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Played
February 23, 2013 8:45 PM SGT
Craven Cottage — London
Referee:‬ L. Probert‎
Attendance:‬ 25458‎
 
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Fulham 1-0 Stoke

Dimitar Berbatov's wonderful volley gave the Cottagers a lead that they held on to thanks to a fine goalkeeping performance from Mark Schwarzer, who saved Jon Walters' penalty

By Jay Jaffa

  • Mark Schwarzer
    4
    1
    4.00

    Mark Schwarzer

    Made a smart low save from Walters inside the first 10 minutes but otherwise had a quiet first half. Had to make a fine stop from Crouch as Senderos foolishly left a loose ball roll through into the box. Completed a brilliant display, diving to his right and holding on to Walters' penalty.

  • John Arne Riise
    0
    1
    3.00

    John Arne Riise

    Got forward well and had a couple of speculative efforts at goal - one just over (though irrelevant as the whistle had blown) and one well held by Begovic. Continued the theme in the second half, stroking a shot just over the far top corner with the outside of his left foot. One of his better games for Fulham.

  • Philippe Senderos
    0
    2
    2.50

    Philippe Senderos

    Had a comfortable half alongside Hangeland, dropping off his partner to clear up loose balls but almost allowed Stoke back into the game as he left a loose ball for Schwarzer to mop up. Lucky his goalkeeper had the reflexes to block Crouch's effort.

  • Brede Hangeland
    1
    2
    3.00

    Brede Hangeland

    Was the stopper of the pair and made it his duty to follow Crouch and try and dominate him in the air. Did the job well and looked back to his confident best.

  • Sascha Riether
    3
    1
    3.50

    Sascha Riether

    Overlapped when he could on his return to the first team and fired a magnificent cross in for Berbatov's first chance of the game. Continued to fly forward and provided the cross that led to the only goal of the game. Must surely be one of the signings of the season.

  • Steve Sidwell
    0
    2
    3.00

    Steve Sidwell

    Had plenty of space in midfield to get on the ball and provide Fulham a decent tempo to their play. Closed the half by playing a neat one-two on the edge of the box and lashing his shot just wide.

  • Giorgos Karagounis
    3
    2
    3.50

    Giorgos Karagounis

    Smashed a scorching free kick that forced Begovic to tip over his bar and otherwise kept things simple in the middle of the park. Had a later effort that, again, fizzed over the crossbar. The old warrior was replaced with 10 minutes to play.

  • Ashkan Dejagah
    7
    1
    3.50

    Ashkan Dejagah

    Outfoxed Wilson and drew him into a foul and yellow card just after the half-hour mark. Linked really well with Riether and was direct with his attacking. Unfortunate to concede a penalty but his arms were high. Switched to the left and had much more joy up against Shotton and combined well with Riise.

  • Damien Duff
    0
    2
    2.50

    Damien Duff

    Took a mean set-piece but struggled to get beyond Shotton when he had space to run at the full-back. Moved to the right and caused Wilson a few problems but it was a quiet day for the Irishman and he was replaced late in the game by Emanuelson.

  • Dimitar Berbatov
    9
    1
    4.00

    Dimitar Berbatov

    Wrestled for dominance up against Huth and Shawcross and almost opened the scoring but knocked a loose ball over the bar in the ninth minute. Guilty of being a touch too elaborate when one-on-one in the box, flicking the ball for support runners instead of backing himself to create a chance. When he finally did go alone, he struck a sublime volley from a tight angle into the top corner to give Fulham the half-time lead. Tried another volley, this time on his left, after he flicked the ball past Huth and back on to his weaker foot, but Begovic saved well.

  • Bryan Ruiz
    1
    3
    4.00

    Bryan Ruiz Top of the Match

    Was booked for his very own 'hand of God' moment as he padded a Duff cross into the Stoke net. Slotted in just behind Berbatov and fed his striker intelligently, if a little sporadically. Drifted by Shawcross on the byline and set up Berbatov but the striker could not get a shot off. Switched play expertly in the second half and played with a touch of class that only few are capable of.

