It was a familiarly frustrating tale for Fulham at Norwich City on Saturday as we enjoyed plenty of the ball at Carrow Road, but were unable to turn our possession into chances.
While the Whites enjoyed 56.9 per cent possession to Norwich’s 43.1, we could only muster a solitary effort on target – courtesy of Steve Sidwell in the second half. Norwich, on the other hand, tested Mark Schwarzer on four occasions and their overall shot count was more than double Fulham’s (15 to seven).
Both sides did see a number of shots blocked, too. Most notably for Fulham was when Damien Duff’s effort from a tight angle was deflected over for a corner early on, and when Sebastien Bassong took the full force of Bryan Ruiz’s fearsome drive on 54 minutes.
When it came to passing, the Whites were more accurate when looking for a teammate as 81.7 per cent of our passes found their man. Only 73.5 per cent of Norwich’s did the same.
Fulham were more successful when it came to robbing the home side of the ball, with the Whites winning 24 tackles compared to the Canaries’ 14. Sidwell was particularly proficient in this department, with the central midfielder harrying his opponents from start to finish, putting in nine tackles in the process.
Stanislav Manolev – drafted in following Sascha Riether’s withdrawal through illness – enjoyed a solid debut for his new side. The Bulgaria international was involved in 72 ball events, put in three crosses, won four tackles and was successful in three aerial duels.
The busiest player on the pitch, though, was Manolev’s compatriot Dimitar Berbatov. Our top goalscorer regularly looked to make things happen for the Whites, as is evident by his involvement in 87 ball events. The striker also put in four crosses, won six headers and made 23 forward passes.