Fulham v West Brom
Berbatov 32′, 45′ (pen) Sidwell 89′
- FT 90 +6
- HT 2-0
Dimitar Berbatov scored twice in a dream home debut as Fulham ended 10-man West Bromwich Albion's unbeaten start to the new Premier League season.
The Bulgarian striker superbly stroked Martin Jol's men ahead, before doubling their advantage from the penalty spot in first-half injury time.
Albion's Peter Odemwingie was sent off between Berbatov's strikes after kicking out at Fulham's Sascha Riether.
The hosts wrapped up a comfortable win with Steve Sidwell's late tap-in.
Berbatov was described as the "biggest signing in Fulham's history" by boss Martin Jol following his deadline-day move from Manchester United and the 31-year-old, who can often frustrate supporters with the languid manner in which he plays, went some way to justifying his manager's bold declaration with an energetic performance.
He was the focal point for much of Fulham's attacking play, aiming to use his deft touch to bring his team-mates into play and pull apart an Albion defence which had conceded just once in their first three Premier League games.
"All the headlines will be about Dimitar Berbatov. It was his first 90 minutes for Fulham, his home debut and he set Fulham on their way with an exquisite finish and doubled their grip to make it two. There was no demolition in the second half but there was time for a third through Steve Sidwell."
However, it was the trickery of Swedish winger Alex Kacaniklic which created the openings from which Berbatov profited.
Kacaniklic danced into the left side of Albion's penalty area, leaving behind dazed right-back Billy Jones, before playing a square pass to Berbatov, who took one touch before arrowing a delightful 15-yard shot beyond away goalkeeper Ben Foster for the opener.
Jones was left in a spin again shortly before half-time when he could only stop Kacaniklic's teasing run into the box with a trailing leg and Berbatov stepped up to coolly send Foster the wrong way from the penalty spot.
While Berbatov was undoubtedly the hero for the hosts, Albion winger Odemwingie could be cast as the away side's villain after his needless 37th-minute sending off.
The Nigerian forward, who had been promoted to the Baggies' starting XI following an impressive substitute appearance in their 2-0 win over Everton, lost possession before wildly swiping at Fulham right-back Riether from behind.
Referee Roger East had no option other than to show the red card and it left Albion facing an uphill task as they looked to extend their best start to a Premier League season to a fourth match without defeat.
Albion boss Steve Clarke introduced Chris Brunt and Romelu Lukaku at the interval in the hope of finding a way back into the match.
Belgian striker Lukaku was denied by Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer as Albion battled gamely, but Fulham took advantage as the tiring West Brom defence began to creak.
Foster showed superb reactions to twice deny Damien Duff in a matter of seconds, before the ex-England international prevented Berbatov bagging his hat-trick by smothering his shot from a tight angle.
Jol at Albion
Fulham boss Martin Jol played for West Brom between 1982 and 1984, making 67 appearances
But he was powerless to stop Sidwell adding the third, pouncing after Hugo Rodallega's header hit the crossbar, to leave Albion without a win at Craven Cottage since October 1967.
Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov:
"It was a great home debut. I had a feeling before the game that it would be a good day for the team and me. And it's a great feeling. I feel satisfied with the result and my play, and all the supporters are happy as well.
"It was my first performance at home and I felt good because I was on the pitch playing. When I'm happy great things happen, like today. I scored and played with a smile on my face. Most important for me is playing every game and when I can do that I give my best performances."
- 01 Schwarzer
- 03 Riise
- 05 Hangeland
- 06 Baird
- 18 Hughes
- 27 Riether
- 07 Sidwell
- 16 Duff (Smith - 90' )
- 31 Kacaniklic (Kasami - 84' )
- 09 Berbatov
- 20 Rodallega
- 13 Stockdale
- 02 Kelly
- 17 Briggs
- 40 Smith
- 08 Kasami
- 14 Karagounis
- 39 Trotta
- 01 Foster
- 03 Olsson
- 06 Ridgewell
- 23 McAuley
- 28 Jones
- 05 Yacob (Rosenberg - 76' )
- 07 Morrison
- 21 Mulumbu
- 09 Long (Brunt - 46' )
- 24 Odemwingie Dismissed
- 32 Fortune (Lukaku - 46' )
- 13 Myhill
- 25 Dawson
- 11 Brunt
- 17 Dorrans
- 08 Rosenberg
- 20 Lukaku
- 22 Gera
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.90:00 +2:10
Alex Smith takes a shot. Gareth McAuley gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Chris Baird.90:00 +2:10 Substitution
Substitution Alex Smith on for Damien Duff.90:00 +1:03
Romelu Lukaku takes a shot. Brede Hangeland gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken by Chris Brunt from the left by-line, Jonas Olsson takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.88:09
The assist for the goal came from Hugo Rodallega.88:09 Goal scored
Goal! - Steve Sidwell - Fulham 3 - 0 West Brom Steve Sidwell gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the top right corner of the goal. Fulham 3-0 West Brom.87:35
Hugo Rodallega takes a shot.86:53
Pajtim Kasami produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.86:36
Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.84:59
Billy Jones takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.84:15
Dimitar Berbatov concedes a free kick for a foul on Gareth McAuley. Chris Brunt takes the direct free kick.83:59
The ball is crossed by Billy Jones, Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.83:16 Substitution
Substitution Pajtim Kasami on for Alex Kacaniklic.82:46
Centre by Romelu Lukaku.81:21
Chris Baird produces a cross, Jonas Olsson makes a clearance.80:39
Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.79:18
Dimitar Berbatov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Brunt. Chris Brunt takes the free kick.78:26
The ball is crossed by Alex Kacaniklic, Hugo Rodallega takes a shot.78:06
A cross is delivered by Dimitar Berbatov.77:49
The ball is delivered by Sascha Riether.
