Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Luton Town 2-4 Fulham: Hatters´ relegation confirmed after six-goal thriller

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 May 2024

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Luton Town’s relegation from the Premier League was confirmed following a 4-2 defeat by Fulham at Kenilworth Road.

Rob Edwards’ side bowed out of the top flight after a single season, as Raul Jimenez’s brace and further strikes from Adama Traore and Harry Wilson helped the visitors prevail in a six-goal thriller.

The Hatters – for whom Carlton Morris and Alfie Doughty were on target – headed into the final day three points from safety and needing an ambitious 12-goal swing to stand any chance of usurping 17th-place Nottingham Forest.

The Reds’ win at Burnley ultimately rendered this result irrelevant, condemning Luton to an immediate return to the Championship after finishing in 18th place. Fulham end the campaign in 13th.

The hosts thought they had taken the lead on the half-hour mark when Tahith Chong slotted home from close range, only to be denied by the offside flag.

But it was the visitors who broke through in the 43rd minute, when Traore controlled Harry Wilson’s pass and drilled home from the edge of the box.

Luton quickly responded in first-half injury time, with Morris equalising from the spot after Calvin Bassey tripped Chiedozie Ogbene.

But Fulham regained their advantage before half-time when Wilson teed up Jimenez to neatly steer into Thomas Kaminski’s bottom-right corner.

The Mexican grabbed his second of the game and seventh of the season within two minutes of the restart, when he headed home a Harrison Reed free kick.

But back came the hosts with a free kick of their own, as Doughty’s low delivery crept under Bernd Leno in the 55th minute.

Wilson rattled the crossbar from another set piece on the hour, but the Wales international sealed the victory eight minutes later; a swift counter culminating in him brilliantly guiding Traore’s lay-off into the top-right corner.

Luton bow out in trademark fashion

Luton brought the curtain down on their brief but enjoyable Premier League tenure with a game that epitomised their season.

The Hatters carried their usual attacking threat and took their goal tally for the campaign to 52. Only Blackpool (55 in 2010-11) have found the net more times during a 20-team Premier League season in which they were relegated.

But Luton, who only kept two clean sheets all season, looked vulnerable defensively once more and were ultimately exposed. They conceded 85 goals this term, their most during a single top-flight campaign.

Four-goal Fulham end winless streak

Fulham arrived at Kenilworth Road without a victory in their four previous games – during which they had scored just two goals.

Meanwhile, not since a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in 2016-17 had the Cottagers won their final league match of the season.

Nevertheless, Marco Silva’s side stopped the rot with four very well-taken goals to officially seal Luton’s fate.

It marked the first time they had netted four times in a single Premier League since beating Brighton and Hove Albion by the same scoreline in January 2019.

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