Saturday 15 September 2012, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
3
Berbatov 32', (pen) 45'+1; Sidwell 89'
West Bromich Albion
West Bromwich Albion
0
Dimitar Berbatov was the star of the show on Saturday, scoring a brace on his home debut as Fulham recorded a three-nil win against West Bromwich Albion.

32' Goal

Dimitar Berbatov
Assist by Alexander Kacaniklic

45'+1 Penalty

Dimitar Berbatov

89' Goal

Steve Sidwell

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Pajtim Kasami
Off:Alexander Kacaniklic

90'+1 Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alex Smith
Off:Damien Duff

38' Red Card

Peter Odemwingie

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Chris Brunt
Off:Marc-Antoine Fortuné

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Romelu Lukaku
Off:Shane Long

76' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Markus Rosenberg
Off:Claudio Yacob

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Dimitar Berbatov made a dream start to life at Craven Cottage on Saturday with a first-half brace against West Bromwich Albion in front of a sell-out crowd in SW6.

It took less than two minutes for Berbatov to set his sights on goal, firing just wide from close range after a confident, attacking start to proceedings by Martin Jol’s Team.

Berbatov’s first attempt on goal came after the irrepressible Damien Duff had teased his marker down the flank and set the overlapping Sascha Riether free down the right channel. Riether’s cross to the near post found Berbatov but his attempt was just off target.

Fulham made a blistering start to the game, with the home crowd enjoying Berbatov’s sublime touches in the final third of the field. However, it was not all Fulham’s way in the opening stages, as West Brom almost took the lead after nine minutes when a powerful drive from outside the right side of the area by James Morrison forced Mark Schwarzer into a fingertip save.  

Fulham produced a superb passage of play after 20 minutes that deserved a goal. Following a lengthy spell of possession and some neat interplay, orchestrated by Berbatov, Riether’s cross from the right was just out of reach for the Bulgarian striker. Fulham were certainly confident in attack and finding their stride as the minutes passed.

Four minutes later, Fulham caught West Brom on the counter attack after Steve Sidwell won possession with a superb sliding tackle. Riether charged forward and once again supplied a testing delivery from the right flank that narrowly evaded a host of players.

After 31 minutes Berbatov scored a quite beautiful goal following excellent work from Alexander Kačaniklić down the left flank to hand Fulham a 1-0 lead. The Swedish winger’s bursting run down the left saw him slalom into the area before playing a neat ball to Berbatov, 12 yards from goal. Berbatov had it all to do as the ball arrived at his feet but his right footed curling shot into the far corner of the net was simply inch perfect. The Cottage erupted in awe at a sublime strike from Fulham’s new number nine.

After 37 minutes the red mist descended on Peter Odemwingie, who inexplicably kicked out at Riether in front of Fulham’s bench. It was nothing but a straight red card for Odemwingie and moments after the player had left the pitch, Berbatov almost grabbed his second with a diving header that arrowed just wide of Ben Foster’s goal.  

As two minutes of added time were announced at Craven Cottage, Kačaniklić tormented his marker down the left flank and drew a foul in the area. It was a clear penalty and Berbatov stepped up to coolly slot the ball into the far corner of the net to earn Fulham a 2-0 lead at the break.   

Fulham certainly didn’t sit back on their lead when the second half kicked off. The first 10 minutes of play saw Jol’s Team camped in West Brom’s half, launching wave after wave of attacks.

The security Sidwell and Chris Baird provided in central midfield on Saturday really allowed Fulham’s attacking players to flourish. In fact, Fulham attacked from the back, with Riether and John Arne Riise constantly overlapping deep into West Brom’s half throughout the match.

The pace of the game dipped as the hour mark passed, with Jol’s team possessing a comfortable lead against the 10 men of West Brom, but substitute Romelu Lukaku caused a moment of concern for the home crowd after 66 minutes with a fierce drive across goal that forced Schwarzer into a diving save.

Two minutes later Berbatov looked set to score a third, when Hugo Rodallega played him through on goal. Unfortunately Berbatov was denied as he primed to shoot but Fulham looked odds on to score a third.

Sidwell was the next to try his luck with a well-placed drive to Foster’s near post from 20 yards after 70 minutes that the keeper could only parry away. Seconds later, Duff fired in a rasping drive that hit Berbatov’s head and looped over the crossbar. There was no let up, with Aaron Hughes heading just wide moments later from a Fulham corner.

After 72 minutes Duff ripped apart West Brom’s defence down the right flank before selflessly setting up Rodallega for a strike on the edge of the area. Foster was there again, parrying the ball away for a corner.

