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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
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1 January 2013
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: M. Dean
• Attendance: 25436
West Bromwich Albion
R. Lukaku 49'
D. Berbatov 39'
A. Kačaniklić 58'
Thank you for following today's action with Goal. Stayed tuned for our Live! text commentary from all of today's remaining Premier League games. I've been Theo Squires, thank you and goodbye. Enjoy the rest of your day.
Martin Jol's men did deserve it. They held onto possession well and took their chances, whilst managing to frustrate West Brom for the majority. They move up to twelfth place, while the Baggies stay seventh.
So there we have it. Goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Alex Kacaniklic secures the Cottagers a famous victory despite the best efforts of West Brom's Romelu Lukaku and Billy Jones.
90' + 4'
Stockdale holds onto Shane Long's flick at the near post. Surely that must be it. It is! Fulham secure their first ever Premier League away win at West Brom.
90' + 4'
Fulham bring on Senderos for the impressive Berbatov in an attempt to waste time as Ben Foster prepares to unleash one final long ball forward.
90' + 3'
Into the final minute. Will there be late drama at the Hawthorns?
90' + 1'
Billy Jones almost naps a late equaliser for the Baggies. Similar to his assist earlier in the half, he again picks up the ball outwide before squeezing through the Fulham, only to see his cross cleared off the line by Aaron Hughes.
West Brom continue to bomb forward as they continue to chase an equaliser but Fulham are holding their ground well. Three minutes added on...
Berbatov feeds Kacaniklic who bamboozles his way in the WBA penalty area, but his left-footed strike is straight at the grateful Ben Foster.
James Morrison's corner picks out Lukaku at the far posts but the Belgian's header goes wide.
Steve Sidwell heads Shane Long's cross behind for a West Brom corner.
WBA make their final sub as Chris Brunt goes off to be replaced by George Thorne.
Rodallega runs onto a long ball, before cutting it back to Berbatov. The Bulgarian takes a shot before trying to curl a shot at goal, but it is deflected wide for a corner. Like all set pieces so far in this game it comes to nothing. The crossing in this fixture so far has been poor from either side.
The game is very open at the moment as WBA push forward looking for an equaliser, while Fulham are by no means resting on their laurels, as they seek a match-deciding third goal.
Fulham have settled well since retaking the lead through Kacanilkic, but West Brom will be disappointed not to have levelled again after seeing a number of good chances go to waste. Lukaku remains the Baggies' biggest threat, but it is the Cottagers who are well in command at present.
Rodallega makes his first contribution since coming on, picking up the ball on the edge of the West Brom area, he lines up a shot but it's miles over. It remains WBA 1-2 Fulham.
First Fulham sub of the game. It appears they are chasing a third goal as they look to kill the game off. Rodallega replaces Karagounis.
West Brom unlucky not to equalise as Romelu Lukaku is first unlucky not to get a toe to James Morrison's drilled cross across the box, before he heads Shane Long's ball back in just wide.
Fantastic through-ball from Bryan Ruiz to Alex Kacaniklic. The Swede is unable to beat his man however after cutting it back and West Brom get it away.
Hugo Rodallega is preparing to come on for Fulham.
West Brom are all over Fulham as they desperately chase an equaliser. They're throwing as many bodies as possible forward as they flood the box with crosses but the balls into the area continue to be poor as Fulham deal with them with ease.
Steve Sidwell feeds Dimitar Berbatov but the Bulgarian is offside. The ex-Manchester United is also furious with Sidwell, who not only overhit the pass, but took far too long to release the ball.
West Brom have another chance to level things as James Morrison gallops into the penalty but his touch is heavy and Fulham get it away.
Fortune OFF Odemwingie ON
Gera OFF Long ON
Double substitution for West Brom...
Karagounis is down after jumping awkwardly with Mulumbu. He's back on his feet now, clutching his shoulder, but is unhappy with the challenge.
The goal has given Fulham a much needed boost. They looked unable to deal with West Brom during the opening 15 minutes of the half, but finding themselves a goal up again has settled them again as they continue to hold onto possession and remain patient with their build-up.
Assist Bryan Ruiz
Goal Alexander Kacaniklic
GOAL! 2-1 to Fulham as the punish WBA for their missed chances immediately. Alex Kacaniklic the scorer. Bryan Ruiz chips the ball forward to the Swede, who turns his man before rolling the ball under Ben Foster into the Baggies goal. It's against the run of play but the goal comes at the perfect time for Fulham.
West Brom should have taken the lead. Lukaku seeing his shot saved by Stockdale before Zoltan Gera hit the post on the follow up and Chris Brunt's effort was deflected away from goal by the ever dependable Aaron Hughes.
Lukaku bullies Hughes off the ball again, this time in the Fulham penalty area, before volleying the ball at goal with his weaker foot, but it bounces back off the post. Let off for the Cottagers there. It is all West Brom at the moment.
Assist Billy Jones
Goal Romelu Lukaku
GOAL! 1-1 Romelu Lukaku. Billy Jones cuts in from the right-hand side and sidestepped Matthew Briggs with ease, before squaring the ball to Lukaku, who looked like he was standing in an offside position. However the flag stayed down and the Belgian was left with a simple tap-in into the empty net. It is no more than their bright start to the second half deserved.
West Brom kick-off and the second half is underway...
As it stands Fulham have moved up two places to twelfth. They have never won a Premier League game at the Hawthorns, with no away side ever winning this fixture. Is that about to change? Stay tuned for all the action from the second half to find out.
Fulham meanwhile have held onto possession well and took their chance, converting the only shot on target during the entire first half. Dimitar Berbatov has been instrumental and it is his strike seven minutes before the break that separates the sides, but Ben Foster will be disappointed that he allowed the Bulgarian's shot to beat him.
