Rodriguez stars as Burnley breeze past Fulham

Jay Rodriguez struck twice for Burnley as they progressed through to the FA Cup fifth round thanks to a dominant 3-0 win at Fulham.

The 31-year-old had not found the net since a 1-1 draw at Liverpool on July 11, but gave his side the lead with a well-worked header just after the half-hour mark.

Rodriguez then doubled the visitors’ advantage in the 71st minute, firing down the middle from the penalty spot.

With just under 10 minutes left on the clock, Rodriguez turned provider, controlling a loose ball in the Fulham penalty area with his shoulder into the path of Kevin Long who was able to tap home and secure his side’s place in the next round to face either Bournemouth or Crawley.

Burnley celebrate Kevin Long's goal to make it 3-0 at Craven Cottage
Image: Burnley celebrate Kevin Long’s goal to make it 3-0 at Craven Cottage

The snow had only been cleared from the pitch an hour before kick-off on Sunday, which left the surface wet and the grass slow.

Burnley started brightly and appeared full of confidence and momentum after their shock win at Anfield in midweek.

Matej Vydra had the ball in the back of the net inside four minutes for the away side before the flag went up for offside, with Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak then forced to make a save just moments later.

The first time the hosts got forward in numbers, Aleksandar Mitrovic headed the ball into the net following a clever run from Bobby Decordova-Reid who found Aboubakar Kamara, but he was in an offside position.

Vydra had another opportunity to give the visitors the lead just before the hour mark as the 28-year-old was played in through the middle by Dwight McNeil, one of just two players who also started in midweek, but Rodak was able to make the save.

Moments later, however, Burnley broke the deadlock through Rodriguez, who glanced home a well-weighted Jack Cork cross from the right side.

James Tarkowski Kevin Long tackle Fulham's Aboubakar Kamara
Image: James Tarkowski and Kevin Long tackle Fulham’s Aboubakar Kamara

Fulham almost levelled the tie at the start of the second half, with left-back Joe Bryan forcing Bailey Peacock-Farrell into a save with a well-hit right-footed volley before the ball fell to Mitrovic who managed to get his own shot away.

Referee Andrew Madley immediately pointed to the spot in the 70th minute after a coming together between Michael Hector and Vydra, with the Fulham defender adjudged to have nudged the forward in the back.

Rodriguez made no mistake from the spot to double his side’s advantage.

Burnley then secured their progress in the competition through Long in the 81st minute.

A long ball forward was not dealt with by the Fulham defence and Rodak was unable to gather the ball, which fell to Long who slotted home for his first club goal since September 2018.

FA Cup 2020/21 – key dates and draw

The FA Cup schedule has been confirmed, with the final set to take place at Wembley on Saturday May 15.

There will be no replays this season to help ease fixture congestion.

  • Fifth round: Wednesday February 10
  • Quarter-finals: Saturday March 20
  • Semi-finals: Saturday April 17
  • Final: Saturday May 15

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