Fulham's supporters certainly enjoyed the latter stages of the game, as Jol's Team dominated every aspect of the match. It was a performance of real confidence and flair that deserved nothing less than maximum points.    

Two minutes before full-time Fulham signed off in fashion, with a third goal from Sidwell. Substitute Pajtim Kasami teased West Brom's defence down the left flank before his cross eventually fell to Sidwell, who fired home from close range. During injury time, Duff received a standing ovation as he was replaced by Academy graduate Alex Smith.


Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 15 September 2012
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 25,691

Referee: Roger East

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, John Arne Riise; Duff (Smith 90'), Baird, Sidwell, Kacaniklic (Kasami 84'); Berbatov, Rodallega

Unused substitutes: Stockdale, Kelly, Briggs, Karagounis, Trotta

Manager: Martin Jol

West Bromwich Albion

Line-up: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Ridgewell; Mulumbu, Yacob (Rosenberg 76'); Fortuné (Brunt 45'), Morrison, Odemwingie; Long (Lukaku 45')

Unused substitutes: Myhill, Dawson, Dorrans, Gera

Manager: Steve Clarke

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 4 10
2 Manchester United 4 9
3 Arsenal 4 8
4 Manchester City 4 8
5 Swansea City 4 7
6 West Bromwich Albion 4 7
7 West Ham United 4 7
8 Fulham 4 6
9 Everton 3 6
10 Stoke City 4 4
11 Aston Villa 4 4
12 Newcastle United 3 4
13 Wigan Athletic 4 4
14 Norwich City 4 3
15 Sunderland 2 2
16 Tottenham Hotspur 3 2
17 Queens Park Rangers 4 2
18 Reading 2 1
19 Liverpool 3 1
20 Southampton 4 0
Goals
3
0
Total Shots
23
10
Shots On Target
10
5
Passing Accuracy
92%
81%
Fouls
7
10
Corners
5
4
Offsides
3
1
Bookings
0
0
Sending Offs
0
1
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 27Sascha Riether
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 3John Arne Riise
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 6Chris Baird
  • 7Steve Sidwell
  • 31Alexander Kacaniklic
  • 9Dimitar Berbatov
  • 20Hugo Rodallega
Substitutes
  • 13David Stockdale
  • 2Stephen Kelly
  • 17Matthew Briggs
  • 40Alex Smith
  • 8Pajtim Kasami
  • 14Giorgos Karagounis
  • 29Marcello Trotta
Manager
  • Martin Jol
West Bromwich Albion (4-2-3-1)
  • 1Ben Foster
  • 28Billy Jones
  • 23Gareth McAuley
  • 3Jonas Olsson
  • 6Liam Ridgewell
  • 21Youssuf Mulumbu
  • 5Claudio Yacob
  • 32Marc-Antoine Fortuné
  • 7James Morrison
  • 24Peter Odemwingie
  • 9Shane Long
Substitutes
  • 13Boaz Myhill
  • 25Craig Dawson
  • 11Chris Brunt
  • 17Graham Dorrans
  • 22Zoltán Gera
  • 8Markus Rosenberg
  • 20Romelu Lukaku
Manager
  • Steve Clarke
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
  • Match ends, Fulham 3, West Bromwich Albion 0.
  • 90'+4' Second Half ends, Fulham 3, West Bromwich Albion 0.
  • 90'+2' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Gareth McAuley.
  • 90'+2' Attempt blocked. Alex Smith (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Brede Hangeland.
  • 90'+2' Attempt saved. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Alex Smith.
  • 90'+1' Attempt missed. Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Brunt with a cross following a corner.
  • 90'+1' Substitution, Fulham. Alex Smith replaces Damien Duff.
  • 90' Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Aaron Hughes.
  • 90' Attempt blocked. Youssuf Mulumbu (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Romelu Lukaku.
  • 90' Attempt saved. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Aaron Hughes.
  • 89' Goal! Fulham 3, West Bromwich Albion 0. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) left footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner.
  • 89' Hugo Rodallega (Fulham) hits the bar with a header from the left side of the six yard box.
  • 87' Attempt missed. Pajtim Kasami (Fulham) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right.
  • 87' Attempt saved. Hugo Rodallega (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Dimitar Berbatov.
  • 85' Foul by Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham).
  • 85' Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 84' Substitution, Fulham. Pajtim Kasami replaces Alexander Kacaniklic.
  • 81' Attempt saved. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Baird.
  • 80' Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).
  • 80' Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 79' Attempt missed. Hugo Rodallega (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Alexander Kacaniklic.
  • 77' Attempt missed. Hugo Rodallega (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by John Arne Riise.
  • 76' Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Markus Rosenberg replaces Claudio Yacob.
  • 74' Damien Duff (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 74' Foul by Liam Ridgewell (West Bromwich Albion).
  • 73' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Ben Foster.
  • 73' Attempt saved. Hugo Rodallega (Fulham) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Damien Duff.
  • 72' Attempt missed. Aaron Hughes (Fulham) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Damien Duff with a cross following a corner.
