Fulham vs. Stoke City  1 - 0

Article

Huth hit with FA charge

26 February 2013 17:35

Stoke defender Robert Huth has been charged with violent conduct by the FA following an incident against Fulham on Saturday.

Huth clashed with Fulham defender Philippe Senderos during his side's 1-0 defeat, although referee Lee Probert did not see the incident.

However, the FA have opted to charge the German retrospectively.

If handed a suspension, Huth is likely to miss his side's next three matches, Premier League games against West Ham, Newcastle and West Brom.

The 28-year-old has been a regular once again under Tony Pulis this season, making 27 appearances and scoring once.

Stoke midfielder Steven N'Zonzi clashed with Dimitar Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz in separate incidents during the game, though neither will require further action.

Article

Berbatov delighted by win over Stoke

23 February 2013 19:20

Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov was proud of his side's 1-0 win against Stoke on Saturday and labelled Tony Pulis' men a 'long-ball' team.

The Bulgarian smashed a wondrous volley home late in the first half to seal the three points for Martin Jol's side which inches them further away from the English Premier League drop zone.

Berbatov also called on his team-mates to build on the hard-fought win and put together a run of good form between now and the end of the season.

"We know Stoke are a tough opponent to play against," he told Sky Sports.

"We know how they play the long ball and they have very strong players. We managed well from the back, we got the points and that is most important.

"We don't deserve to be in the position we are in, we are a good squad, today is important but it won't mean much if we lose the next one we will train hard and fight hard to gain the points."

Mark Schwarzer was another hero for Fulham as he kept out Jonathan Walters' second-half penalty and the 40-year-old said plenty of pre-match preparation was behind his success.

"We study quite a bit of it before the game he was relatively confident I knew where he was going to go, I just didn't want to give too much away," the Australian said.

"At the end of the day he didn't hit it as hard as he normally does.

"Anytime you don't concede a goal it's important, we needed the points today, it was vital, especially at home, we look at these games to pick up the points, today was a good win for us."

Article

Jol slams ´evil´ N´Zonzi conduct

23 February 2013 17:21

Fulham manager Martin Jol accused Stoke's Steven N'Zonzi of 'evil' intentions during his side's 1-0 win over Stoke on Saturday.

Jol suggested the Stoke midfielder should have been red-carded for a punch on Bryan Ruiz.

Frenchman N'Zonzi was incensed moments before the incident in question, after being caught across the bridge of the nose by Dimitar Berbatov's trailing arm, and after receiving lengthy treatment allowed frustrations to get the better of him as he lashed out at Ruiz.

And Jol feels N'Zonzi was lucky to only receive a yellow card from referee Lee Probert, describing the clash as worthy of dismissal.

"I think he is very lucky to get a yellow card," Jol told Sky Sports.

"Nobody can use anything but this was a sort of knockout punch, it was more than a red, it was evil. That was a bad one."

Jol also moved to praise his goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who made a fine save from Peter Crouch and completed an impressive outing by keeping a clean sheet with a penalty save from Jonathan Walters.

Describing Schwarzer's display, Jol said: "If you saw the first incident with (Jonathan) Walters – it was a good chance.

"Then when (Philippe) Senderos tried to hold off his man, it was a great save and of course the penalty save – against Arsenal he did it, and today as well.

"He is a fantastic goalkeeper."

The victory moves Fulham further clear of the Premier League relegation zone, leaving Jol more relaxed about their upcoming fixtures.

"It was vital," he said. "There are three or four clubs around us and we know we could be one of those clubs that get dragged into problems again.

"Now we can look forward to the next couple of games on 32 points."

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis rued missed opportunities, saying it had been a problem for his side away from home all season.

Pulis' men have won just once in 13 away league games this campaign.

"The first half was flat, the only real quality was Berbatov's great strike," Pulis said.

"In the second half we missed an opportunity, missed a penalty – that's been our story away from home. We haven't taken chances when games have been tight."

Article

Premier League: Fulham 1 Stoke City 0

23 February 2013 15:55

An unstoppable volley from Dimitar Berbatov secured a 1-0 win for Fulham over Stoke City at Craven Cottage in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Bulgarian rifled home in first-half stoppage time after Stoke failed to clear Sascha Riether's searching cross from the right to take his tally to nine goals for the season.

