Crystal Palace 2 Fulham 0: Milivojevic & Schlupp strike as Batshuayi makes debut

Luka Milivojevic and Jeffrey Schlupp struck as Crystal Palace comfortably defeated Fulham 2-0 at Selhurst Park on Michy Batshuayi's debut, handing the visitors their fourth loss in five Premier League games.

Captain Milivojevic netted his seventh top-flight goal of the season from the penalty spot midway through the first half.

Even though Palace had to wait for a second, they were in control throughout as Fulham fell to their eighth straight loss in a Premier League London derby and failed build on Tuesday's 4-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Roy Hodgson had the luxury of leaving deadline-day signing Batshuayi on the bench until the 82nd minute, but the striker still had enough time to play a part in Schlupp's late clincher, as Palace won for the first time in four league games.

Aleksandar Mitrovic failed to take a golden early chance, sending a free header wide from six yards after being found by Joe Bryan's delivery.

That proved costly when Palace took a 25th-minute lead from the penalty spot. Cyrus Christie's handball while climbing to challenge Christian Benteke – who made his first start since September – gave Michael Oliver an easy decision, and Milivojevic found the net despite Sergio Rico getting a hand on his effort.

With half-time approaching, Benteke almost marked his return to the team with a goal when he sent an overhead kick off the crossbar having been picked out by Andros Townsend

Rico made key second-half saves from Jordan Ayew and Schlupp, while Mamadou Sakho sent a header off target as Palace sought a deserved second goal.

That arrived with three minutes remaining when Batshuayi drew a fine save from Rico, allowing Schlupp to convert the close-range rebound as Palace cruised to victory, with Fulham failing to register a single shot on target in the contest.

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