FULHAM moved up to fifth in the Championship on a rainy afternoon at Craven Cottage with two second-half goals that finally broke the resistance of a new-look Nottingham Forest side.
The home team took advantage of Forest mistakes to secure their fifth league win on the bounce. Lucan Piazon opened the scoring when Costel Pantilimon could only parry Piazon’s shot into his own net.
It was a debut to forget for the deadline-day loan signing from Watford, one of three new faces for Forest.
Stefan Johansen wrapped up the win with a last-minute effort following a mistake from Joe Warrall, who had come closest to scoring for the visitors when he headed against the post just after half-time.
Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic was pleased that his side were patient in waiting for their possession football to turn into goals.
“It’s positive and we knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game and in the end the team showed good quality and trust and spirit,” he said.
He also did not forget the contribution of goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli, who produced a wonderful save from Apostolos Vellios with five minutes left that kept his charges in the lead. “Right now, like the team, Marcus is in wonderful form.”
Forest manager Aitor Karanka was pleased despite the loss. “It was a different attitude to our midweek loss against Preston and we created chances.
“And you have to remember that this side has not trained together. There were three debutants in the first XI and two on the bench.”
He also defended Pantilimon. “I’m sure when we talk about him at the end of the season I will be saying how much he has helped us. All players need confidence and he needs to know how much I trust him.”
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