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Fulham 3-0 West Brom Prem04 1213 The Guardian

last updated Tuesday 18th September 2012, 9:08 AM
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David Hytner at The Guardian

Fulham (2) 3 West Brom (0) 0

Martin Jol was full of praise for Dimitar Berbatov after he had marked his home debut with two goals at the expense of .

More unusually, however, the Fulham manager was appreciative of the all-round effort of his 31-year-old signing from Manchester United.

"I think he did more than he has ever done before in his life," the Dutchman said.

"He was at the back, he was in midfield, he was up front and he scored a good goal so I was happy.

Berbatov helped to fill the gap left by the departure of Clint Dempsey to Tottenham as he helped his new side to a comfortable victory over a visiting team reduced to 10 men in the first half when Peter Odemwingie was sent off for kicking Sascha Riether.

For his first goal, Berbatov bent the ball inside a post past the excellent Ben Foster; the second came from a penalty at the end of the first half.

Steve Sidwell added the third in the 89th minute as Fulham secured their second win of the season.

Jol is hopeful that his new Bulgarian forward can keep the goals coming for Fulham.

"That is a challenge for him," he said.

"I think he scored 23 goals when I had him at Spurs.

I'm sure that if he is fit then he will do what Clint Dempsey did for us.

"My whole midfield was new, my front-line was new, [we played] a different system.

I was really pleased they stepped up a gear to satisfy us.

We lost five midfield players and no-one came in so I was very pleased with Bairdy [Chris Baird] and [Steve] Sidwell."

West Brom's head coach, Steve Clarke, suffered his first league defeat in charge of the team.

"I was disappointed with the way we started the game," he said.

"I thought we allowed Fulham to get too much control in the game, we started slowly and suffered for that because we lost a goal.

The biggest disappointment in the first half was losing the second goal right on half-time."

But Clarke refused to use the dismissal of Odemwingie as an excuse and was more content with how his side performed after half-time.

"We are all human, everybody has got emotions," he said.

"He thought he had a free-kick against him, the red mist obviously came down and he will take his punishment.

"He will get his three-game ban and the club have got a disciplinary process we will go through, and we move on.

In football it happens, people get sent off.

I was happier with the second-half performance.

I think we approached the game well second half and we tried to cause a few problems."

Source David Hytner at The Guardian
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