Scott Parker praises Alphonse Areola after Fulham keep Brighton at bay


Scott Parker praised goalkeeper Alphonse Areola after his key saves helped Fulham earned a first point in three games in a cagey goalless draw at Brighton.

The visitors had lost their last two matches and, in almost identical fashion to their 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage in December, nothing could separate the two teams.

Areola was called into action early on to make a crucial save with an outstretched leg to deny Neal Maupay, while also denying the number nine again in the final minutes of the match.

“He was big for us, and he’s going to be big (this season),” Parker said.

“I thought defensively, I thought we were very very good, certainly second half a lot of pressure certainly from set-plays.

“Brighton are very, very good from those moments and we defended them incredibly well and, of course, the keeper’s had to pull off some big saves and dominate his box very well.

“So overall a little bit disappointed with the way we played, but this team, four months ago were having to try and score three or four goals to try and win a football match and tonight we were solid.

“(There are) improvements for sure, a lot of improvements to be had.”

It was a cagey game which lacked a cutting edge in the final third, and despite a number of shots – 16 from the home side and 10 from Fulham – neither could find the breakthrough, but Parker said he was happy with the point.

“I think so,” he added. “I think, first half I thought we had a real control about us and I thought we got a foothold in the game and probably lacked the duel moments and the 50-50s, I thought we were second best to a lot.

“In the second half I thought we addressed it but lost our way with the ball and it’s key for us to get a platform and some momentum in the game.

“We need the ball and we lost our way really, so I think both sides of the game really, first half we lacked something and second half we gained what we lacked in the first.

“Clean sheet, happy with the point, wanted three and we move on to the next.”

The game sees Brighton’s winless run at home in the Premier League stretch to 14 games, with their last victory having come last season against Arsenal on June 20.

Brighton had 16 shots during the game, with four on target and 10 corners, but were unable to find the breakthrough, with Graham Potter insisting there were positives to take from the game.

“That’s football, that’s the beauty of the game,” he said. “I thought we were the dominant team in the game and I think they had one chance first half on the break and obviously the chance at the end for them, but apart from that I thought we were the one pushing in the game.

“So positive in terms of the performance, positive in terms of the attitude in the camp and the personality of the players but disappointed not to get the three points.”


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