Saturday 24 September 2011, 3:00pm at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Barclays Premier League
West Bromich Albion
West Bromwich Albion
0
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
Fulham gained a credible point on the road as they played out a entertaining goalless draw against West Brom at The Hawthorns.

78' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:James Morrison
Off:Graham Dorrans

82' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Somen Tchoyi
Off:Jerome Thomas

50' Yellow Card

Brede Hangeland Card was given for a foul

61' Yellow Card

Zdenek Grygera Card was given for a foul

66' Yellow Card

Chris Baird Card was given for a foul

74' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bryan Ruiz
Off:Pajtim Kasami

88' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dickson Etuhu
Off:Danny Murphy

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Both teams started the final Barclays Premier League match of September level on three points after five League games, with West Brom lying at the foot of the table.

Fulham resided two places above the Baggies in 18th position prior to kick-off thanks to a goal difference of just two and there was no hiding from the fact that both teams needed to claim maximum points from Saturday’s encounter.

Fulham Manager Martin Jol, who joined West Brom as a player almost 30 years ago, was restricted in selecting arguably his strongest eleven with three key players out of action. Bobby Zamora and Andrew Johnson were both ruled out through sickness and winger Damien Duff was a further absentee due to personal reasons.

Fulham starting line-up featured three summer signings, with Zdenek Grygera retaining his place in central defence following his exceptional performance against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.

In Zamora absence, Orlando Sa led Fulham’s line and Pajtim Kasami started at right midfield. Star signing Brian Ruiz featured on Fulham’s bench after 120 minutes of football on Wednesday night.

Fulham were pitched against former manager Roy Hodgson on Saturday afternoon but there was no place in his squad for former Fulham favourite Zoltan Gera (injured). The home side, convincingly beaten 3-0 by Premier League newcomers Swansea last weekend had a familiar and settled look about them for Saturday’s contest but there was a Premier League debut for Gareth McAuley.

Fulham got Saturday’s 3pm kick-off underway with a chance for both sides early on. First Shane Long forced Mark Schwarzer into a save with a header from 12 yards before Orlando Sa fired in a vicious volley from the left hand side of the area that deflected away for a corner.

After ten minutes play Pajtim Kasami was dispossessed 30 yards from goal by Mulumba, allowing the midfielder a free shot on goal. Again, Schwarzer was well positioned to collect with ease.

Kasami almost made amends immediately, stroking the ball past Ben Foster into the back of the net after the keeper had failed to save Dempsey’s fierce drive from 25 yards. Kasami’s joy was short lived as the flag was raised for offside.

Fulham looked to test Foster from distance as the twenty minute mark approached, with both Dembele and Sidwell forcing the keeper into saves. Jol’s team entered a sustained period of possession, needing the full width of the pitch to penetrate past West Brom’s midfield five.

Jol’s team dictated the pace and flow of the game during the first half and dominated possession – but patience was certainly required as West Brom soaked up the pressure and looked to catch Fulham cold on the counter attack.

Mousa Dembele was the next to try his luck from distance, letting fly from 30 yards but his strike whistled over Foster’s bar. For all Fulham’s dominance the home side were seemingly comfortable sitting back, with only Shane Long willing to push beyond the half way line.

Five minutes before the break Fulham moved up a gear and Dempsey went close with a header from six yards that forced Foster into a save. Fulham continued to search for an opener but were left frustrated by a well organised, defensively minded opposition.

There was plenty of good build up work in midfield area during the first 45 but in the final third Fulham lacked a cutting edge to capitalise after spending the majority of the half camped in the home side’s half.

There were no changes for the second half but Roy Hodgson made a tactical change, allowing Odemwingie licence to push further up field alongside Shane Long.

The focus had certainly shifted into Fulham’s half during the second half as West Brom switched to 4-4-2 and Odemwingie’s presence up front almost paid dividends for the home side on the hour mark. The striker beat the offside trap to race through for a one-on-one with Schwarzer. Thankfully Fulham’s keeper pulled off a magnificent save to deny the Baggies.

The home crowd could sense the game shifting their way as Baird and Grygera both picked up bookings for late challenges. However Fulham were prepared to get stuck in and stood firm against a sustained spell of pressure.

