London (AFP) – Fulham were relegated from the Premier League with a 2-0 loss at home to Burnley on Monday that assured the Clarets of their top-flight status.
The result meant London club Fulham would join already-demoted West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United in the second-tier Championship next season.
Scott Parker’s side had to avoid defeat on Monday to maintain their slim hopes of beating the drop.
But those hopes were all but ended by first-half goals from Burnley’s Ashley Westwood and Chris Wood.
Fulham manager Parker responded to a 2-0 derby defeat by Chelsea by recalling Aleksandar Mitrovic and Kenny Tete to his starting XI.
By contrast, Burnley boss Sean Dyche made no changes to a side that lost 2-1 at home to West Ham last week.
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 his area, the ball appeared to come off he keeper’s arm as Vydra tried to go around him.
But there was no 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.
But if that was a fortunate break for Fulham, their luck ran out at the other end of the pitch in the 70th minute when Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s shot beat Burnley keeper Nick Pope only to bounce clear off the underside of the bar.