- English Barclays Premier League
- 1 January 2013, 12:45pm
- The Hawthorns
- Attendance: 25,436
FULL-TIME: FULHAM WIN! What a big three points this is for Fulham who claim their first ever Premier League win at The Hawthorns. The Cottagers move a comforting seven points clear of the relegation zone whilst West Brom stay 7th. Thanks for joining Orange's live coverage. Stay tuned for the full-match report.
90+3 mins: Fulham wind down the clock with their last change and it's Berbatov coming off for Senderos.
90+1 mins: Chance! Jones belts the ball across the face of goal and Hughes gets a vital touch near his own goal-line to keep Fulham ahead!
90 mins: Only three minutes left for West Brom to nick a point from what has been a very difficult game for them.
87 mins: Another Lukaku header drifts off target from a West Brom corner. Then, at the other end, Kakaniklic smacks one straight at Foster after expert close control.
85 mins: Long bursts down the right channel for West Brom but the presence of Hangeland sees him take a heavy touch and the ball goes out for a goal-kick.
83 mins: As Berbatov's powerful shot deflects behind, West Brom make their final change with Brunt coming off for Thorne.
82 mins: West Brom are pressing for that equaliser now and Lukaku's dangerous cross from the left is mauled away by Stockdale at his near post.
79 mins:Ruiz takes a tumble when trying to latch onto Dejagah's classy backflick in the area. There's half an appeal for a penalty but the ref is having none of it.
76 mins: Jol makes a positive move with Rodallega replacing the Greek God Karagounis.
74 mins: Chances go begging at either end as Ruiz plays in Kakaniklic again who runs into trouble and Lukaku heads wide despite being under no pressure whatsoever!
71 mins: Berbatov is still in a strop as he pushes Tamas away after a hefty tackle. The resulting free-kick is drilled in with some menace but Foster does well to clamber over bodies to catch it.
68 mins: An offside Berbatov is fuming with Sidwell as the midfielder delays the ball through to the Bulgarian. His clever run wasted.
65 mins: A double change from West Brom follows with Long and Odemwingie coming on for Fortune and Gera.
63 mins:The frustration is showing again too as Mulumbu takes out Karagounis with a flailing arm. Mike Dean keeps the yellow card in his pocket though.
60 mins: West Brom are beginning to slip back into their horrible habits of the first-half after Kakaniklic's sucker punch. Time for Steve Clarke to make some changes perhaps?
57 MINS: FULHAM BACK AHEAD! Completely against the run of play too! Ruiz plays a lovely pass into the feet of KAKANIKLIC who sees off Jones and McAuley with a wonderful turn. He then rounds the move off with a clean, tidy finish underneath Foster!
54 mins:Stockdale denies Lukaku again from close range, the ball falls to Brunt who hits the foot of the left post then Hughes heads Morrison's goal-bound effort behind! It's fair to say West Brom have woken up now!
51 mins: Nearly double delight for Lukaku and West Brom! He shrugs off his marker before cracking the right post with a fierce strike. They look a completely different side!
48 MINS: GAME ON! WE'RE ALL-SQUARE! West Brom come out flying! Jones works his way to the right byline before squaring it to LUKAKU (who looks slightly offside as the ball is played) to smash into an empty net!
47 mins: Fulham fans must always wince when they see Berbatov down on the floor. Thankfully he's recovered from this knock and is back on the pitch.
45 mins: Steve Clarke has resisted the urge to change things at half-time and is keeping the faith in the starting eleven. The hosts restart us.
HALF-TIME: West Brom serve up more dross before Mike Dean brings the agony for the home fans to an end. Fulham go into the break with the lead but will be disappointed they are not further ahead. Join me again in 15 minutes to see if West Brom will wake up!
43 mins: West Brom try to drag themselves back into it but Lukaku nods wide of the right post. Quite frankly, their perfomance in this half does not warrant a goal.
39 mins: FULHAM FINALLY SCORE! It was always going to be that man BERBATOV! Fulham finally make their dominance count after Dejagah skips past Ridgewell in the area, plays it back to Berba who tucks it neatly past Foster's right glove.
37 mins: A quick shot from Morrison is turned behind for another West Brom corner which leads to nothing.
34 mins: This has not being a very pretty game to watch as West Brom continue to try and shoot themselves in the foot. A clear foul on Ruiz goes unnoticed by the ref which would have given Fulham a free-kick in a very dangerous position.
30 mins: A shocking pass back from Brunt gives Berbatov a clear sight of goal. He uncharacteristically rushes his shot though and as a result, it goes flying over the bar.
28 mins: Lukaku shows the desire and determination that has been missing from West Brom's game so far. He works back to nick the ball off Hughes and only a last-ditch tackle from Sidwell stops the on-loan striker from blasting a shot right towards Stockdale.
