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Brighton’s winless home run goes on after Fulham stalemate
Lewis Dunk made a late clearance off the line to deny Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Fulham earned their first point in three games against fellow relegation strugglers Brighton in a cagey goalless draw at the Amex Stadium.
Scott Parker’s men had lost their last two matches before the sides met in almost identical fashion to their 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage on December 16 and again nothing could separate the two teams.
The game sees Brighton’s winless run at home in the Premier League stretch to 14 games, with their last victory having come last season against Arsenal on June 20.
It was a cagey game which lacked a cutting edge in the final third, and despite a number of shots – 16 from the home side and 10 from Fulham – neither could find the breakthrough.
Fulham looked to get forward from the start and had their first shot in the sixth minute when Ola Aina drove from distance, but his rising strike was over the Brighton goal.
Despite Fulham’s early dominance of the ball, Brighton had the best chance of the opening exchanges as top scorer Neal Maupay took advantage of a mistake by the visitors’ defence to find Leandro Trossard, but his shot was saved by Alphonse Areola’s outstretched legs.
One of Scott Parker’s main challenges this season had been to strengthen the Fulham defence after they conceded 12 goals in their opening five league matches, but since then they have been harder to break down, with just five scored against them in their last six matches.
However, after a bright start from the visitors, Brighton started to gain a foothold in the game, with Fulham looking less organised at the back, and Areola was called upon to make a number of saves.
In the second half, Bobby Decordova-Reid fired over the bar after a cross from Kenny Tete was not cleared convincingly by the Brighton defence.
In the 70th minute, Joel Veltman took a quick free-kick and the ball was flicked by Alexis Mac Allister to Maupay, but the Brighton number nine fired over the bar without troubling the goalkeeper.
It was Brighton who ended the game strongest, coming close to snatching all three points late on when Areola made a save to deny Maupay before Solly March’s follow-up shot was blocked by Decordova-Reid and deflected over the bar.
Fulham’s struggles in front of goal continued on the south coast – they have now scored four league goals since the start of December – with Lewis Dunk making a late clearance off the line to deny Ruben Loftus-Cheek.