  • 71' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Ben Foster.
  • 71' Attempt saved. Damien Duff (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Baird.
  • 71' Attempt saved. Steve Sidwell (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Alexander Kacaniklic.
  • 69' Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Aaron Hughes.
  • 68' Offside, Fulham. Chris Baird tries a through ball, but Dimitar Berbatov is caught offside.
  • 67' Attempt saved. Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Chris Brunt.
  • 66' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Ben Foster.
  • 62' Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 62' Attempt saved. Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Youssuf Mulumbu.
  • 60' Offside, West Bromwich Albion. Chris Brunt tries a through ball, but Romelu Lukaku is caught offside.
  • 59' Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).
  • 59' James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 56' Attempt missed. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Chris Baird.
  • 54' Attempt blocked. John Arne Riise (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Steve Sidwell.
  • 52' Offside, Fulham. Alexander Kacaniklic tries a through ball, but Hugo Rodallega is caught offside.
  • 51' Delay over. They are ready to continue.
  • 50' Delay in match Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion) because of an injury.
  • 48' Attempt blocked. Hugo Rodallega (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Damien Duff.
  • 47' Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 47' Foul by Claudio Yacob (West Bromwich Albion).
  • 46' Foul by Hugo Rodallega (Fulham).
  • 46' Jonas Olsson (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • Second Half begins Fulham 2, West Bromwich Albion 0.
  • 45' Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Romelu Lukaku replaces Shane Long.
  • 45' Substitution, West Bromwich Albion. Chris Brunt replaces Marc-Antoine Fortuné.
  • 45'+3' First Half ends, Fulham 2, West Bromwich Albion 0.
  • 45'+1' Goal! Fulham 2, West Bromwich Albion 0. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.
  • 45'+1' Penalty Fulham. Alexander Kacaniklic draws a foul in the penalty area.
  • 45'+1' Penalty conceded by Billy Jones (West Bromwich Albion) after a foul in the penalty area.
  • 43' Attempt blocked. Marc-Antoine Fortuné (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Youssuf Mulumbu.
  • 42' Attempt missed. Youssuf Mulumbu (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left.
  • 40' Attempt missed. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Alexander Kacaniklic with a cross.
  • 38' Peter Odemwingie (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the red card for fighting.
  • 38' Sascha Riether (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 38' Foul by Peter Odemwingie (West Bromwich Albion).
  • 37' Alexander Kacaniklic (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 37' Foul by Marc-Antoine Fortuné (West Bromwich Albion).
  • 37' Attempt blocked. Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked.
  • 36' Foul by Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham).
  • 36' James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.
  • 35' Attempt blocked. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Hugo Rodallega.
  • 32' Goal! Fulham 1, West Bromwich Albion 0. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Alexander Kacaniklic.
  • 30' Offside, Fulham. Steve Sidwell tries a through ball, but Dimitar Berbatov is caught offside.
  • 22' Steve Sidwell (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 22' Foul by Youssuf Mulumbu (West Bromwich Albion).
  • 21' Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).
  • 21' Youssuf Mulumbu (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 21' Attempt missed. Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the left. Assisted by Brede Hangeland with a headed pass following a corner.
  • 20' Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Gareth McAuley.
  • 18' Aaron Hughes (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 18' Foul by Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion).
  • 16' Damien Duff (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 16' Foul by Liam Ridgewell (West Bromwich Albion).
  • 11' Attempt saved. Jonas Olsson (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Morrison with a cross.
  • 10' Corner, West Bromwich Albion. Conceded by Mark Schwarzer.
  • 10' Attempt saved. James Morrison (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Billy Jones.
  • 9' Foul by Steve Sidwell (Fulham).
  • 9' Marc-Antoine Fortuné (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
  • 7' Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
  • 7' Foul by Marc-Antoine Fortuné (West Bromwich Albion).
  • 7' Damien Duff (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.
  • 7' Foul by Liam Ridgewell (West Bromwich Albion).
  • 6' Attempt saved. Peter Odemwingie (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Claudio Yacob.
  • 3' Attempt blocked. Damien Duff (Fulham) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dimitar Berbatov.
  • First Half begins.
  • Line-ups are announced and players are warming up.