Late Willian penalty earns Fulham victory in five-goal thriller against Wolves

By Sports Desk November 27, 2023

Willian completed his brace with a dramatic stoppage-time winner from the penalty spot as Fulham held off Wolves to claim all three points in a thrilling 3-2 victory at Craven Cottage.

The experienced 35-year-old scored two penalties, while Alex Iwobi’s early strike was cancelled out by Matheus Cunha and Wolves’ Hwang Hee-chan also netted from the spot.

The winger’s double took his tally to three for the season as the Cottagers claimed their first victory in four games.

A golden chance was presented to the hosts after 40 seconds. The creative Andreas Pereira whipped a dangerous ball into the box and Fulham striker Raul Jimenez swung his boot but failed to convert his second in as many games.

But Pereira’s efforts were rewarded in the seventh minute when he set up the opening goal of the game.

The Brazilian was everywhere. He drifted onto the left before he beat his marker and delivered another perfect drilled low pass, this time to the alert Iwobi who gave Fulham a deserved 1-0 lead.

The Cottagers looked to strike again through Jimenez, who failed to tap home before Wolves keeper Jose Sa denied Tom Cairney’s powerful effort moments later.

Wolves grew into the game and were unfortunate not to score a goal of their own.

Mario Lemina started positively against his old side and drove forward before unleashing Korean striker Hwang, who was denied by the crossbar.

And Wolves got the goal they needed in the 22nd minute through Cunha after a magical moment of individual play in the build-up.

It started through tricky Frenchman Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, who toyed with Antonee Robinson on the left flank, before he jinked outside and delivered a delightful cross to the head of Cunha in front of the empty net.

The minutes before the goal suggested it was coming and Marco Silva’s side yet again paid the price for not taking their chances.

Individual mistakes were a big theme of the first half and goalkeeper Bernd Leno was called into action after a defensive error in the 36th minute where Timothy Castagne dealt with a cross which would have seen Cunha claim his second at the back post.

Cunha started Wolves’ first big chance in the second half when he slipped strike partner Hwang wide but his cross to Matt Doherty was kept out of danger by Castagne, who replicated his earlier heroics.

But typical of the end-to-end game, Fulham won a penalty after Cairney beat Nelson Semedo to the ball and was brought down in the box.

A VAR check ruled the incident to have happened inside the area and Willian stuttered in his run-up and sent Sa the wrong way, stroking his effort into the bottom right corner to restore Fulham’s lead.

A deft flick on from Jimenez set Iwobi through but the Nigeria international was denied his brace by Sa who tipped his effort over before the Wolves keeper stopped another effort not long after to keep his side in the contest with 20 to go.

And Wolves converted a penalty of their own in the 75th minute through Hwang.

Fulham skipper Tim Ream bundled Hwang to the ground and the striker stepped up and blasted his effort down the middle to make it 2-2 in front of Wolves’ travelling supporters.

In dramatic fashion Fulham won another penalty in added time after Joao Gomes was deemed to have brought down Harry Wilson in the box.

The clinical Willian calmly stepped up and buried his effort past Sa to give the hosts an important 3-2 win.

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