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West Brom 1-2 Fulham Premiership Matchday 21 1213 Daily Mail

last updated Wednesday 02nd January 2013, 2:04 PM


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Neil Moxley at Daily Mail


West Brom (0) 1 Fulham (1) 2


Fireworks outside the Fulham team hotel made New Year's Eve an uncomfortable night for Martin Jol but a sparkling performance by Dimitar Berbatov helped his team claim only their second away win of the season.

A resolute and effective display lifted the mood of Jol, who was non-plussed when revellers outside the Hyatt hotel in Birmingham gathered for a late celebration.

'To have an away win under our belts on the first day of the new year is fantastic, particularly after what happened last night,' he said.

'There were 2,000 people outside at a fireworks display.

In fairness, they were the best fireworks I've ever seen.

'It kept the players up as well.

I thought it was supporters, but it wasn't.

It had clearly been arranged for a long time.

'My personal assistant booked the hotel but didn't know there was a big celebration.

There was a lot of noise for about 15-20 minutes but after that everybody went home.

' Jol said those words with a smile.

But he was less than impressed with a line of questioning focusing on Berbatov's contribution.

The former Manchester United star scored the first goal, played with such beautiful simplicity and worked hard, too.

'I don't want to talk about him all the time because other players will get annoyed,' said Jol.

'If you don't get the results, people pick on him.

If you do get results, then you will say he's fantastic.

I'm very happy he is playing for us.'

A low-key first-half was lifted shortly before the interval.

Berbatov flighted a 30-yard pass out to Ashkan Dejagah on the right.

The Iran midfielder cut inside Liam Ridgewell and pulled the ball back to Berbatov, who side-footed the ball past unsighted West Bromwich keeper Ben Foster.

Albion were level four minutes after half-time, though, when right back Billy Jones beat Fulham's Matthew Briggs and set up Romelu Lukaku, who slotted the ball into an empty net from six yards.

The home side then looked the more likely to win the game.

Lukaku thumped a shot against the woodwork but the turning point came when Youssouf Mulumbu was sent clean through, only for David Stockdale to save.

James Morrison hit the post following up and Chris Brunt's shot was headed off the line by Aaron Hughes.

Within seconds, Fulham had retaken the lead.

Bryan Ruiz, whose main contribution before then was to have matched an orange pair of boots to Fulham's away strip, picked out Alexander Kacaniklic.

The Swede controlled the ball, Gabriel Tamas misjudged his challenge, Jones failed to get close enough and Foster was caught in no-man's land.

Kacaniklic rolled the ball into the net for his third of the season.

The hosts pressed for an equaliser and Jones had a late effort cleared by Hughes, but Fulham held on.

Outside the two Manchester clubs, West Bromwich have taken more points at home than anyone else this season and boss Steve Clarke said: 'We have set really high standards at home.

Both their goals were disappointing - they were certainly avoidable.

'The first was a counter-attack, we got caught.

The second, we just switched off.

We were so far on top in the game it just looked as if we were going to go 2-1 up and we were caught cold.'

West Brom: Foster, Jones, Tamas, McAuley, Ridgewell, Brunt (Thorne 84), Mulumbu, Gera (Long 65), Morrison, Fortune (Odemwingie 65), Lukaku.
Subs Not Used: Myhill, Rosenberg, Jara Reyes, Dawson.

Goals Lukaku 49.

Fulham: Stockdale, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Briggs, Dejagah, Sidwell, Karagounis (Rodallega 76), Kacaniklic, Ruiz, Berbatov (Senderos 90).
Subs Not Used: Somogyi, Baird, Kasami, Richardson, Frei.

Goals: Berbatov 39, Kacaniklic 58.

Att: 25,436.

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).






















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