Fulham Beats Crystal Palace 4-1 as Kasami Volley Sparks Comeback

Fulham fought back with three volleyed goals to beat London rival Crystal Palace 4-1 and move clear of the relegation zone in English soccer’s Premier League.

Palace went ahead at Selhurst Park last night on Adrian Mariappa’s early header. Pajtim Kasami and Steve Sidwell then struck first-time volleys to put Fulham ahead at halftime, and Dimitar Berbatov and Philippe Senderos added second-half goals.

“We had to earn the right to play,” Sidwell said in a televised interview. “Pajtim’s goal was very special. I just caught mine sweet.”

Fulham secured back-to-back league wins for the first time this season to move up three places to 14th in the 20-team standings, with 10 points from eight games. Fulham has the same record as Aston Villa, which is 13th on alphabetical order. A fifth straight loss leaves Palace second last with three points.

Mariappa’s seventh-minute header put the Eagles ahead before the strikes by Kasami and Sidwell turned the game around.

In the 19th minute, Kasami took a long pass on his chest and struck a dipping volley from the right-hand edge of the penalty box into the top-left corner. Sidwell gave Fulham the lead just before halftime by smashing another volley into almost the same spot as Kasami from about 22 yards (20 meters) after Bryan Ruiz’s free kick bounced back off the wall.

Fulham struck from corners in the 50th and 55th minutes to match its biggest winning margin in a Premier League away game. Berbatov’s header made it 3-1 before Senderos volleyed in at the far post to complete the rout.

“That first goal was something else and it knocked us a bit,” Palace manager Ian Holloway said. “We then made mistakes at set-pieces. It’s an unforgiving division but we must bounce back.”

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