Substitutions

  • Chris Baird
    0
    0
    2.50

    Chris Baird

    Came on to add solidity to Fulham with 10 to go but was caught in possession in midfield.

  • Urby Emanuelson
    0
    0

    Urby Emanuelson

    Late introduction for Damien Duff on the left flank.

  • Mladen Petric
    0
    0

    Mladen Petric

    Last-minute sub for Berbatov.

  • Asmir Begovic
    0
    0
    3.00

    Asmir Begovic

    Took two high crosses confidently before tipping a fine Karagounis free kick over the bar. Could do nothing about Berbatov's rasping volley but was equal to the Bulgarian's second effort, falling onto the shot and keeping Stoke in with a chance.

  • Geoff Cameron
    1
    0
    2.00

    Geoff Cameron

    Operated in front of Shotton to help stem the Riise/Duff axis. The pair were quieter than the right flank but still posed problems and Cameron did little to impact the Fulham flow. Replaced shortly after half-time by Jerome.

  • Robert Huth
    0
    0
    3.00

    Robert Huth

    Showed machismo, standing tall in the face of a Duff piledriver, chesting it to safety but may feel a bit peeved that his defensive header was volleyed back past him for Fulham's opener.

  • Marc Wilson
    0
    0
    2.00

    Marc Wilson

    Made his long-awaited return to first-team action since suffering a broken leg but was booked after a late lunge on Dejagah. Looked rusty.

  • Ryan Shawcross
    0
    0
    2.50

    Ryan Shawcross

    Did his usual, heading away dangerous balls and preventing Berbatov from finding too much space, but the Bulgarian's invention sometimes baffled the centre-back. Was booked for a late challenge on Karagounis and was chasing the shadow of Ruiz as he dribbled beyond him. Not the dominant presence of 12 months ago.

  • Ryan Shotton
    0
    0
    3.00

    Ryan Shotton

    Stuck to Duff impressively in the first half, not allowing the Irishman to beat him one-on-one. Found the going more tough in the second half when Dejagah switched to his flank.

  • Glenn Whelan
    0
    0
    2.50

    Glenn Whelan

    Had the first shot of the game, lashing wildly from the edge of the box but otherwise offered a screen in front of the defence. Showed little desire to push on and support the frontmen.

  • Steven N'Zonzi
    0
    0
    2.00

    Steven N'Zonzi

    Caught by a flailing Berbatov arm and suffered what looked like a broken nose inside the first 15 minutes but soldiered on. Foolishly open-hand punched Ruiz moments later and was extremely lucky just to get a booking. Never recovered and had a poor game.

  • Matthew Etherington
    0
    0
    3.00

    Matthew Etherington

    Should have received a cross from Walters early in the game but wasn't found. Subsequently suffered an injury and was replaced on the 24th minute by Shea.

  • Jonathan Walters
    0
    0
    2.00

    Jonathan Walters Flop of the Match

    Broke the offside trap but saw Schwarzer palm his effort away when a cross seemed the better option. Did not got involved as much as he would have liked but had a great chance to equalise from the penalty spot - only to be denied by a Schwarzer save.

  • Peter Crouch
    0
    0
    2.50

    Peter Crouch

    Won his share of headers but his passing was askew and he was guilty of conceding possession a number of times. Almost drew Stoke level as he accelerated past a bemused Senderos but was denied by a great Schwarzer save.

Substitutions

  • Brek Shea
    2
    0
    2.50

    Brek Shea

    Came on earlier than he would have expected for Etherington to make his Stoke debut but looked to struggle with the pace of the game. Stuck to his guns from wide left and won a penalty, hooking a ball on to the hands of Dejagah.

  • Kenwyne Jones
    0
    0
    2.50

    Kenwyne Jones

    On with 20 to play for Crouch but found Hangeland and Senderos in their groove.

  • Cameron Jerome
    0
    0
    2.50

    Cameron Jerome

    Came on for Cameron, pushing Walters out to the right but couldn't find a sniff of goal.

Results
 
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Ranking
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15 2