This is always a difficult game for more ways than one. I watch it as Ivan’s guest which means I have to endure the barbs of Fulham fans walking in the opposite direction to the away end and suffer the critique of Seagulls fans who thought little of our performance.
Interestingly enough Fulham had 58% of the possession and in the first 30 minutes moved the ball round sweetly. Kayal and Dale Stephens are probably the best midfield duo in the division and they simply had too much legs for Parker and O’Hara. Tunnicliffe does have legs but little else. In the absence of Tom Cairney’s creative passing and neither width nor pace on the wings Fulham’s best assets MacCormack and Dembele received poor service. We went down to a softish penalty which Hemed converted. The Israeli frontman added a second when as ever Fulham could not defend a set play. The third came from a corner from Bruno and Hemed scored a fourth and his hat trick. Knockaert scored the best on the night with a fifth. By this stage the Fulham defence all but collapsed and only some courageous keeping from Bettinelli kept the score within single figures.
Ivan has only flown in that afternoon from Nice going from 20* to 10*, blue skies and seas to grey rainy days and brown choppy waters. I could not honestly share his jubilation as this was an abject performance by the Whites. The good run of 3 straight wins has ended and, as we all it safe, complacency has crept in. We could not play Rohan Ince and Tom Cairney was injured so we were deficient in midfield but this does not excuse such a woeful performance particularly as 2300 Fulham fans had travelled to the South coast.