FULHAM 1 STOKE CITY FC 0
Stoke approached this game with a degree of caution,but looked good for at least a point against a lacklustre Fulham side,until 8 seconds before half time. Inside our penalty box Robert Huth's defensive header out lacked distance,but nine times out of ten it would have been more than adequate.
This,however, was the one in ten day,a day when a master striker, a man who has tormented us during our Premiership days,was in the right place at the right time. Fulham's star turn, Berbatov,met the attempted clearance with a vicious volley,which was unstoppable,past Begovic in a flash,tight in the angle between post and bar. A goal of the highest quality, and as the cliché goes, worthy of winning any match.
We should have been back in the hunt shortly after half time, from either of two chances.First Peter Crouch got past Senderos, but Schwarzer saved the defender embarassmentbby managing to deflect the ball away from goal.Then a Brek Shea flick,a Fulham handling offence,gave us the penalty route back into the game. Jon Walters stepped up for the kick, keeper Schwarzer gambled,dived to his right,and pulled off a save. Certainly the ball was heading inside the post, but with insufficient venom to beat him.
Stoke's switch to 4-4-2,and some personnel changes gave us much more threat as we chased the game, but there were really no more chances to get back on terms.
Amazingly still 10th in the table....we seem to have been there for ever this season.