A lively start to the match saw presentable chances squandered by both sides as first Jonathan Walters wasted an opportunity to really test Mark Schwarzer before Berbatov volleyed over the top after good work on the right flank by Riether.

The hosts did have the ball in the net in the 11th minute although referee Lee Probert correctly ruled that Bryan Ruiz had used his hand to convert following Damien Duff's in-swinging free kick from deep.

Steven N'Zonzi, who was visibly riled after taking a whack in the face from a flailing Berbatov arm just minutes earlier, was then perhaps fortunate to escape with only a yellow card after pushing Ruiz in the face.

And Giorgos Karagounis nearly made the visitors pay from the resulting free kick, with his curling effort forcing Asmir Begovic to palm over the top of his crossbar.

Martin Jol's men would go into the half-time break with a 1-0 lead, however, with Berbatov the man of the moment. In first-half stoppage time, he arrowed a sublime volley into the top corner after Robert Huth had only half-cleared Riether's cross.

A defensive error nearly cost the hosts almost immediately after the restart as Philippe Senderos attempted to block off Peter Crouch only for the former Tottenham striker to nip in front of his man, forcing Schwarzer to rush out and smother.

Schwarzer was again called into action as this time he denied Stoke from the penalty spot. Ashkan Dejagah was penalised for handball in the box and Walters stepped up only to see his spot-kick saved low to the Australian's right.

Fulham almost doubled their advantage shortly after as Berbatov produced a couple of nonchalant flicks to get away from Huth but his awkward low volley was gathered at the second attempt by Begovic.

Brek Shea, who had replaced Matthew Etherington in the first half, then struck a fizzing low shot just wide before John Arne Riise had Begovic worried in the 64th minute with a bending effort that drifted just over the top.

Fulham looked the most likely to score the game's second goal as it entered the latter stages with Karagounis blasting over before Ruiz passed Ryan Shawcross and into the box but he ultimately failed to deliver the telling final pass.

Even with the introductions of Cameron Jerome and Kenwyne Jones, Stoke failed to find an equaliser as Fulham hung on for the three points.

Article

Premier League preview: Fulham v Stoke City

21 February 2013 13:18

American winger Brek Shea could make his debut for Stoke City on Saturday when his team travels south to London to take on Fulham.

Shea, who was transferred from FC Dallas to Stoke in the January transfer window for a reported fee of 2.5 million pounds, impressed in a practice match against Scunthorpe United on Monday, a performance which attracted the attention of manager Tony Pulis.

The 22-year-old American scored three goals and set up another two in his 22 matches for FC Dallas in last year's MLS season and Stoke coach Mark O'Connor confirmed after the friendly against Scunthorpe that Shea could play against Fulham in Saturday's English Premier League clash.

"It was nice for Brek to play another game," O'Connor told thisisstaffordshire.co.uk.

"He's getting to know his teammates and developing that understanding the more they play together.

"He comes into our thinking for Fulham.

"He is in the mind of the manager."

Stoke have only won one game away from home across all competitions this season but striker Jon Walters has claimed there is no mental barrier for the team when they play away from Britannia Stadium, admitting he did not realise how poor their record was.

"There's no barrier," Walters said.

"We don't go into any game thinking anything except trying to get a result.

"I didn't realise our record was so bad, so it would be something nice to improve on... well, we can only improve on it really."

Stoke's last performance, a 2-1 win against Reading two weeks ago, snapped a four-game winless streak and Pulis will hope last weekend's break due to the FA Cup does not negatively affect his side.

Pulis may be able to call on Marc Wilson after the Irish defender, who has been out of the team since October with a broken leg, played in the friendly against Scunthorpe.

Fulham manager Martin Jol should have Kieran Richardson available with the 28-year-old midfielder having recovered from his calf injury.

Jol's team moved up to 12th in the recent round of the Premier League with a 0-0 draw away to Norwich.

Having picked up eight points in their past six Premier League matches, Fulham are slowly recovering after their terrible run through November and December but Jol will still have concerns ahead of the visit of 10th-placed Stoke as Fulham have only scored in one of their past four fixtures; a 3-1 victory over West Ham.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25