Fulham verdict: Another draw, but Whites still in with a shout ahead of vital Blades clash

Another woeful Fulham away record got an unwelcome extension with a 1-1 result against Burnley and a 10th draw of the season.

The Whites haven’t won at Turf Moor since 1951 – when a pint of beer cost 5p.

That season they finished 18th, and would stand a few rounds at modern prices to finish in the same slot this time.

Ola Aina’s clever use of the chest for a Fulham lead was a terrific finish, but his side were undone than three minutes later when Ashley Barnes levelled.

A presence up front

Josh Maja looks the real deal.

He didn’t score, unlike his debut brace at Everton on Sunday, but against the Clarets he was in the right place to receive, control and supply.

The one blot on his copybook was his swing and miss in the dying seconds that hit Ademola Lookman and bounced harmlessly into Nick Pope’s grateful hands.

Poor Aleksandar Mitrovic is isolating with Coronavirus and he’s going to have to perform out of his skin to win his place back.

But problems at the back

Tosin has had better games. Not least because he was done all ends up for the Burnley goal, but also because he looked strangely nervous in parts of the game.

This, after all, is his first season as a Premier League player, and the strides he’s made match his 6ft 5ins frame.

He’s been more comfortable in other tussles, and did nothing seriously wrong other than pay cash for Jay Rodriguez’s dummy to set up Barnes for the goal, but it’s testimony to Tosin’s prowess that this was no more than a 6/10 by his standards.

Lucky escapes

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was a tad lucky to get just a caution after 16 minutes as he slid in on Charlie Taylor.

Just as culpable, Robbie Brady’s drag back on Aina after the Burnley player had been booked on 54 minutes was a second yellow today, tomorrow and until the law is changed.

Had this been his first yellow-tinged offence, Brady would have got the card, followed by the inevitable red.

Instead, referee Jon Moss bottled it, but not Sean Dyche.

The Burnley boss hauled off sub Brady 24 minutes after he came on for Jóhann Gudmundsson.

On the plus side, the “aggressive defence” Scott Parker demands saw a high line at all free-kicks that meant any Burnley head was too far out to inflict damage, and any in-swinger saw keeper Alphonse Areola meet it halfway to claim.

Simple, but oh so effective when it comes to dealing with dead-ball deliveries.

Fulham haven’t been lucky with rearranged fixtures.

These things even themselves out, so they say, but they were given 48 hours to gear up to playing Tottenham last month, and had one day fewer than Burnley to prepare for this match.

It’s a decent point in the circumstances, but when you’re fighting for your Premier League lives you could do with a rub of the green from time to time.

Big game ahead

Imagine paying to see the first half?

One low cross to flutter Fulham hearts in added time, and zero else other than the rare sight of Parker losing his rag for a brief second and getting an ear wigging from referee Moss.

The gaffer’s demeanour was akin to a fifth former being told to button it in a rowdy class.

Parker’s no schoolboy when it comes to heeding this sort of advice.

So, on to a must-win against Sheffield United on Saturday.

Parker will no doubt play down the importance of a relegation battle that goes a long way in deciding one team’s fate, but lose to the Blades, and a week that started with the Everton win will turn to dismay with anything less than three points.