Nottingham Forest fans issued firm backing to manager Steve Cooper despite watching their side suffer a five-goal demolition by Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Alex Iwobi and Raul Jimenez each scored twice as Fulham netted three goals or more in three successive top-flight games for the first time since 1966.
Despite being well beaten and failing to register a single shot on target, Forest fans showed their support for under-fire Cooper as they roared the Welshman’s name even after the fourth strike hit the back of the net, sending a clear message to owner Evangelos Marinakis in the stands.
Iwobi set the Cottagers on their way to victory after 30 minutes when he beat the offside trap to convert Willian’s beautifully whipped cross, before Jimenez doubled the lead four minutes later by firing emphatically into the top right corner.
The Mexican forward showed strength and composure to grab his second and Fulham’s third early in the second half, shrugging off Forest defender Ola Aina, rounding goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos and then dispatching a cheeky back-heel
Iwobi found was allowed far too much space in the box and met Harry Wilson’s cross to score Fulham’s fourth, and the scoring was rounded off by substitute Tom Cairney late on as Forest’s defence was nowhere to be seen.
The win moves Fulham up to 12th with an 11-point cushion to the relegation zone, while Forest – with just one win in their last 11 matches in the Premier League – are three points further back in 16th.
Forest fans make support for Cooper clear
Welshman Cooper cut a forlorn figure on the touchline as his side slumped to a disappointing defeat in west London, but the fans in the away end had his back and could be heard roaring his name even after they fell 4-0 behind.
After the game, Cooper walked over to the Forest supporters with his hands in the air apologising for the manner of the performance, but they persisted with positive chants for their boss.
It seems Cooper still has credit in the bank following that successful campaign in the second tier when he brought a halt to the club’s 24-year exile from the top-flight, and for keeping the Reds in the Premier League last season.
Forest fans have become accustomed to seeing their team struggle on the road, picking up just eight of they 38 points they collected in 2022-23 away from the City Ground.
They have won just two of their 27 away fixtures since earning promotion from the Championship.
Cottagers starting to click
Fulham made a poor start to the season, winning just one of their opening six matches, but have clicked into gear over recent weeks and are a force to be reckoned with in attack.
Marco Silva’s men scored only 10 goals in their opening 12 fixtures, but have now found the net 11 times in their last three, having hit three against both Liverpool in Sunday’s 4-3 defeat and in the preceding victory over Wolves.
Jimenez, signed in the summer from Wolves, seems to be finding his feet following a rough three years since suffering a significant head injury and is beginning to demonstrate that he is capable of succeeding former talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Iwobi also caught the eye with his work ethic and goals to ensure the Cottagers made easy work of their lacklustre visitors.
How to play
Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.
Rating range key = Give it up = Pure perfection
- 33RobinsonSubstituted forBallo-Touréat 75′minutes
- 26João PalhinhaSubstituted forLukicat 79′minutes
- 22IwobiSubstituted forDe Cordova-Reidat 76′minutes
- 20WillianSubstituted forWilsonat 63′minutes
- 7JiménezSubstituted forCarlos Viníciusat 79′minutes
- 14De Cordova-Reid
- 30Carlos Vinícius
- 18FelipeSubstituted forNiakhatéat 76′minutes
- 40Santiago Costa dos Santos
- 6SangaréSubstituted forYatesat 45′minutesBooked at 76mins
- 14Hudson-OdoiSubstituted forDaniloat 58′minutes
- 16DomínguezSubstituted forGibbs-Whiteat 45′minutes
- 27OrigiSubstituted forWoodat 58′minutes
- 7N Williams
- Josh Smith
Match ends, Fulham 5, Nottingham Forest 0.
Second Half ends, Fulham 5, Nottingham Forest 0.
Attempt missed. Sasa Lukic (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.
Attempt blocked. Harry Wilson (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Cairney.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Ola Aina.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Murillo.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Moussa Niakhaté.
Goal! Fulham 5, Nottingham Forest 0. Tom Cairney (Fulham) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Andreas Pereira.
Offside, Fulham. Bobby De Cordova-Reid is caught offside.
Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Moussa Niakhaté.
Attempt saved. Anthony Elanga (Nottingham Forest) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Foul by Sasa Lukic (Fulham).
Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Fulham. Carlos Vinícius replaces Raúl Jiménez.
Substitution, Fulham. Sasa Lukic replaces João Palhinha.
Foul by Tosin Adarabioyo (Fulham).
Morgan Gibbs-White (Nottingham Forest) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Tom Cairney (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ryan Yates (Nottingham Forest).