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Fulham 5-0 Wolves Prem27 BBCSport

last updated Tuesday 06th March 2012, 2:29 PM
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Alistair Magowan at BBC Sport

Fulham (2) 5 Wolverhampton (0) 0

Pavel Pogrebnyak's hat-trick earned Fulham a third consecutive win as they consigned new Wolves boss Terry Connor to a crushing first defeat.

The Russian striker headed in Damien Duff's corner after 36 minutes before sweeping in Andy Johnson's low cross before the break.

Clint Dempsey rounded Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey before Pogrebnyak grabbed his third after Johnson's shot.

And Dempsey added a second to complete the humiliation for the visitors.

Johnson could have added to Connor's misery when he hit the bar, but the manner in which Wolves seemed to capitulate will give the new manager real concern in only his second game in charge.

Use accessible player and disable flyout menus Fulham's victory was the first time they have won three successive games since 2008 when they avoided relegation, but now they sit eighth in the Premier League.

And they were on top from the start against a Wolves side who shipped five goals for the second time in three games to slip into the bottom three in place of Blackburn.

Coincidently, it is Blackburn who Wolves face at Molineux next Saturday, but there were worrying reminders of the 5-1 defeat by West Bromwich Albion which led to the sacking of Connor's predecessor Mick McCarthy.

Pogrebnyak, 28, has now scored five goals in his three games since signing from Stuttgart at the end of January and his 'classic hat-trick' of header, right-foot and left-foot goals marked a superb return for someone so new to the Premier League.

His link-up play with Johnson and Dempsey, who took his tally for the season to 18, was encouraging for the season ahead but they came up against a defence which put them under little pressure once they attacked the visitors' goal.

It was the second time that Connor had found his team two goals down at the break but, whereas they battled back to draw 2-2 at Newcastle last weekend, at Craven Cottage things just went from bad to worse.

John Arne Riise was a whisker away from giving Fulham the lead on two occasions before Pogrebnyak's first goal, and Wolves were not helped by an injury to Karl Henry midway through the first period.

Kevin Doyle, who has scored twice in his last three games, headed wide but Fulham's new striker stooped to head in Duff's corner to put the hosts in charge.

There was a question mark on whether Richard Stearman had actually touched Moussa Dembele's shot which led to the corner, but there was no quibble about the second goal just before the break when Kevin Foley was guilty of giving the ball away in his own half.

Dempsey worked the ball out to Johnson on the right, and his cross was met confidently by Pogrebnyak, who tucked it in.

Any hopes of a Wolves riposte looked over when a simple Danny Murphy pass sliced open the defence and Dempsey ran onto it, rounding Hennessey to score.

Stephen Fletcher, who started on the bench after missing the Newcastle game through illness, came on to try to galvanise the team.

Use accessible player and disable flyout menus However, his first action was to watch Pogrebnyak score his third goal when he followed up Johnson's saved shot.

And, when Dempsey finished a flowing passing move, it shone a bright light on the size of the task now facing Wolves and Connor as they aim to avoid the drop.

New Fulham signing Mahamadou Diarra came on to set up Dempsey's second goal and must have been puzzled by how easy it was in his introduction to England's top flight.

Fulham boss Martin Jol on Pogrebnyak: "It's always nice to see players coming to England and coping with these stories about adjusting to England but right from the first training session he has looked strong and fit.

You need players who will give him the assists and then, as you can see, he scores with his right foot, his left foot and with his head.

"He helps the other strikers as well.

We have Andy Johnson, who is always involved, and Clint Dempsey, who equalled his best goal tally for the season, but now we have Pavel so it is very pleasing.

" Wolves boss Terry Connor: "I knew before we are going to have good days and bad days, last week was good against Newcastle, today was the other side but we have to deal with it the same and move on to the Blackburn game next Saturday.

Fulham Schwarzer, Hughes, Senderos, Hangeland, John Arne Riise, Duff (Davies 80), Murphy (Diarra 69), Dembele, Dempsey, Johnson, Pogrebnyak (Frei 85).
Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Orlando Sa, Etuhu, Halliche.

Booked: Hangeland.

Goals: Pogrebnyak 36, Pogrebnyak 44, Dempsey 56, Pogrebnyak 61, Dempsey 83.

Wolverhampton Hennessey, Zubar, Stearman, Berra, Ward, Kightly (Fletcher 61), Foley (Hunt 84), Henry (Milijas 19), O'Hara, Jarvis, Doyle.

Subs Not Used: De Vries, Johnson, Bassong, Jonsson.

Booked: Zubar, Berra.

Att: 24, 034

Ref: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

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