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Fulham 3-0 West Brom Prem04 1213 The Sun

last updated Tuesday 18th September 2012, 9:14 AM
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Fulham (2) 3 West Brom (0) 0

Dimitar Berbatov is back from the dead and getting his teeth into a new start at Fulham.

The vampish Bulgarian braved the bright sunlight and scored twice on his home debut as he looks to resurrect his career after being dumped by Manchester United.

His two first-half goals also breathed new life into Fulham's season as they won for the first time since the opening game.

All the painful memories of losing star names Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele were also forgotten as the rejuvenated striker showed his class in every respect as well as finishing.

Berbatov, 32, has been hailed as 'the best forward ever' to sign for Fulham - by the man who signed him, funnily enough.

That is up for debate of course but boss Martin Jol did recognise that his team needed a regular goalscorer and they do not come much more highly-rated or underutilised than Berbatov.

It is also well known that Jol has longed to be re-united with the player he vowed to sell 'over my dead body' when the pair were at Tottenham.

Four years later, the hitman who bears more than a passing resemblance to Count Dracula and the big, bald Dutchman are finally back together.

And within a couple of weeks of a bargain £4million deal, their double act is already proving a success.

Even before scoring his first goal in the 32nd minute, Berba's presence was sending shivers down the spines of West Brom.

He was harassing defenders and his own team-mates, urging them to play his way and feed him the balls which could draw blood from the opposition.

He was also defending and putting in a decent shift all over the pitch.

With Steve Sidwell adding toughness in midfield, it was pretty much Fulham's game from start to finish - especially after Peter Odemwingie's sending-off on 38 minutes.

Jol said: "I think Dimi did more today than he has ever done in his life.

He scored a good goal, was at the back, in midfield, everywhere.

"He could have gone to Italy, with Juventus.

He could even have gone to bigger English clubs if reports are to be believed.

So we have got a good deal by signing him.

"He has always scored goals.

Even when he wasn't playing so regular.

I had a new front line today, a new midfield, a new system and a young bench.

Dimitar told us he wanted to give us a result."

His first goal was a beauty and was teed up by the impressive footwork of Alex Kacaniklic - or Kaka as he is know here.

The Swede wriggled into the box then cut the ball back to where Berba was waiting.

Two steps and the ball was curled past Ben Foster at half speed but with superb accuracy.

His second was from the spot when Billy Jones brought down Kacaniklic.

Again it was a placed shot over power which was more pleasing on the eye.

Sidwell got his reward for a great game when he rammed home a rebound from Hugo Rodallega's header against the bar with a minute to go.

For West Brom, yesterday was a horror story.

The only kick they had which was on target was Odemwingie's disgraceful lunge at Fulham defender Sascha Riether which deservedly got him a straight red.

Baggies boss Steve Clarke said: "Peter will take his punishment.

The red mist came down.

I was more disappointed with the way we started the game."


FULHAM: Schwarzer 7, Riether 6, Hughes 5, Hangeland 7, Riise 6, Duff 7 (Smith 5), Sidwell 7, Baird 6, Kacaniklic 8 (Kasami 5), Berbatov 9, Rodallega 6.
Subs not used: Stockdale, Kelly, Karagounis, Briggs, Trotta.

WEST BROM: Foster 7, Jones 5, McAuley 6, Olsson 5, Ridgewell 5, Fortune 5 (Brunt 5), Yacob 5 (Rosenburg 5), Mulumbu 5, Odemwingie 3, Morrison 5, Long 5 (Lukaku 5).
Subs not used: Myhill, Dorrans, Gera, Dawson.

Sent Off: Odemwingie.

REF: R East 9

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