Crystal Palace and Fulham could not be separated (Kieran Cleeves/PA)
Crystal Palace and Fulham walked away with a point apiece after their Selhurst Park encounter ended in a goalless draw.
Eagles boss Roy Hodgson was back in the dugout after missing last weekend’s loss to Aston with Villa due to illness.
The evenly-matched contest saw Eberechi Eze fire just wide late in the first half, while the visitors were unable to capitalise on their best chance after the restart.
The result ensures the London rivals will share almost identical Premier League records for another week, with Palace only ahead on goal difference.
Sam Johnstone did well to parry away Andreas Pereira’s early effort from the left corner of the penalty area, later diving to deny Willian as the first period ticked past the 10-minute mark.
Fulham picked up two bookings in quick succession before Eze floated in a dangerous free-kick which the visitors were able to clear, and boss Marco Silva breathed a sigh of relief after Joao Palhinha was deemed fit to continue after knocking heads with Jordan Ayew in an aerial challenge – for which the Palace man was booked.
The hosts earned another free-kick and this time Eze aimed straight for the visiting net, where Bernd Leno was alert to grab the ball.
At the other end, Johnstone stooped to first collect Timothy Castagne’s close-range effort at his near post, then was called in to action soon after to turn away Raul Jimenez’s good opportunity to break the deadlock of an increasingly physical contest.
Eze looked to do the same when he patiently swerved his way through a cluster of white shirts, unleashing a strike that sailed just wide of the right post, while Leno picked Ayew’s cross out of the air to ensure itRead on belfasttelegraph.co.uk