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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
May 3, 2014
• 10:00 AM
• Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Referee: C. Foy
• Attendance: 27429
P. Odemwingie 39'
M. Arnautović 54'
O. Assaidi 73'
J. Walters 82'
K. Richardson 80'
That's it from me, I've been Greg Taylor, have a great bank holiday weekend.
Fulham were poor all afternoon, they were beaten on the break by Stoke's rapid passing and direct play, with Assaidi, Odemiwngie and Arnautovic all playing brilliantly. After 13 years Fulham are relegated and will be playing Championship footbal next season.
Stoke were superb, goals from Odemwingie, Arnautovic, Assaidi and Walters capped a fine display and ensures they finish in the top half of the Premier League table for the first time.
90' + 2'
Moments left now for Fulham. They've simply been outclassed today and with Sunderland still winning at Old Trafford it looks like the end for Fulham in the Premier League.
Can Stoke get a fifth, they have a corner?
Fulham have a corner but nothing comes of it, Stoke counter with Arnautovic who plays a dleightful flick through for Walters but there's too much on it and Stockdale claims the ball.
STAT ATTACK: Fulham have won just 38 of their 246 Premier League away games, a win percentage of just 15%.
Assist Charlie Adam
Goal Jonathan Walters
GOAL! What an end to this game! Walters ha sjust come on but he'sd already got himself a goal to join in with the Stoke party. He latches onto a pass by Adam's through ball and calmly slots it into the bottom corner.
Assist Darren Bent
Goal Kieran Richardson
GOAL! Can this be the beginning of a great comeback. one thinks not but it's a nice finish from Richardson to pull a goal back. It's fine technique from the former Man Utd man to crash in a low shot after Darren Bent knocked a cross back into the six yard box.
Nice touch by Mark Hughes, he brings on Matthew Etherington who is leaving the club at the end of the season and has been such a big player for the club in the Premier League.
Yellow Card Ashkan Dejagah
Assist Marko Arnautovic
Goal Oussama Assaidi
GOAL! Assaidi gets a deserved goal and piles on the misery for Fulham. Another goal on the counter-attack, Stoke break with Marko Arnautovic who lays it on a plate for Oussama Assaidi to bury from close range.The away fans have seen enough and head for the exits.
STAT ATTACK: Only the Premier League's top five have taken more points at home than Stoke this season - along with Tottenham they have collected 33 points from 18 games.
I wonder what Mitroglou is thinking. He leaves a side in Champions League football for a relegation scrap but isn't played and is now destined for the second tier of English football?
Parker gives a foul away right on the edge of the area. The former England captain is playing right back now after the re shuffle of formation. Arnautovic takes it but it hits the wall and Fulham regain possession.
Yellow Card Scott Parker
Dejagah cuts inside and runs at the Stoke defence but fails to look up and see Richardson in acres of space and Whelan nips in to tackle him.
CLOSE! Fulham are in a real mess at the moment. They're heads are down and they can't get out of their own half. Arnautovic goes close again but Stockdale thwarts him again with a low save. Magath looks flummoxed on the touchline, his players lacking belief.
FACT: Fulham joined the elite of English football in 2001. Of the current roll-call of top-flight clubs only seven can boast a longer continuous run of seasons in the Premier League - Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham.
GREAT SAVE! The ball falls to Assaidi on the edge of the area, the Moroccan shapes to bend it and does but Stockdale makes a great low save and the Potters have a corner.
What can Fulham do? Magath looks to the bench and signals for Mitroglou to come on. What can the Greek forward do? The Cottagers need a minor miracle.
Assist Peter Odemwingie
Goal Marko Arnautovic
GOAL! Fulham are surely down and out. It's a great counter, Assaidi sets Odemwingie on his way, he squares the ball to an unmarked Arnautovic on the edge of the area who buries his effort past Stockdale. Fulham are destined for the Championship.
Fulham don't look like they're going to get anything out of this in their current state. Stoke have continued where they left off in the first half, lots of possession and fast breaks.
Little skirmish between Pieters and Dejaga, the Stoke defender kept the ball away from the fulham palyer and a few words were had. Referee Chris Foy come sover and tells them to shut up and get on with the game.
Hughes will be asking for more of the same from his side thsi half. Stoke have kept the ball well, and look dangerosu when they get their wide players involved.
Stoke's dominance is for all to see in the first half stats. They had 14 shots to Fulham's two and had 68 per cent possession. Parker has a pot shot from distance, but a better start by Fulham.
Fulham get us going again, kicking offf in their blue away strip. What has Magath said to his troops?
The players are back on the pitch we'll be underway shortly.
Fulham however really are in serious trouble. They look a mess going forward and are getting ripped apart by Stoke's quick passing, with Assaidi and Arnautovic in particular causing numerous problems for the Fulham defence. Magath really has a task on his hands to get his players fired up, because that first half performance was abject.
HALF TIME: There's the whistle for the break and Stoke go in with a deserved lead. They really have been excellent during the opening 45 minutes and their performance was capped with a goal by Odemwingie just before the interval.
Fulham need to get to the break and reset. Stoke are playing some wonderful football. I can't believe I'm saying that but it's true. Assaidi and Arnautovic have caused havoc down the wings and Fulham can't get out their own half right now.
Fulham aren't helping themselves but they aren't getting any help elsewhere either. Both Villa and Sunderland lead, what is Magath going to say to his players at half time?
Fulham really are on the ropes. Arnautovic beats his man again and unleashes a great effort from distance but Stockdale saves well.
