Football: Fulham frustrated as Wolves snatch late leveller in opening Boxing Day EPL clash

Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon (right) in action with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Joao Moutinho. The Wolves rescued a late 1-1 draw on in the match at Craven Cottage on Dec 26, 2018.
Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon (right) in action with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Joao Moutinho. The Wolves rescued a late 1-1 draw on in the match at Craven Cottage on Dec 26, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS/ACTION IMAGES

LONDON (AFP) - Fulham's bid to avoid relegation from the English Premier League suffered a fresh setback as Wolves rescued a late 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage on Wednesday (Dec 26).

Ryan Sessegnon came off the bench to put struggling Fulham ahead with just a quarter of an hour left.

But Romain Saiss hit an 85th-minute equaliser to spoil Fulham's hopes of bolstering their survival bid.

Claudio Ranieri's side temporarily climbed off the bottom of the table, one point ahead of Huddersfield before the rest of the Boxing Day schedule.

But Fulham have claimed just six points from seven games since former Leicester boss Ranieri took charge.

That concerning run had left them bottom on Christmas Day - with only three of the previous 26 top-flight teams to have filled that spot going on to avoid relegation.

This was another tale of woe for the Cottagers.

Wolves threatened early on in the form of a spectacular Raul Jimenez bicycle kick that flashed over.

Fulham survived strong penalty appeals from the visitors as Denis Odoi appeared to handle a high ball into the area.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has seven Premier League goals this season, was causing constant problems for Wolves but his finishing let him down.

The Serb was on the end of a Cyrus Christie cross but headed straight at Rui Patricio.

Christie then shot low across goal and Mitrovic was agonisingly close to turning the ball in at the far post.

Mitrovic should have scored five minutes before the break.

Taking a touch, he turned his marker and went past another Wolves defender, only to produce a tame effort that Patricio saved with ease.

Fulham snatched the lead in the 74th minute when Patricio made a weak attempt to punch clear from Alfie Mawson's header and the ball dropped to Sessegnon, whose shot crossed the line before Wolves could clear.

That would have taken the Cottagers off the bottom, but Wolves rescued a point.

Ivan Cavaleiro's low cross was not dealt with by Fulham's Joe Bryan and Saiss arrived at the far post to slot home his first Premier League goal.

Mitrovic should have won it in stoppage time, but his effort was cleared off the line by Conor Coady.