12 minutes from time Fulham produced their best chance of the second half when Dempsey was felled 20 yards from goal in a central position. John Arne Riise fired in low direct free-kick through the Baggies wall which Foster could only parry away. Ruiz, first to the ball, fired past the post from four yards. It was agonisingly close for Fulham.

Dempsey went close two minutes later, firing just wide from the edge of the area. Following Dempsey’s effort Roy Hodgson introduced Somen Tchoyi for Jerome Thomas.

As the game entered the final ten minutes Mark Schwarzer required treatment after appearing to strain his back in a fall on the hour mark. The keeper seemed to determined to see the game out despite the evident pain.

With three minutes remaining Martin Jol made his second change of the game, replacing captain Danny Murphy with Dickson Etuhu.

As the Fourth Official indicated four minutes of added time Fulham were dealt a fortunate hand when Chris Brunt’s drive from 20 yards came back off the post. Seconds later Orlando Sa blasted over Foster cross bar from the left hand side of the area. At the death the result could have gone either way but at full time both teams claimed a point.

There will be no respite for Fulham next week with a UEFA Europa League match against Odense BK (away) on Thursday night before returning to Craven Cottage to face Queens Park Rangers on Sunday 2nd October (KO 3pm).

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 24 September 2011
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Attendance: 23,835

Referee: Stuart Attwell

West Bromwich Albion

Line-up: Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Shorey; Brunt, Mulumbu, Dorrans (Morrison 78'), Thomas (Tchoyi 82'); Odemwingie, Long

Unused substitutes: Fülöp, Dawson, Jones, Scharner, Cox

Manager: Roy Hodgson

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Grygera, Baird, Hangeland, John Arne Riise; Kasami (Ruiz 74'), Sidwell, Murphy (Etuhu 88'), Dempsey; Sá, Dembélé

Unused substitutes: Etheridge, Kelly, Senderos, Briggs, Gecov

Manager: Martin Jol

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester City 6 16
2 Manchester United 5 15
3 Chelsea 6 13
4 Newcastle United 6 12
5 Liverpool 6 10
6 Tottenham Hotspur 5 9
7 Stoke City 5 8
8 Aston Villa 5 7
9 Everton 5 7
10 Queens Park Rangers 5 7
11 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 7
12 Arsenal 6 7
13 Sunderland 5 5
14 Norwich City 5 5
15 Wigan Athletic 6 5
16 Swansea City 6 5
17 Fulham 6 4
18 Blackburn Rovers 6 4
19 West Bromwich Albion 6 4
20 Bolton Wanderers 6 3
Goals
0
0
Total Shots
9
18
Shots On Target
3
5
Passing Accuracy
82%
86%
Fouls
6
15
Corners
1
1
Offsides
6
2
Bookings
0
3
Sending Offs
0
0
West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2)
  • 1Ben Foster
  • 12Steven Reid
  • 23Gareth McAuley
  • 3Jonas Olsson
  • 20Nicky Shorey
  • 11Chris Brunt
  • 21Youssuf Mulumbu
  • 17Graham Dorrans
  • 14Jerome Thomas
  • 24Peter Odemwingie
  • 9Shane Long
Substitutes
  • 13Marton Fülöp
  • 25Craig Dawson
  • 28Billy Jones
  • 33Paul Scharner
  • 5Somen Tchoyi
  • 7James Morrison
  • 31Simon Cox
Manager
  • Roy Hodgson
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 26Zdenek Grygera
  • 6Chris Baird
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 3John Arne Riise
  • 10Pajtim Kasami
  • 4Steve Sidwell
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 9Orlando Sá
  • 30Moussa Dembélé
Substitutes
  • 38Neil Etheridge
  • 2Stephen Kelly
  • 14Philippe Senderos
  • 28Matthew Briggs
  • 15Marcel Gecov
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 11Bryan Ruiz
Manager
  • Martin Jol
Goals
0
0
Total shots
0
0
Ball played into the final third of the pitch
0
0
Minutes played by player
0
0
Assists from open play
0
0
Crosses
0
0
Tackles
0
0
Successful aerial duels
0
0
Duel over the possession of the ball where a player wins the ball
0
0
Pass forwards
0
0
Successful dribbles
0
0
Sum of all a players ball events
0
0
Accurate passes
0
0
Key passes
0
0
Player intercepts a pass
0
0
Goalkeeper saves
0
0
Goalkeeper catches a cross
0
0