Rodrigo Muniz bags brace as Fulham return to winning ways against Bournemouth

By Sports Desk February 10, 2024

Rodrigo Muniz scored a brace as Fulham claimed their first Premier League win of the year with a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth at Craven Cottage.

Muniz was given the nod over January loan signing Armando Broja and scored twice, while Bobby De Cordova-Reid and Cherries defender Marcos Senesi also got in on the act.

Muniz, who scored his first-ever Premier League goal in last week’s 2-2 draw with Burnley, looked bright from the start during the victory for the west Londoners.

The Brazilian jinked past three defenders – showing exceptional ball control – before being brought down on the edge of Bournemouth’s area.

Marco Silva’s decision to start Muniz continued to pay off into the fifth minute when he was heavily involved with Fulham’s opening goal.

The tenacious striker evaded his marker down the right channel before his driven cross, which seemed routine for Lewis Cook to clear, caused the midfielder to slip, allowing De Cordova-Reid to power home from close range.

Tom Cairney recovered after taking a ball to the face and seemed unfazed when he performed a neat turn on halfway, unleashing Antonee Robinson, who was denied by goalkeeper Neto after an impressive reaction save at his left-hand post.

Muniz’s electric start reached another level when he poached Fulham’s second of the match, nine minutes before the break.

Willian lofted a cross to De Cordova-Reid at the back post, who turned creator by nodding his effort into the danger zone. The potent Muniz started behind the defender but reacted quickest and scored from inside the six-yard area with a roofed finish.

Bournemouth needed a response and they got just that – five minutes into the second half – when Senesi pulled one back for the visitors.

Marcus Tavernier’s corner was knocked down by Dominic Solanke before centre-back Senesi showed fantastic composure to control the ball and score on the half-volley to reduce the deficit.

But just two minutes later, Fulham responded in fashion when Muniz grabbed his second of the match.

Experienced technician Willian floated a similar cross to that of the second goal. But this time the unmarked Muniz drifted to the back post before his first-time strike smashed into the net and past the helpless Neto.

Broja came off the bench and looked to stamp his authority on the game. The Chelsea youth prospect hustled the back four and won a corner after the visitors were forced to cut out his dangerous pass into the box.

Bournemouth searched for a late fightback but the Cottagers held on through seven added minutes to leapfrog their opponents into 12th.

Related items

  • Van Dijk: Liverpool have 'no chance' in title race after derby defeat Van Dijk: Liverpool have 'no chance' in title race after derby defeat

    Virgil van Dijk conceded Liverpool might be out of the Premier League title race after they suffered a surprise 2-0 defeat to Everton in Wednesday's Merseyside derby.

    Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored in either half to give the Toffees their first win over Liverpool at Goodison Park since 2010.

    Liverpool struggled to find a way through the Toffees' defence despite dominating for long periods, and the Reds' captain says they will not outlast Arsenal and Manchester City without major improvements.  

    Speaking to Sky Sports, Van Dijk said: "If we play like today, then we have no chance to consider ourselves in the title race. 

    "We have to just focus on the next game and that will be a tough one anyway, so we will see.

    "We're very disappointed, in so many ways. I think everyone has to look at their own performances. Did they really give everything, and do they really want to win the league?

    "We're still fighting and there are still games after tonight, but if we play like we did overall in the game today – not winning challenges and giving the referee a chance to give free-kicks like he did many times, then you have no chance to win the title."

  • Howe: Newcastle performance in Palace defeat 'way off' Spurs win Howe: Newcastle performance in Palace defeat 'way off' Spurs win

    Eddie Howe admitted Newcastle United's performance in the 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace on Wednesday was "way off" the one that saw them thump Tottenham in their previous game.

    Howe's men hammered Spurs 4-0 in their last match, but they never got close to matching the attacking verve from that outing and a Jean-Philippe Mateta double condemned the Magpies to defeat at Selhurst Park.

    Newcastle didn't even manage a shot on target until the 87th minute, accumulating just 0.42 xG (expected goals) as the likes of Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon struggled to make an impact.

    Only against Manchester City in August (one) have Newcastle recorded fewer shots on target in a Premier League game this season than their two against Palace, and Howe was critical of his team's display in the loss, one that all but ends their hopes of finishing in the top four.

    "[It is a] bad day for us," Howe told Newcastle's club media.

    "I thought we were disappointing today, especially in the first 60 minutes. We were way off our levels against Tottenham and our best levels.

    "I thought technically we didn't deliver a good performance, and out of possession I don't think it was a particularly good performance either."

    Newcastle were unlocked twice for Mateta to score by a Palace side who themselves only generated 0.88 xG.

    Howe was left frustrated by the manner in which his side conceded, adding: "I think we'll be disappointed with our performance technically today, and that's probably epitomised by the two goals where we're disappointed with how we've given them the ball in those situations and then how we defended.

    "I think the goals sum up aspects of our performance where there was some good, lots of moments that could have led to opportunities, but we were slow to shoot around the box," he said.

    The defeat, combined with Manchester United's 4-2 win over Sheffield United, means Newcastle drop to seventh, while eighth-placed West Ham are two points behind with a game in hand.

    Newcastle have now lost eight of their last 11 Premier League away games, while they have lost on four occasions in London in the league this term, only doing so more times in a Premier League season in 2000-01 and 2005-06 (both five).

    It's been a disappointing season for Howe and his side, especially compared to the heroics of last term when Newcastle finished in the top four, and the Magpies boss knows there's work to be done to get back to those levels.

    "It's a day that we have to take our punishment, deal with it, and then try and improve," Howe continued. "It's frustrating because we know we're capable of much better."

  • Dyche challenges Everton to 'go and do it again' after crucial derby victory Dyche challenges Everton to 'go and do it again' after crucial derby victory

    Sean Dyche challenged his Everton players to "go and do it again" after his team defeated Liverpool at Goodison Park in the Merseyside derby.

    Everton won 2-0 on Wednesday, clinching a home victory over their local rivals for the first time since 2010 thanks to goals from Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

    While it also dented Liverpool's title hopes, the victory presented a huge step forward in Everton's hopes of staying up.

    They are now eight points clear of the relegation zone, with four games left to play, and the possibility of points to come back should they successfully appeal the second of their points deductions for financial breaches.

    Dyche, though, insisted the job is not done as he looks towards another big game on Saturday, when Brentford visit Goodison Park.

    "Very pleased with the reaction," Dyche told Sky Sports.

    "This was a different game with the organisation and the belief in the organisation. They're a good side, we know that. The commitment from us had to be there. The energy of the side and also the key moments.

    "We spoke about the desire and the energy of the team and the physical side of the game. The lads did it on Sunday and they'll have to do it again. That's the challenge.

    "We stayed focused tonight and I asked if they could stay with us and they did. Sunday was massive and now it was a massively important derby game. For people like Seamus Coleman, he wears his heart on his sleeve and he's so happy.

    "We should be on 41 points and the story's different. Three clean sheets in three home games. The challenge for the players is to go and do it again."

    Calvert-Lewin led the line brilliantly, converting Everton's second with a towering header early in the second half. He has scored three goals in his last four Premier League games for the Toffees, as many as in his previous 28 appearances in the competition.

    "I thought [Calvert-Lewin] was outstanding tonight," Dyche said.

    "We've been trying to get him back to where he needs to be and I thought he was outstanding. He gets a goal. He tried to get it over the line and I love that. The second one is a great header. No, I thought he was outstanding tonight.

    "Jordan Pickford made some big saves in the first half. It's rare you stop these sides having chances so you need moments yourself. It's hard to pick out one or two [players]."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.