EE Derby -"following the game bored at work on NY Day :(" (My commentary isn't that bad surely?!)
25 mins: Signs now that West Brom are emerging from their sleepwalk as they bombard Fulham's left side. A poor header behind from Hangeland keeps them on the back foot but then Fortune commits a silly tackle, allowing the Cottagers to regroup.
22 mins: Lukaku keeps himself onside this time as another through ball comes his way but he's beaten to it by the alert Stockdale.
20 mins: A terrible kick from Foster brings more groans from the crowd and puts the Baggies under heavy pressure. They are let-off once again though as Fulham's attack loses momentum.
18 mins: Berbatov struts over to the referee after he gives West Brom quite a soft free-kick near the right touchline. Brunt whips the ball in to the back stick where McAuley heads it just wide. A rare round of applause follows from the home fans. That's the best it has got for them!
15 mins: A chance for West Brom to pump one into the box after Sidwell clatters Mulumbu just past the centre circle. The visitors manage to deal with two awkward crosses and begin to stroke the ball around again.
12 mins: There's nobody within at least three yards of Sidwell as he blazes one over the crossbar from 25 yards out. West Brom have yet to wake up!
9 mins: A lethargic Fortune is easily outmuscled down the right wing and Fulham win a corner after bursting forward. Ruiz pops it up to the near post where Hughes' little flick flashes across the face of goal.
Peter, Hartland -"come on fulham."
6 mins: The home fans are already urging their team on as they simply do not bother to chase down a couple of loose balls deep inside Fulham's half. Lukaku is then caught offside to add to the Baggies' frustration.
3 mins: Fulham start as bright as the sun that's blaring down on the Hawthorns. They are working the ball around patiently and are under no real pressure from the hosts.
0 mins: Fulham, who have never won a Premier League game at the Hawthorns, kick-off in their bright orange away shirts. That won't look very pleasing on the eye to those nursing hangovers!
Happy New Year and welcome to our build-up to the first Premier League game of 2013 as West Brom host Fulham.
Baggies head coach Steve Clarke rings the changes as the games continue to come thick and fast. Mulumbu, Fortune, Morrison, Gera and Lukaku come in for Thorne, Dorrans, Rosenberg, Odemwingie and Long for the high-flying hosts.
Fulham boss Martin Jol makes just one change despite their poor form of late. The switch comes in midfield with Alex Kacaniklic replacing the youngster Kerim Frei.
Mark Scott will be in the hotseat so send him your predictions, New Year's resolutions and anything else that's on your mind via the text box above.
- English Barclays Premier League
- 1 January 2013, 12:45pm
- The Hawthorns
- Attendance: 25,436
Fulham enjoyed the perfect start to 2013 after recording a first Premier League victory at The Hawthorns as Alex Kacaniklic's goal secured a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion.
The impressive Dimitar Berbatov had given Fulham a first-half lead, but the muscular presence of Romelu Lukaku drew the hosts level early in the second period.
However, Kacaniklic rolled home the decisive goal just before the hour mark to hand Fulham only a second win in 13 games to lift Martin Jol's side away from the relegation places.
A New Year hangover seemed to be affecting both teams for much of the first half, with a lack of fluency to the game and neither goalkeeper troubled.
Gareth McAuley and Gabriel Tamas headed set-pieces wide for West Brom, while at the opposite end Berbatov and Giorgos Karagounis both fired over from outside the penalty area.
A rare moment of class produced Fulham's opener six minutes before half-time as Berbatov sent Ashkan Dejagah scampering down the right before the Bulgarian ambled into the box to sweep home his team-mate's return pass.
After a lacklustre first half, West Brom were a different team in the second period and were level within four minutes when Lukaku was left alone inside the six-yard box to turn home Billy Jones' low pass following clever work by the full-back.
Lukaku, who has impressed during his loan spell from Chelsea, almost gave West Brom the lead three minutes later when his thumping volley came back off the upright.
The Belgium international was in the thick of things again on 55 minutes as his shot was kept out by David Stockdale before James Morrison struck the rebound against the post and Chris Brunt saw his goalbound effort diverted clear by Aaron Hughes.
Yet the Baggies were floored by a sucker-punch on 58 minutes as the recalled Kacaniklic superbly controlled Bryan Ruiz's pass on the edge of the box before slotting a low shot past the stranded Ben Foster.
Steve Clarke's side took time to recover from that setback and turned to Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long for inspiration, with the latter's cross 15 minutes from time headed wide by Lukaku.
Fulham were still a threat on the counter and could have had a penalty with 10 minutes to go when Ruiz was caught by Youssouf Mulumbu, but it mattered little as only a late Jones cross threatened to deny Jol a win against the club he represented during his playing career.