioyo and his centre-back partner. His overall positioning was very good and he was always in the right position to clear the ball away, whether this was from a cross or a long ball. Adarabioyo completed 13/13 of his attempted clearances and 8/8 headed clearances which were both more than any other player on the pitch.

Adarabioyo stands very tall at 6’5 so it isn’t any surprise he was dominant in the air. His defensive game was summed up when he cleared a low ground cross that was destined for a Leicester tap-in but he was in a great place and did very well to sort his feet out quickly to clear the ball and avoid an own-goal.

Adarabioyo applied pressure when the opposition striker had the ball but he was a bit too keen on one occasion when he got too tight and fouled Vardy, but he learnt from this mistake and was faultless defensively apart from this. Leicester dominated possession so Adarabioyo didn’t get on the ball much apart from clearances.

He was comfortable passing side to side but his long balls were less accurate as shown by his pass map below. He lofted them into a vague direction of where he was aiming but needed more specific accuracy, for example he floated a ball to Lookman who lost the aerial battle when Adarabioyo could have easily played it into Lookman’s chest or feet which would have been much easier for Lookman to control. To summarise, it was a solid performance from Adarabioyo but I do have concerns about his ability on the ball.

Rating – B1

Written by Andrew Hunter, @HunterAnalysis on twitter

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