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Fulham 3-0 Stoke Prem25 Independent

last updated Monday 13th February 2012, 12:43 PM
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Conrad Leach/Gordon Tynan at The Independent

Fulham (2) 2 Stoke (0) 1

Pavel Pogrebnyak wears bright lime-and-orange boots but Fulham's newest signing may end up standing out for his goals and not just his footwear.

Pavel Pogrebnyak is not easy to say, but if he produces more strikes such as the one that set the Cottagers on their way to victory over Stoke yesterday, then everyone will get enough practice in pronouncing it.

The Russian forward, who signed last month on loan until the end of the season from Stuttgart, took only 16 minutes to make his mark on his debut and immediately demonstrated his speed of mind and foot.

John Arne Riise set himself up for a powerful shot that he pulled low in the direction of his team-mate.

Pogrebnyak, standing on the penalty spot, controlled the Norwegian's effort with his right foot and moved it on to his left, curling his shot calmly into the top corner.

Pogrebnyak, 28, is no mug, as three years in the Bundesliga and this goal can prove.

He will play in Euro 2012 with Russia and won the Uefa Cup with Zenit St Petersburg four years ago.

Martin Jol, the Fulham manager, may well have picked up a gem as he reshapes his forward line after Bobby Zamora's sale to QPR.

Jol, who knew the Russian from his time as manager at Hamburg, said: "Pavel was fit, he got his work permit, and we don't have a lot of No 9s at this club.

He was keen to start.

"You always have to wait and see if someone from abroad fits in but it was a very good thing we had him lined up to come in on loan.

Most want permanent deals.

He said OK, I can play for four or five months and then we see.

He realised it was a different league but he can cope." Stoke appeared dazed and confused by that goal and were directionless for most of the match.

Only Ryan Shawcross's headed near-post goal, 12 minutes from time, led to the inevitable pounding of Fulham's penalty area.

Prior to that Mark Schwarzer had led an undisturbed life in the Fulham goal, well shielded by Aaron Hughes and Brede Hangeland, but Stoke's typical aggression was notable by its absence.

After Pogrebnyak's goal, Clint Dempsey doubled the lead with one that was just as impressive.

The American moved forward unchallenged, and from 30 yards out thrashed his shot past Thomas Sorensen.

His shot twanged the crossbar and then hit the Dane on his back, causing it to roll over the goal-line.

Technically an own goal, but morally it was Dempsey's and it was enough to condemn Tony Pulis's side to their third League defeat in a row and fourth in five League games.

The Stoke City manager, Tony Pulis, was left bemoaning the state of refereeing in the Premier League after the Fulham debutant Pavel Pogrebnyak failed to incur punishment for a rash challenge.

The Russian, who had earlier opened the scoring in Fulham's 2-1 victory on Saturday, caught Wilson Palacios high on the leg in front of the dugout, but referee Chris Foy failed to censure the player.

"Last week we had Robert Huth sent off [against Sunderland] for a challenge where he is going in and has pulled his two feet away and had both feet facing the ground," Pulis argued.

"We have seen a challenge today from the Russian lad on Palacios where he catches Wilson on the knee.

The referee didn't see it.

Keith Friend, the fourth official, is stood where we are and it was a very poor challenge.

The inconsistency this season is really, really poor." Pulis had earlier in the week pledged to send a DVD to the Football Association in an effort to clarify the laws on tackling.

Pogrebnyak later left the field injured, hobbling off after a challenge with Ryan Shawcross.

The 28-year-old, playing his first match since joining from Stuttgart in the transfer window, opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour when he trapped John Arne Riise's effort on the edge of the area before rifling past Thomas Sorensen.

Clint Dempsey's similarly powerful long-range effort cannoned in off Sorensen to double Fulham's lead at the break before a late Shawcross header gave Stoke brief hope.

Fulham Schwarzer, Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, John Arne Riise, Murphy (Etuhu 80), Duff, Dembele, Dempsey, Ruiz (Baird 89), Pogrebnyak (Davies 62).
Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Gecov, Frei, Trotta.

Booked: Hangeland (79,f).

Pogrebnyak 16 (left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by John Arne Riise),
Sorensen og 28 (Right-footed shot by Clint Dempsey from left channel some 35+ yards out hits the bar. The ball rebounds into the goal off the back of keeper Sorensen.)

Stoke Sorensen, Wilkinson (Shotton 68), Shawcross, Upson, Wilson, Walters, Whelan, Palacios, Etherington (Pennant 67), Jones (Fuller 66), Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Begovic, Whitehead, Jerome, Woodgate.

Booked: Wilson, Palacios.

Goals: Shawcross 78.

Att: 23, 555

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

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