Fulham 1-0 Stoke- Match Report
Report of match 23rd February 2013
Fulham 1-0 Stoke- Match Report.
Berbatov magic wins it for Cottagers
A sumptuous volley from Dimitar Berbatov was enough to settle a forgettable encounter between Fulham and Stoke at Craven Cottage.
Berbatov struck his ninth goal of the season on the stroke of half-time after the hosts had dominated possession without truly testing Asmir Begovic.
The volley was head and shoulders above the general quality of the match with Stoke forward Jonathan Walters missing a second-half penalty as Fulham moved to within a point of the Potters in the Barclays Premier League table.
Stoke were the first side to test the opposition goalkeeper as Peter Crouch dropped deep before threading a ball into the run of Walters, who forced Mark Schwarzer into a smart low save.
The hosts then took control of the remainder of the first half with Berbatov firing over the crossbar from six yards after being picked out by the returning Sascha Riether.
Bryan Ruiz had the ball in the back of the net after 11 minutes but was cautioned by referee Lee Probert for clearly using his hand to convert Damien Duff's free-kick.
John Arne Riise forced a decent save out of Begovic as he powered in from the left before rifling in a low shot.
Stoke were lucky to not be reduced to 10 men midway through the first half as Steven Nzonzi, who had taken a knock on the nose in an earlier collision with Berbatov, was booked for shoving Ruiz in the face. Giorgos Karagounis struck the resulting free-kick well and Begovic was forced to tip over.
Fulham remained on top and forced a number of corners which had resulted in very little as Stoke struggled to get the ball out of their own half.
Martin Jol's side almost grabbed the goal their opening 45 minutes of play deserved but Steve Sidwell's long-range effort flew just wide of Begovic's right-hand post.
That goal finally came in first-half stoppage time as Ashkan Dejagah and Riether combined down the left with Riether's cross headed into the path of Berbatov by Robert Huth and the former Manchester United man smashed home a volley of the highest quality.
Crouch almost muscled his way in to level for Stoke as Fulham's Philippe Senderos attempted to shield the ball back to goalkeeper Schwarzer.
Crouch pounced but Schwarzer got to the ball and managed to keep his side ahead.
The visitors were then presented with a great opportunity to equalise 10 minutes into a more even second half.
Probert awarded a penalty as Dejagah blocked Potters' debutant Brek Shea's cross with his arm but Walters hit a tame spot-kick that was easily kept out by Schwarzer.
Berbatov almost doubled his tally with another fantastic effort.
The Bulgarian flicked the ball away from two defenders before firing in another volley with Begovic able to parry it away.
Shea, a first-half introduction for the injured Matthew Etherington, then came close with a half-volley as Stoke started to fight their way back into the match.
Fulham responded well to Stoke's attempts to fashion an equaliser and started to play some football of their own once again.
Karagounis worked a short corner routine with Dejagah before the former Panathinaikos midfielder arrowed a shot just over the crossbar.
Ruiz then wriggled his way into the box before his cross found its way to Sidwell, whose shot was deflected around the post for Fulham's ninth corner of the game.
Nothing came of the set-piece but Fulham survived to win just their second league game since New Year's Day.
|Competition: Barclays Premier League Kick Off: 12:45 Venue: Craven Cottage Attendance: 25,458|
|1 - 0||Stoke City
|90+5||Corner from the right by-line taken by Brek Shea, save by Mark Schwarzer.|
|90+5||Centre by Ryan Shotton, blocked by Urby Emanuelson.|
|90+3||Effort from the edge of the penalty area by Mladen Petric goes wide of the left-hand post.|
|90+1||Dimitar Berbatov goes off and Mladen Petric comes on.|
|87||The ball is delivered by Marc Wilson.|
|86||Brek Shea challenges Dimitar Berbatov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Steve Sidwell restarts play with the free kick.|
|86||Cameron Jerome concedes a free kick for a foul on Brede Hangeland. John Arne Riise takes the free kick.|
|85||Urby Emanuelson on for Damien Duff.|
|84||Shot from just outside the area by Bryan Ruiz misses to the left of the target.|
|84||Steven Nzonzi sends in a cross, clearance by Damien Duff.|
|82||Handball by Robert Huth. Direct free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.|
|81||Inswinging corner taken by Glenn Whelan.|
|80||Chris Baird comes on in place of Giorgos Karagounis.|
|80||Shot from just outside the penalty area by Steve Sidwell misses to the left of the target.|
|78||Corner from the right by-line taken by Glenn Whelan, Header by Robert Huth from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.|
|77||Cameron Jerome produces a cross, John Arne Riise gets a block in.|
|77||Outswinging corner taken by Giorgos Karagounis from the right by-line, Glenn Whelan manages to make a clearance.|
|76||The ball is sent over by Bryan Ruiz, Steve Sidwell takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth.|
|74||Bryan Ruiz fouled by Robert Huth, the ref awards a free kick. Philippe Senderos takes the free kick.|
|73||The official flags Cameron Jerome offside. Ryan Shawcross goes into the book. Direct free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.|
|72||Giorgos Karagounis produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.|
|71||Short corner taken by Giorgos Karagounis.|
|71||Giorgos Karagounis delivers the ball, Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.|
|70||The ball is sent over by Damien Duff, comfortable save by Asmir Begovic.|
|69||Kenwyne Jones comes on in place of Peter Crouch.|
