Fulham ease into quarter-finals with win at Championship high-flyers Ipswich

By Sports Desk November 01, 2023

Fulham eased through to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2004 with a 3-1 win at Ipswich.

Marco Silva’s team were up against a Town outfit that had only lost once since their promotion to the Sky Bet Championship in April, but the Premier League side showed their class in Suffolk.

Harry Wilson provided the breakthrough for Fulham in the ninth minute with a cool finish and Muniz grabbed his first goal for the club in 19 months early into the second period to put the London outfit in control.

Tom Cairney confirmed Fulham’s win with a third in the 77th minute and, while Elkan Baggott reduced the deficit late on, Kieran McKenna’s Championship promotion hopefuls suffered a rare defeat in front of a packed Portman Road crowd.

The last meeting between these teams was three years ago in same competition and Aleksandar Mitrovic decided the tie that night, but goals had been hard to come by for the visitors since his summer exit to Saudi Arabia.

It was a different story for Ipswich, who put another three past Plymouth last weekend, but the high-flying hosts were 1-0 down after only nine minutes.

McKenna would have been disappointed after Ipswich’s back four was pulled over to the right and Bobby Decordova-Reid spotted the unmarked Wilson, who impressively side-stepped the onrushing Christian Walton before the Welsh winger slotted into the empty net.

Goalkeeper Walton was one of 11 changes made by the home side and he almost conceded again six minutes later, but breathed a sigh of relief when Fode Ballo-Toure’s deflected cross bounced off the crossbar and to safety.

Fulham also shuffled their pack with only three players retained from the draw at Brighton and Marek Rodak atoned for his poor pass when he tipped Kayden Jackson’s low effort wide soon after the opener.

The quality of the Premier League side was clear though as Andreas Pereira arrowed a 22-yard shot wide before the visitors hit the woodwork again, with Ipswich’s second-string struggling for fluency.

Calvin Bassey started the move with a fine run out from the back and nearly provided the perfect finish, but Walton unconvincingly parried his poked effort onto the post after Axel Tuanzebe, on his first start for Ipswich, cleared Ballo-Toure’s cross straight to the Fulham centre-back in the 44th minute.

Town failed to heed that warning sign and, after no substitutions were made at the break, Silva’s men doubled their lead five minutes into the second period.

A slick counter-attack did the trick with Wilson able to find Timothy Castagne and his cross took a slight touch off Ipswich defender Cameron Burgess to fall into the path of Muniz, who fired home from six yards to open his account for the season.

Wilson took a whack to the face straight from the restart, but picked himself up to waltz into the Town penalty area before Burgess’ slide tackled denied him and Janoi Donacien blocked Bobby Decordova-Reid’s follow-up shot.

McKenna made changes to try and set up a grandstand finish, but Cairney made the result safe when his low effort went through Walton after another assist by the excellent Decordova-Reid.

It looked like Ipswich would fire a blank for the first time this season, but substitute Baggott headed home a Jack Taylor corner with 11 minutes left to give the 28,221 crowd a consolation goal.

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