Fulham and Crystal Palace see Premier League first

Referee Lee Mason benefited from the introduction of goal-line technology for Fulham's fourth goal against Crystal Palace.

Premier League referee Lee Mason had the first real case with which to call on goal-line technology.

In the 55th minute of the fixture between Crystal Palace and Fulham at Selhurst Park on Monday night, Philippe Senderos met a corner with a scissor kick attempt, which found its way over the goal-line.

However, amongst the melee, it was impossible for referee Lee Mason to see whether the ball had crossed the line. Initial suspicions hinted that the decision may have been given by the assistant referee, but replays confirmed that the assistant was also unable to see the ball, with his line of sight obscured by Julian Speroni in the Palace goal.

Swerving the controversy of yesteryear, a quick glance at the watch confirmed the goal to Mason, who blew the whistle and awarded the goal whilst Crystal Palace players did their best to carry on as if nothing had actually happened. It had, and the goal fired Fulham into a 4-1 lead at Selhurst Park, with thirty-five minutes left to play.

The game heaped pressure on Palace boss Ian Holloway, whose side have just three points from a possible twenty-four, with their only win coming against Gus Poyet's Sunderland, formerly of Paolo Di Canio.

Fulham meanwhile, managed to lift themselves away from the Premier League trapdoor, rising from 17th to 15th place. Under-pressure Martin Jol will have been delighted to see his side ease to victory in a game billed as an early relegation six-pointer.

In the process, Chris Hughton's Norwich City side were cut adrift by a margin of one point. Norwich City currently occupy 18th spot with seven points, whilst Cardiff City, Stoke City and West Ham United have all obtained eight points from their opening eight Premier League fixtures.

Crystal Palace host league trailblazers Arsenal next weekend, whilst Fulham face a trip to the in-form Southampton, unbeaten in six games in all competitions.

image: © Brett Jordan

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