|66||Dimitar Berbatov challenges Ryan Shawcross unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.|
|66||Shot by John Arne Riise. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.|
|64||Shot from just outside the area by John Arne Riise goes over the bar.|
|63||Corner taken by Glenn Whelan from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Bryan Ruiz.|
|63||Ryan Shotton sends in a cross, clearance made by Ashkan Dejagah.|
|62||Corner taken by Giorgos Karagounis, save made by Asmir Begovic.|
|62||A cross is delivered by John Arne Riise, clearance made by Ryan Shotton.|
|60||Unfair challenge on Ryan Shotton by Dimitar Berbatov results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ryan Shawcross.|
|60||Brek Shea has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.|
|59||Headed effort on goal by Peter Crouch from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.|
|58||Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot from 18 yards. Brilliant save by Asmir Begovic.|
|57||Cameron Jerome gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Brede Hangeland. Steve Sidwell takes the free kick.|
|56||The referee blows for offside. Brede Hangeland takes the indirect free kick.|
|55||Cameron Jerome challenges Sascha Riether unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sascha Riether takes the direct free kick.|
|54||Ashkan Dejagah is adjudged to have handled the ball. Penalty taken by Jonathan Walters saved by Mark Schwarzer. Fulham 1-0 Stoke.|
|52||Unfair challenge on Glenn Whelan by Giorgos Karagounis results in a free kick. Shot comes in from Glenn Whelan from the free kick.|
|50||Cameron Jerome replaces Geoff Cameron.|
|49||The assistant referee flags for offside against Ashkan Dejagah. Asmir Begovic takes the free kick.|
|47||Shot by Peter Crouch. Save by Mark Schwarzer.|
|45||Giorgos Karagounis takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Shawcross.|
|45||Ashkan Dejagah crosses the ball.|
|45+2||Dimitar Berbatov finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Fulham 1-0 Stoke.The assist for the goal came from Sascha Riether.|
|45+2||The ball is crossed by Sascha Riether.|
|45+1||Effort on goal by Ashkan Dejagah from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.|
|44||The ball is sent over by Marc Wilson, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.|
|44||Marc Wilson crosses the ball, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.|
|43||Steve Sidwell has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.|
|41||John Arne Riise takes a shot. Blocked by Robert Huth.|
|41||Centre by Sascha Riether, clearance by Ryan Shotton.|
|39||The ball is swung over by Steve Sidwell, Robert Huth manages to make a clearance.|
|39||Jonathan Walters produces a cross, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.|
|37||Brek Shea challenges Brede Hangeland unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.|
|35||Bryan Ruiz decides to take a short corner.|
|34||Marc Wilson challenges Ashkan Dejagah unfairly and gives away a free kick. Marc Wilson goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Bryan Ruiz from right wing, Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.|
|33||The ball is delivered by Sascha Riether, save made by Asmir Begovic.|
|30||Ashkan Dejagah delivers the ball.|
|29||Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff from the left by-line, Peter Crouch makes a clearance.|
|29||Corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff to the near post, Glenn Whelan manages to make a clearance.|
|29||The ball is sent over by John Arne Riise, Ryan Shotton gets a block in.|
|27||Peter Crouch has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.|
|26||A cross is delivered by Damien Duff, save by Asmir Begovic.|
|24||The ball is crossed by Philippe Senderos, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Bryan Ruiz goes harmlessly over the crossbar.|
|23||Brek Shea is brought on as a substitute for Matthew Etherington. Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Damien Duff, Peter Crouch makes a clearance.|
|22||Unfair challenge on Bryan Ruiz by Steven Nzonzi results in a free kick. Steven Nzonzi receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Shot comes in from Giorgos Karagounis from the free kick, save by Asmir Begovic.|
|21||Damien Duff takes a shot. Save made by Asmir Begovic.|
|20||John Arne Riise has an effort at goal from 18 yards. Asmir Begovic makes a comfortable save.|
|20||Damien Duff produces a drilled left-footed shot from 12 yards. Ryan Shawcross gets a block in.|
|19||Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff from the right by-line, Peter Crouch makes a clearance.|
|16||Corner from the right by-line taken by Damien Duff, comfortable save by Asmir Begovic.|
|10||Bryan Ruiz is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Booking for Bryan Ruiz for unsporting behaviour. Asmir Begovic takes the direct free kick.|
|10||Marc Wilson challenges Ashkan Dejagah unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Damien Duff.|
|9||Bryan Ruiz sends in a cross, Ryan Shawcross makes a clearance.|
|8||Centre by Sascha Riether, Dimitar Berbatov produces a right-footed shot from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.|
|6||The ball is crossed by Jonathan Walters, save made by Mark Schwarzer.|
|6||Effort on goal by Glenn Whelan from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.|
|5||Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Matthew Etherington by Sascha Riether. Free kick crossed left-footed by Matthew Etherington from left wing, clearance by Philippe Senderos.|
|2||Bryan Ruiz produces a left-footed shot from long distance which goes wide right of the goal.|
|1||John Arne Riise handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Asmir Begovic.|