Ademola Lookman’s goal boosted Fulham’s hopes of Premier League survival as they claimed a vital win over fellow strugglers Sheffield United.
The Cottagers remain 18th but have cut a 10-point gap to Newcastle in 17th, to just three points inside a week.
Scott Parker’s side dominated for long periods but it took them until just after the hour mark to break the deadlock.
Joachim Andersen’s raking pass was superbly collected by Lookman, who profited from weak defending by Ethan Ampadu to cut inside and drill a shot through the legs of Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek had earlier seen visiting defender George Baldock hook his goal-bound effort to safety after he prodded past Ramsdale.
And while the hosts had goalkeeper Alphonse Areola to thank for a point-blank save which denied Enda Stevens an equaliser, they more than merited only their second top-flight win at Craven Cottage this term.
Fulham start to believe?
While Fulham have now only lost one of their past seven top-flight matches, their biggest problem has been transforming creditable draws into victories.
Only Brighton have drawn more games than Parker’s side this term and until Lookman delivered the game’s defining moment it looked like being another occasion on which they were frustrated.
However, having collected eight points from the past 12 available, Parker will now feel that his side have given themselves a chance of reeling in the clubs above them.
Newcastle, whose game in hand is at Old Trafford on Sunday, are the most obvious target but even the likes of Brighton and Burnley are now within sight.
A third clean sheet in the past four matches augurs well in that regard but Parker will also be aware that his side need to become more clinical in front of goal.
Just six of their 15 shots found the target and the likes of Lookman, Loftus-Cheek and Mario Lemina all had good opportunities to make the margin of victory more comfortable.
More to follow.
- 29Zambo AnguissaBooked at 45mins
- 17CavaleiroSubstituted forTeteat 78′minutes
- 19LookmanSubstituted forDe Cordova-Reidat 90+2′minutes
- 27MajaSubstituted forLeminaat 86′minutes
- 14De Cordova-Reid
- 15JagielkaSubstituted forBogleat 80′minutes
- 2BaldockBooked at 79mins
- 6BashamSubstituted forNorwoodat 51′minutes
- 7LundstramSubstituted forMcGoldrickat 74′minutesBooked at 90mins
Match ends, Fulham 1, Sheffield United 0.
Second Half ends, Fulham 1, Sheffield United 0.
Attempt blocked. Mario Lemina (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ola Aina with a cross.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kean Bryan (Sheffield United).
Substitution, Fulham. Bobby De Cordova-Reid replaces Ademola Lookman.
Foul by Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Fulham).
George Baldock (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
David McGoldrick (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Mario Lemina (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by David McGoldrick (Sheffield United).
Alphonse Areola (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jayden Bogle (Sheffield United).
Attempt saved. Jayden Bogle (Sheffield United) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kean Bryan.
Attempt missed. Kean Bryan (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a set piece situation.
Foul by Mario Lemina (Fulham).
David McGoldrick (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Fulham. Mario Lemina replaces Josh Maja.
Ademola Lookman (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.