Fulham were on Monday relegated from the English Premier League with a 2-0 loss at home to Burnley that assured the Clarets of their top-flight status.
London club Fulham now join already-demoted West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United in the second-tier EFL Championship next season.
Fulham had to avoid defeat at Craven Cottage on Monday to maintain their slim hopes of beating the drop, but first-half goals from Burnley’s Ashley Westwood and Chris Wood put paid to their chances of staying up.
Fulham’s defeat also meant all three relegation places were decided with at least three games to go, ensuring that there would be no last-day drama in the battle to beat the drop.
“It has been looming, but it doesn’t hide the disappointment, hurt and sadness I feel tonight,” Fulham manager Scott Parker told the BBC. “It’s inevitable now. I am gutted.”
“Tonight is how the season has gone at times. Between the two boxes we did very well. The difference was defensively the two goals we conceded were poor, and in the final moment when you need to score and make good decisions we did not have that,” he said.
Monday’s reverse meant Fulham went straight back down after one season in the top flight.
“The club needs to make big decisions,” Parker said. “We’ve had a relegation, a promotion and a relegation. The roller-coaster of that and the highs and lows is not something you want.”
Burnley were sold in February to a US-based consortium, and Clarets manager Sean Dyche was proud of the way his team had coped on and off the field during some uncertain times for the northwest side.
“It is important for the club, it is important for the town,” Dyche said. “It’s been a real challenging season with the sale of the club.”
“There was not a lot of investment from the outgoing owners and we’ve had a lot of injury problems,” he added.
Burnley were twice denied early by Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, before they went ahead in the 35th minute when Westwood, found at the back post by Matej Vydra, slotted the ball into the net.
The visitors then doubled their lead a minute before the break when Wood let fly with a shot into the top corner.
Areola appeared fortunate to stay on the field in the 67th minute when, after he had raced out of his area, the ball appeared to come off the goalkeeper’s arm as Vydra tried to go around him.
However, there was no video assistant referees (VAR) intervention, with officials deciding Areola had escaped a red card because the presence of a covering defender meant there had not been a denial of a goalscoring opportunity.
VAR is not empowered to recommend a booking, hence the lack of even a yellow card.
However, Fulham’s luck ran out at the other end of the pitch in the 70th minute when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s shot beat Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope only to bounce clear off the underside of the bar.
Juventus would be excluded from next season’s Serie A if the Italian soccer club decides to persist with the proposed European Super League project, Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina said on Monday.
Nine of the clubs who tried to break away, including six English Premier League teams, backed out of the Super League idea, but Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid are still involved in the project.
“If Juventus does not respect the rules they will be out,” Gravina told a news conference. “At the time of registration for the next Serie A championship the club will be excluded if they decide not to withdraw from the Super League.”
Playing the all-English UEFA Champions League final on home soil at Wembley is proving problematic. Instead, the players and fans of Chelsea and Manchester City could be headed to Portugal.
UEFA’s hopes of playing its club showpiece in Istanbul have been scuppered for a second consecutive season, this time by Turkey being added to England’s “red list” of countries with severe COVID-19 outbreaks.
The British government decision that made it impossible for supporters to travel to Turkey from England came on Friday, two days after the semi-final lineup was completed.
The government immediately talked with UEFA about the possibility of moving the May 29 final to Wembley.
Discussions between UEFA and the government failed to reach a resolution on Monday, with the competition organizer wanting waivers to allow media, sponsors and guests to fly in without having to quarantine, people familiar with the talks said.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
UEFA gave the British government until yesterday to decide whether authorities could offer all of the travel waivers required.
If not, UEFA would consider taking the final to Portugal. Porto is one of the backup options to play this season’s final in the 50,000-capacity Estadio do Dragao.
Taiwan on Monday lost their seventh consecutive qualifying match for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, falling 1-5 to Australia in Kuwait. The loss means that Taiwan will finish last in the five-team Group B with one match left to play in the second round of Asian qualifiers on Tuesday next week against Kuwait. Australia lead the group with six straight wins and appear certain to clinch the top spot and an automatic berth in the next qualification round. Taiwan head coach Henry Von said his team showed fighting spirit against the group’s best team, improving from their 0-2
OPPORTUNITY: After winning a Symetra Tour title last month, Lee was in position to become the first to follow a Symetra victory with an LPGA Tour win in her next start Taiwan’s Min Lee on Saturday capped a stellar outing by rolling in a 15-foot putt for a birdie on 18 to grab a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the LPGA Mediheal Championship. Lee birdied three of her final four holes, including the par-five 18th, for a four-under-par 68 and a total of nine-under 207. “I just tried to play my game and tried to be smart on the golf course, because the golf course is very hard,” Lee said. “There are some pin placement that you want to be on the fat side of the green if you miss
Shohei Ohtani on Tuesday hit the longest homer of his major league career in the first inning, and the surging Los Angeles Angels pounded a season-high five homers in an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Ohtani’s 17th homer of the season was a 470-foot (143.25m) shot deep into the outfield bleachers off Kansas City starter Kris Bubic (1-1). Angels manager Joe Maddon, who first arrived at Angel Stadium in 1994 as a coach, had never seen anything like it. “That’s the farthest ball I’ve ever seen hit here,” Maddon said. “I’ve never seen one hit there before... It has an impact
Naomi Osaka on Monday pulled out of next week’s Berlin WTA 500 grasscourt tournament, raising doubts about the four-times Grand Slam champion’s participation at Wimbledon later this month. The decision comes after Japanese world No. 2 Osaka pulled out of the French Open last week on mental health grounds. “We have received notification Naomi Osaka cannot start in Berlin. After consulting her management, she will take a break,” Berlin organizers said in a statement ahead of the event which begins on Monday. Osaka has not revealed when she plans to play next, casting doubt on her participation at Wimbledon, which starts on June