April 27 (Reuters) – Ryan Babel struck a potentially deadly blow to Cardiff City’s Premier League survival chances with a stunning 25-yard strike that secured Fulham a deserved 1-0 win at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
The defeat left Cardiff three points adrift of Brighton & Hove Albion, who play Newcastle United later on Saturday, and means they are likely to join Fulham in the Championship next season.
Somewhat bizarrely, Fulham equalled their own Premier League record of three successive wins as Dutchman Babel struck a fierce first-time shot 11 minutes from time to register his sixth goal of the season.
The game was delayed for seven minutes in the first half after Fulham’s Denis Odoi was accidentally kicked in the face by team mate Maxine Le Marchand.
The defender was knocked out cold and had to be revived with oxygen before being carried off to a standing ovation.
After a lacklustre first half, Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic blazed a wonderful chance just over from 12 yards and Cardiff substitute Bobby Reid hit the bar late on as the visitors mounted a storming finish.
(Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Ed Osmond)