Ipswich Town 0 Fulham 2 match report: Blues outclassed as 100% league record abruptly ends
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town’s 100% start to the Championship season was brought to an abrupt end as they were thoroughly outclassed in a 2-0 home defeat to Fulham.
Neeskens Kebano headed the Cottagers in front after 35 minutes, with Rui Fonte slamming home the killer second on the angle six minutes after the restart.
The damage could and should have been greater. Twice the visitors struck the post, while Blues keeper Bartosz Bialkowski also made a string of saves.
Town had the chance to create history by becoming the first team in the club’s 81-year professional history to win the opening five league matches, but this looked a game too many for an injury-hit squad heading into next weekend’s much-needed international break.
Fulham came into this game without a league win to their name and having scored just twice in those opening four matches, but Slavisa Jokanovic’s men blew away any hangover lingering from last season’s play-off semi-final defeat with a slick display.
The Cottagers dominated from start to finish, with star midfield man Tom Cairney pulling the strings in midfield and marauding full-backs Ryan Fredericks and Ryan Sessegnon a constant threat down the flanks.
Fulham were on the front foot from the start, but it was Ipswich who went close in the 12th minute when Kevin McDonald diverted Martyn Waghorn’s snap-shot narrowly wide of his own post.
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Bialkowski made a smart stop from Sheyi Ojo, then Frederick’s daisy-cutter clipped the outside of the boot. Town’s keeper then made a superb close-range save with his legs from Stefan Johansen as the visitors really hit their stride.
Fulham finally broke the deadlock when Fredericks twisted and turned past Myles Kenlock and stood up a cross for Kebano to head home from six yards out.
Moments later the woodwork came to Town’s rescue again as Fonte diverted the impressive Sessegnon’s cross against the face of the left upright.
David McGoldrick took too many touches in a golden counter-attacking opportunity, then Waghorn failed to beat the first man with a deep free-kick delivery to sum up Town’s first half performance.
Blues boss Mick McCarthy decided not make any personnel or tactical changes at the break. Within six minutes of the restart it was effectively game over.
Bialkowski dived full-stretch to his left to claw away Kebano’s shot from inside the box, but Fonte was there to lash the ball high into the net on the acutest of angles at the far post.
Fulham kept the ball with ease from this point onwards and eased their way to victory as Town continually chased shadows. Ipswich rarely had the ball and when they did get it they wasted it.
IPSWICH TOWN (4-2-3-1): Bialkowski; Iorfa, Spence, Knudsen, Kenlock; Ward (Nydam 90), Skuse; Waghorn (Downes 59), McGoldrick, Sears (Celina 59); Garner.
Unused subs: Gerken, Woolfenden, Rowe, Folami.
Booked: Iorfa (31)
FULHAM (4-3-3): Button; Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Sessegnon; McDonald; Cairney, Joahnsen (Odoi 89); Ojo, Fonte (Kamara 76), Kebano (Norwood 82).
Unused subs: Bettinelli, Djao, Edun, Cisse.
Attendance: 16,844 (1,236 away)
Referee: Paul Tierney