Half-time and the sides go in with Fulham leading 1-0 at the Hawthorns. West Brom boo their side off at the break and it's easy to understand why. The Baggies have been sloppy in possession without really offering anything up the other end of the pitch.
45' + 1'
West Brom continue to flood the box with crosses, but Lukaku has been unable to get on the end of any of them, with Brede Hangeland characteristically dominant in the air.
One minute added on...
West Brom look to get back on level terms immediately as Mulumbu sees his header at the far post drift just wide. He really should have at least hit the target.
Assist Ashkan Dejagah
Goal D. Berbatov
GOAL! 1-0 to Fulham. Dimitar Berbatov nets the first Premier League goal of 2013. The Bulgarian chips the ball forward to Dejagah, who sprints down the right-hand side before the Iranian cuts in and pulls the ball back across goal to the waiting Berbatov. The Bulgarian fires in a shot from just inside the West Brom area, which somehow squirms underneath Ben Foster. Steve Clarke will be disappointed that his keeper didn't keep it out but Fulham won't care. They have the goal their early possession has probably deserved.
At the other end Karagounis unleashes a strike at goal from outside the area, but like all of Fulham's chances so far, it again clears the bar.
Freekick to Fulham as referee Mike Dean deems Fortune's jump with Stockdale to be unlawful.
A James Morrison effort cannons off Brede Hangeland's head as West Brom win another corner...
The game has been more even in the last ten minutes as West Brom begin to settle on the ball. Fulham still have the edge however in what has been an unspectacular opening half hour.
Chris Brunt tries to play the ball back to Ben Foster but makes a hash of the pass. Dimitar Berbatov runs onto it, but, without a natural burst of pace, he decides to shoot first time from the edge of the area, over for his effort to go harmlessly over.
Lukaku bullies Aaron Hughes off the ball on the halfway line and sprints at call. With no-one in support he lines-up a shot just inside the Fulham penalty area, but Steve Sidwell does fantastically well to get back and time's his challenge to perfection to toe the ball off the Belgian.
With the sun in his eyes, West Brom have realised that David Stockdale is struggling with high balls into the box as they continue to target him from set pieces.
Corner to West Brom after an impressive cross-field from Foster picks out as Fortune. The forward fires a shot at goal from a tight angle, but it's deflected over the bar by Brede Hangeland.
Boos from the West Brom fans echo around the Hawthorns, as their annoyance at their team's sloppiness increases. The increase in noise however seems to have spurred their side into life as the Baggies begin to press up the field.
As you were at the Hawthorns. Still a game of very few chances as Fulham dominate possession with nothing to show from it. Berbatov understandably is beginning to look frustrated, as are the fans.
Berbatov has been involved in everything for Fulham as the Cottagers continue to hold onto the ball. The Bulgarian seems up for it today, but we're still goalless at the Hawthorns. This game badly needs a goal to kick-start it into life.
West Brom have been wasteful in possession and sloppy in defence in the game's opening exchanges, but Fulham have been unable to take advantage so far.
Great play from Berbatov as he jinxes through West Brom's midfield. He plays the ball outwide to Kacaniklic, but his cross is headed behind by Chris Brunt for another Fulham corner. Yet again the set piece comes to nothing.
We have the first shot of 2013. Sadly spectacular it was not as Steve Sidwell picks up the ball in the middle of the park and fires a shot at goal, only for his left-footed strike from distance clear the bar.
The corner comes to nothing as West Brom clear their lines, but they gift the ball back to a patient Fulham side, who are still holding onto possession, but have nothing to show from it yet.
The noise levels have suddenly risen at the Hawthorns as West Brom press forward. They lose possession however and Fulham counterattack down the left-hand touchline. Kacaniklic sprints forward but his cross is cut out as Fulham win the first corner of the day.
Neither side has come out the blocks flying here in what has been a drab start to the game, with a lot of the ball being seen in the middle of the park. Fulham are still dominating early possession but we are yet to see a shot at goal at the Hawthorns.
A nervy start from both sides so far as Fulham hold onto possession as they try to make an early break-through.
Fulham kick-off and we are underway. Premier League football in 2013 has begun!
A win for West Brom could see them move to as high as fourth by end of play today if results go their way, as they take on a Fulham side that have never won at the Hawthorns.
Kick-off is less than five minutes away as the teams stand waiting in the tunnel.
Meanwhile Alex Kacaniklic comes into the Fulham side in place of Kerim Frei as Martin Jol's only change. David Stockdale continues in goal as Mark Schwarzer once again misses out with a neck injury.
Steve Clarke makes five changes to the side that lost at Old Trafford, with Shane Long, Peter Odemwingie, Markus Rosenberg and George Thorne all dropping to the bench while Graham Dorrans misses out altogether. Youssouf Mulumbu is fit again following a hamstring injury and comes back into the side along with Marc-Antoine Fortune, Zoltan Gera, Romelu Lukaku and James Morrison.
Fulham starting XI: Stockdale; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Briggs; Dejagah, Sidwell, Karagouinis, Kacaniklic; Ruiz; Berbatov. Subs: Etheridge, Senderos, Baird, Kasami, Richardson, Rodallega, Frei.
WBA starting XI: Foster; Jones, McAuley, Tamas, Ridgewell; Brunt, Mulumbu; Fortune, Morrison, Gera; Lukaku. Subs: Myhill, Rosenberg, Long, Thorne, Jara, Odemwingie, Dawson.
Team news is in and the teams are as follows...
Good afternoon and Happy New Year. Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! text commentary from the first Premier League game of 2013 between West Bromwich Albion and Fulham. I'm Theo Squires and I'll be guiding you through all the action from the Hawthorns today.
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