Goal Peter Odemwingie
GOAL! Stoke lead and you can't say it hasn't been coming. Arnautovic hustles Riise on the byline, cuts it back to Ireland whose shot is deflected on the bar but falls for Odemwingie to tap into the net from a yard out. Fulham look like goners.
Neither side has created a clear cut chance yet but Stoke have been the better side. Fulham need to find some inspiration if they're to stave off relegation this afternoon.
Well Felix Magath is known to be ruthless and he's shown that side of him again. Dejagah replaces Holtby after just 35 minutes who seems to have been sacrificed for a different formation.
Fulham really are on the back foot but they counter at speed, Richardson plays a neat one two with Holtby on the edge of the area but the German forward's delivery is poor and Wilson clears.
CLOSE! Assaidi really has been very bright on the left side this half. Again he skips past the Fulham defence and shoots to Stockdale's right but the Fulham stopper makes another good save. He's been excellent too this half.
Both sides get free kicks in quick succession. Stoke have the first one, it's whipped in and falls to the edge of the box to Ireland who takes aim but Stockdale comfortably gets down to it. Down the other end Richardson is fouled, Holtby takes the free kick but it goes straight out of play for a goal kick. Fulham must take advantage of these set pieces.
CLOSE! Stoke almost take the lead through Ireland down the other end, Diarra cheaply gives the ball away to Ireland on the edge of the area who shoots low and hard but Stockdale tips it round the post for a corner.
Fulham really have woken up here. Heitinga runs 30 yards from his own half and takes aim from the edge of the area but hsi effort is blcoked.
CHANCE! Holtby takes aim from distance and his shot is deflected out for a corner, it's taken short but the delivery is dreadful and Stoke regain possession.
Foul by Parker on N'zonzi near the centre circle. Perhaps the first few signs of frustration. Stoke have started the better of the two sides but you feel if Fulham were to take the lead they could go on and win this match.
FACT: There has not been a league draw between these sides in their last 10 meetings, and only two in the last 15. Surely we can expect a goal soon then?
Fulham need to try and get a foothold in this game if they're to get anything from this match, Parker has just given the ball away and at the moment they look every bit a Championship outfit.
Nice interplay between the Stoke front three, Arnautovic links up with Odemwingie with the Nigerian taking aim from 20 yards but his shot is well wide of Stockdale's post and Fulham can breathe a sigh of relief.
Wilson cheaply gives the ball away at the back, Sidwell feeds Bent and the former England striker is away and onside but he turns back and lays it off to Richardson but his cross is poor and it's a wasted opportunity.
Bent is fouled out wide and Holtby takes the resulting free kick but it's too close to Begovic and the Stoke keeper calmly plucks the ball out the air. Stoke definitely on top, with Assaidi looking dangerous on the left flank.
Game has gone a little flat so here's a STAT ATTACK: Fulham have conceded nine goals in their last five league games, and have not kept a clean sheet away from home since the opening day of the season.
Burn plays a searching ball toward Bent but he's not the type of player to hassle the defence. Pieters goes down the line to Assaidi who beats Burn in the box but his cut back is straight to Hangeland and Fulham clear.
Fulham really will be looking to their experienced campaigners like Parker, Sidwell and Hangeland to lead by example this afternoon. Fulham fans singing loudly as Begovic goes long with a clearance.
CHANCE! Great chance for the home side. Arnautovic gets down the right wing and in behind the Fulham defence, he cuts it back to Assaidi but he blazes his shot from 12 yards out well over the bar.
Positive start by Fulham, Sidwell and Parker linking up well in midfield, feed Richardson out wide but he slips on the turn and clatters into Cameron. Stoke have a free kick.
Stoke get us going in their red and white striped home strip, can they do what they have to and stay in the top tier?
The players are out on the pitch, we'll be underway shortly.
For the home side Marc Muniesa replaces centre back Ryan Shawcross following his red card against Spurs last week. Oussama Assaidi has been declared fit and starts while Peter Odemwingie and Stephen Ireland lead the line.
Fulham fans will be delighted to see Sidwell's name on the team sheet, he's been a shining light in a very poor side this season. Darren Bent who has been up and down all season starts while January signing Mitroglou warms the bench. But recent match winner Hugo Rodallega is out injured so he won't have any part to play in this crucial match.
SUBSTITUTES: Joronen, Kasami, Mitroglou, Dejagah, Woodrow, Riether, Amorebieta
FULHAM: Stockdale, Heitinga, Hangeland, Burn, Riise, Holtby, Parker, Sidwell, Diarra, Richardson, Bent
SUBSTITUTES: Sorensen, Palacios, Adam, Walters, Crouch, Etherington, Wilkinson
STOKE: Begovic; Pieters, Muniesa, Wilson, Cameron; Arnautovic, Nzonzi, Whelan, Assaidi; Ireland, Odemwingie
Before we go any further, let's have a look at how both sides are lining up, starting with the home side.
Stoke may not appear to have much to play for, but their former manager will demand his side performs well to ensure both the club's Premier League points record (47) and their highest Premier League finish (11th) are beaten.
But oh how different it could have been. Last weekend they were leading Hull by half time, all was well in South London. The Cottagers seemed to be coasting to victory but their all too often defensive frailties reared their ugly head again costing them valuable points as Hull drew level at 2-2.
So today really is crunch day for Fulham. The Cottagers will be relegated after 13 campaigns at the top table if they lose this game and either Norwich or Sunderland win over the weekend.
Hello and welcome to this afternoon's LIVE play-by-play commentary of the Premier League as Stoke City host Fulham here at the Britannia Stadium. My name is Greg Taylor and I'll be guiding you through all the action.
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