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  • Fulham 3-0 Burnley: Zamora great free-kick

    Fulham cruised to a 3-0 Premier League win over Burnley at Craven Cottage to go ninth in the standings and leave their visitors hovering above the drop zone.

    Goals from Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora and David Elm - his first for Fulham - saw off Burnley, who were outclassed as their hosts took seven points from three games since snapping a worrying losing streak.

    After a 3-0 win over Manchester United and goalless draw with Tottenham were followed by five straight defeats, it seemed like the rails had come off for Roy Hodgon's side, with injuries to John Panstil, Paul Konchesky, Clint Dempsey and Andy Johnson threatening to ruin their season.

    But the loan signings of Nicky Shorey and Stefano Okaka have helped the Whites bounce back, with Swedish target man Elm adapting to the Premier League and left-back Shorey helping them regain their shape.

    Elm was particularly impressive, with a goal and an assist in an all-round performance showcasing an impressive touch alongside his natural aerial ability.

    Burnley, for all their neat passing and endeavour, lacked that cutting edge up front and were short of defensive organisation as they were cut apart at times.

    A slow start by both sides reflected a lack of recent confidence compared to their early-season exploits, but with possession the name of their games they soon found passing grooves.

    With ownership of the ball evenly-matched, Fulham's extra quality told as they created the better chances.

    Brian Jensen saved well from Elm and Dickson Etuhu, Damien Duff somehow placed a cut-back to the edge of the box when clean through on the right and Simon Davies was just not quick enough for Duff's cross-shot, before scooping over later in the half.

    Burnley were restricted to long-range efforts, Steven Fletcher firing wide twice, a 25-yard Danny Fox free-kick deflected harmlessly into Mark Schwarzer's arms and a Tyrone Mears effort from the same spot that fizzed just over.

    The hosts took the lead on 23 minutes after a spell of pressure was rounded off by Murphy's low finish into the bottom right, fed by classic centre-forward play from Elm to control and lay-off Shorey's crossfield pass.

    Elm doubled the hosts' lead eight minutes later with his first goal in a Fulham shirt, a tap-in from close range after Jensen could only parry Zamora's low drive.

    There was a hint of offside about that goal, with Zamora marginal when he initially raced through down the right, although Fulham had a penalty appeal waved away when Duff's cross appeared to hit a Burnley defender on the arm.

    The second half followed a similar pattern as Fulham, in control now, toyed with their opponents with some mesmerising passing.

    Zamora missed one sitter, allowing Jensen to save from eight yards after a sweeping move down the right saw him played clean through.

    But he made up for it with a 54th-minute free-kick placed low into the bottom left, exploiting a poorly-positioned wall and Jensen's lack of awareness of the gap.

    Burnley battled gamely enough in an attempt to salvage some face, with Chris Eagles shooting just over and several deliveries from wide testing Schwarzer.

    Fulham had another penalty appeal turned away by referee Chris Foy, the ball bouncing up against Edgar's arm after Duff fired a low shot in following a corner.

    Substitute Okaka impressed on his introduction and the Italian should have hit a fourth to open his account at the Cottage, but a combination of hesitance to finish and a slide challenge from Clarke Carlisle were enough to allow Jensen to save.

    Despite the match being effectively over from Zamora's strike, both sides pushed for more goals, with Okaka and Eagles both going close from the edge of the box.

    The result means Fulham climb one point above Everton to ninth, although the Toffees have two games in hand, while the Clarets slip one place to 16th after Wigan drew with Stoke.
    Reda Maher / Eurosport



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