Parker hurting as misfiring Fulham go down

Burnley two classy goals the Cottagers back down to the Championship after a single season in the top flight


REUTERS May 11, 2021

LONDON:

Scott Parker conceded he was 'gutted' as his Fulham side were relegated from the Premier League after limping to a 2-0 defeat at home by Burnley on Monday, in a match where they once again failed to threaten in front of goal.

The hosts were undone by two classy goals that sent Fulham back down to the Championship after a single season in the top flight following their promotion via the playoffs.

"I'm bitterly disappointed, I'm hurt ... there's no words that I can really put together, other than I'm gutted that we've not managed to be successful this year," Parker told Sky Sports.

Since securing an unlikely 1-0 win over Liverpool in early March, Fulham have been in freefall, scoring just three goals and picking up a single point in the seven games since. They also conceded a stoppage-time equaliser to Arsenal and lost to Wolverhampton Wanderers after a late goal.

"In between both boxes this year, we've had our moments and looked a very, very good side. Where we've fallen short at times is the other side of that, and tonight again defensively, the two goals are poor goals," Parker explained.

Only bottom side Sheffield United have scored fewer than Fulham's 25 goals, and though they created plenty of half-chances against Burnley, there was little to suggest that they could come back from 2-0 down to hang on a little while longer.

"While we get the ball in the right areas in those clinical moments when you need the final details ... we've fallen a little bit short. While we've had progression, while we've had moments where we've improved, we've fallen short at this level," Parker said before declining to comment on his future.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche was delighted with his side's victory, which ensures a sixth straight season in the Premier League for the club.

"I'm pleased for a lot of people at the club, it is important for the club, it is important for the town. It's been a real challenging season," he told BBC Sport.

Goals from Ashley Westwood and Chris Wood gave Burnley the win.

Fulham were punished in the 35th minute when Matej Vydra chased a ball down the left flank and beat Joachim Andersen before pulling it back for Westwood to steer home as Burnley took the lead.

They were soon two up thanks to Wood, who rifled Josh Brownhill's return pass into the top right corner a minute before halftime.

The home side looked more dangerous in the second half as they finally started to get some crosses into the box for Aleksandar Mitrovic, and the Serbian striker went close with two headers before the hour mark.

Fulham's French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was lucky to stay on the field when he seemed to handle the ball well outside penalty area, but the neither the on-field referee nor the VAR deemed the incident worthy of a red card.

Despite plenty of possession, Fulham failed to create many decent scoring chances and return directly to the Championship after a single season in the top flight, where they will join West Bromwich Albion, who were relegated on Sunday after losing to Arsenal, and bottom side Sheffield United.

"It's a tough time. We failed tonight, we failed this season. It's hard to find the words," Mitrovic told Sky Sports.

"We didn't deserve it, and I've played football long enough to know that football is a really honest game, sometimes you get it in the season, sometime you don't. In the end you always finish where you deserve to be," he added.

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