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West Brom 1-2 Fulham Premiership Matchday 21 1213 The Guardian

last updated Wednesday 02nd January 2013, 2:11 PM


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The Guardian


West Brom (0) 1 Fulham (1) 2


The Fulham manager, Martin Jol, praised his side's performance in winning 2-1 at West Bromwich after New Year's Eve fireworks had disrupted their sleep.

The team had stayed in a hotel in the centre of Birmingham and had been kept awake past midnight by the new year celebrations.

Yet there was nothing sleepy about Fulham's display as goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Alexander Kacaniklic sealed only their second victory in the past 13 games.

"Probably the best fireworks were at 12 o'clock in front of my hotel," said Jol.

"That was annoying.

I said we needed a quiet hotel and it was unbelievable.

There were 2,000 people in front of my window.

I think it kept the players up too so I was worried.

At first I thought it was fans, but it wasn't.

To then get a win under our belts the next day, on the first of January, is fantastic.

"It was typical English! Unbelievable celebrations for 15 or 20 minutes then everybody goes home and shoots off and it's quiet after 30 minutes.

I was in a penthouse suite at the Hyatt Hotel.

The next time we'll go to the Moat House where I lived for seven months when I was younger [as an Albion player].

" Berbatov was again an inspirational figure for the visitors with his vision and control and opened the scoring with a firm shot after Ashkan Dejagah had turned inside Liam Ridgewell before squaring the ball across the box.

So tame had been Albion's first-half performance that they left the field at half-time to boos but the atmosphere quickly changed when Romelu Lukaku profited from excellent service from Billy Jones to equalise with a tap-in three minutes after the break.

The goal revitalised the home side and David Stockdale had to deny Lukaku and Zoltan Gera in quick succession before Aaron Hughes goal-line clearance from Chris Brunt's shot prevented Albion's revival from causing further damage.

After 57 minutes and against the run of play, Fulham reaped the rewards of holding West Brom at bay when Bryan Ruiz played a lofted ball forward to Kacaniklic on the edge of the penalty area and the Sweden winger checked back inside to score what proved, for all Albion's frantic attempts to mount another comeback, to be the winner.






















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