Palhinha nets late as Fulham beats Southampton 2-1 in EPL
LONDON (AP) Joao Palhinha's late goal gave Fulham a 2-1 win over Southampton on Saturday, leaving the visitors stranded at the bottom of the Premier League.
James Ward-Prowse thought he had secured a first point under new Southampton manager Nathan Jones after making up for an own-goal in the first half by equalizing from a free kick in the 56th minute.
But Palhinha struck a minute from time with a far-post header to leave Southampton in last place, despite Fulham's top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic then missing a stoppage-time penalty.
The win meant Fulham climbed above west London rivals Chelsea and Brentford into seventh place.
It was Fulham's first home match since the death of 1966 World Cup-winning fullback George Cohen, and a tribute was paid before the game with former manager Roy Hodgson and Cohen's son Anthony laying down wreaths.
Pele was also remembered before kickoff, and Saints striker Che Adams immediately tried to emulate the Brazil great with a shot from near the halfway line as Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno was out of his goal. Just like Pele's famous effort against Czechoslovakia, the ball drifted wide.
Fulham's Brazilian, Willian, was then teed up by Andreas Pereira and fizzed a first-time shot into the side-netting.
Fulham took the lead in the 33rd minute.
Willian lifted a corner to the edge of the penalty area from where the lurking Pereira hit a volley which deflected off Ward-Prowse's shin and looped into the net.
Pereira almost doubled the lead after the break when he met Bobby Decordova-Reid's cross at the near post, but he could not steer it on target.
Instead Southampton equalized after Decordova-Reid fouled Adams in the perfect range for Ward-Prowse.
The England international curled a superb effort from 22 yards over the wall and past the diving Leno.
Kenny Tete could have put Fulham back in front after a spill by Saints keeper Gavin Bazunu, but the full back shanked his shot wide.
Both teams pressed for a winner, and it was Fulham that scored it when Tete headed on Pereira's corner and Palhinha nodded it home.
Dan James was then fouled in the area in stoppage time but Bazunu kept out Mitrovic's spot kick.
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Updated December 31, 2022