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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
18 August 2012
• Craven Cottage, London
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 25062
D. Duff 27'
M. Petrić 42', 54'
A. Kačaniklić 66'
S. Sidwell 87'
Can Fulham take this impressive performance to their next game when they face Manchester United on August 25.
Martin Jol will be exhilarated by his team's performance with a great overall display. The defence was determined not to let Norwich through with Aaron Hughes consistently heading away crosses from the Canaries. The midfield were able to control the park and break Norwich's play throughout the game. The attack from the Cottagers was enthralling with Duff, Plesic and Riise all linking up to form creative movements and clever finishes.
The Fulham team hug each other with joy as the referee brings the game to a close, what a perfect start for the Cottagers as they beat Chris Hughton's side 5-0.
Martin Jol stands proud as he watches his team see off their magnificent start to the 2012/13 campaign.
Penalty Goal Steve Sidwell
Sidwell thumps the ball into the top left corner, leaving Ruddy with no chance, as many of the Norwich fans leave the ground with three minutes to go!
Penalty for Fulham as Rodallega is brought down just before he pulls the trigger!
Pilkinton shouts for a penalty as he is brought down but the referee calls for a goal kick
Norwich throw in as they attempt to turn their possession into an attack
Norwich continue to give the ball away with careless passing as Fulham's midfield power through the middle.
Norwich halt Fulhams attack as the ball goes out for a throw, making way for Captain Holt to come off.
Duff walks off to a standing ovation following the winger's classy display.
Fulham cutting through the middle as they press for a fifth goal.
Riise bombing down the left again, the 31-year old showing no signs of slowing down!
No hatrick for Petric as he comes off as Fulham seal the game with their fourth goal.
Assist Mladen Petric
Goal Alexander Kacaniklic
Kacaniklic with a poaching finish makes it 4-0 following clever passing play by Fulham!
Schwarzer catches Bennett's second attempt
Norwich look to break through on the right with a Bennett cross that is headed away by Hughes
Petric is off to a dream start on his Fulham debut as he eyes to complete a hatrick
Riise fouled by Pilkinton in his own area as he struggles to clear the ball
Assist Bryan Ruiz
Goal Mladen Petric
Petric with a cracker of a goal as he thumps the ball from outside the edge of the box with a left foot strike as it makes a slight deflection on the way!
Norwich look to be making another change with Elliot Bennett preparing himself
Second half off to a slow start as the ball is played across the Norwich back line
Former Fulham boss watches on and is accompanied by Sir Alex Ferguson who take on Martin Jol's side on August 25.
Second half gets underway as the fans are still taking their seats!
Chris Hughton's men been unable to break Fulham as Martin Jol's defence has been impeccable, which has been aided by the enforcement of new defensive midfielder Mahamadou Diarra.
Premier League generals Duff and Riise have been outstanding thus far, with clever link up play between each other and with other teammates.
The whislte blows, which brings an end to Fulhams momentum after a dominating first half.
Ruiz with a testing freekick but Ruddy able to stop midfielder's attempt.
Assist Damien Duff
Goal Mladen Petric
Goal again for Fulham as Petric heads in, with the ball just crossing the line making Johnson's block going in vain!
Schwarzer has not had much to deal with as the first half is left with five minutes to go.
Norwich foul in their own penalty area after some shoving during a Fulham corner kick.
Norwich still unsuccessful in breaking the Fulham defence as the home side make their way forward and earn another freekick near the box.
Norwich now look to break Fulham as the Cottagers sit back after opening their scoring for the new campaign.
Assist J. Riise
Goal Damien Duff
GOOOALLLLLL, veteran Damien Duff calmly finishes off after a beautiful long ball from Riise as the ball rolls pass Ruddy.
Ruddy yet again improving from his blunder earlier by making a critical save from a left-foot strike by Petric.
Ruddy makes an important save as he blocks Riise's blast after latching on to Ruiz's ball.
As the first 20 minutes pass, the game has witnessed a series of stray passes, as predicted as the teams adapt to the new campaign.
Ruddy makes a blunder by kicking the ball straight to Fulham, which Ruiz fails to take advantage of.
Norwich unable to take advantage of the opportunity as Fulham maintain possession again.
Schwarzer blocks Surman's shot from the right edge of the box as the ball goes out for a corner.
Momentum still with Fulham as Turner fould for a freekick on the right of the pitch, which goes again straight into Ruddy's hands.
New man Snograss back defending for Norwich as he is fouled by Riise
Damien Duff fails to finish off from a long ball forward as he scuffs his shot straight to Ruddy's hands
Fulham maintaining possession effectively as they slowly try and break the Norwich defence
Fulham's new enforcer Diarra controlling the midfield as he breaks play to start an attack for the Cottagers
Freekick for Fulham as Hangeland heads forward to join the attack.
Norwich corner is headed away as Tierney passes the ball back to Pilkinton for another attack
Ball goes over the head of Riise for a Fulham throw in as the game opens with a tight battle between the contenders.
The fans of both teams are in full voice as they spur their sides on for a positive start.
And off we go, as the teams kick off at Craven Cottage!
The teams make their way out to the pitch..only a few minutes left to start the long awaited campaign!
Norwich starting XI: Ruddy, Martin, Tierney, Bennett, Turner, Johnson, Surman, Pilkinton, Howson, Snodgrass, Holt. Subs: Rudd, Barnett, Hoolahan, Bennett, Lappin, Morison, Vaughan
Fulham starting XI: Schwarzer, Riise, Hangeland, Hughes, Riether, Duff, Diarra, Dembele, Kacaniclic, Petric, Ruiz. Subs: Stocdale, Kelly, Baird, Halliche, Sidwell, Kasami, Rodagella
Good Afternoon, and welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play commentary of the Premier League season opener of Fulham vs Norwich. Both sides finished mid-table last season and will look to get their campaign of with a flying start as we expect a close game!
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