Shot by Hugo Rodallega from just outside the area goes over the net.75:17 Substitution
Substitution Markus Rosenberg is brought on as a substitute for Claudio Yacob.75:17
John Arne Riise crosses the ball.74:28
Foul by Liam Ridgewell on Damien Duff, free kick awarded. Damien Duff takes the direct free kick.73:53
Inswinging corner taken by Damien Duff, clearance by Billy Jones.73:34
Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.72:31
Inswinging corner taken by Damien Duff from the right by-line, Header from deep inside the area by Aaron Hughes goes over the bar.72:13
Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.70:49
Damien Duff takes a shot.70:06
Steve Sidwell takes a shot. Save by Ben Foster.68:39
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by James Morrison from the right by-line, Dimitar Berbatov makes a clearance.67:55
Dimitar Berbatov is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Foster.67:25
A cross is delivered by Sascha Riether, clearance by Jonas Olsson.66:57
The ball is sent over by Sascha Riether, Jonas Olsson manages to make a clearance.66:20
Romelu Lukaku takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.65:39
Inswinging corner taken by Damien Duff, save by Ben Foster.62:11
Inswinging corner taken by Chris Brunt.61:47
Chris Brunt takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.59:49
Romelu Lukaku is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Brede Hangeland.58:33
James Morrison fouled by Steve Sidwell, the ref awards a free kick. Ben Foster takes the free kick.58:16
The ball is sent over by Sascha Riether, Billy Jones manages to make a clearance.55:06
Shot from just outside the box by Dimitar Berbatov goes over the crossbar.54:50
Centre by Sascha Riether, Jonas Olsson makes a clearance.53:32
John Arne Riise takes a shot. Gareth McAuley gets a block in.52:12
Romelu Lukaku delivers the ball.51:33
The assistant referee signals for offside against Hugo Rodallega. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Foster.51:12
The ball is crossed by Dimitar Berbatov.47:30
Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Blocked by Jonas Olsson.47:19
John Arne Riise crosses the ball, Jonas Olsson makes a clearance.46:29
Foul by Chris Brunt on Dimitar Berbatov, free kick awarded. Chris Baird takes the direct free kick.45:38
Hugo Rodallega gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonas Olsson. Ben Foster takes the free kick.45:01
The game restarts for the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Chris Brunt comes on in place of Shane Long.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Romelu Lukaku is brought on as a substitute for Marc-Antoine Fortune.45:00 +2:24 Half time
Half Time The referee blows for half time.45:00 +0:43
The assist for the goal came from Alex Kacaniklic.45:00 +0:43 Goal scored
Goal! - Dimitar Berbatov - Fulham 2 - 0 West Brom Placed penalty scored by Dimitar Berbatov. Fulham 2-0 West Brom.45:00 +0:12
Billy Jones gives away a Penalty for an unfair challenge on Alex Kacaniklic.43:50
Centre by Hugo Rodallega, Jonas Olsson makes a clearance.41:44
Youssouf Mulumbu takes a shot from a long way out which goes wide of the right-hand post.41:23
The ball is crossed by Liam Ridgewell, clearance by Brede Hangeland.39:59
The ball is crossed by Alex Kacaniklic, Header by Dimitar Berbatov from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.39:46
The ball is sent over by John Arne Riise, clearance by Claudio Yacob.37:58
Free kick taken by Steve Sidwell.37:58 Dismissal
Dismissal Peter Odemwingie is sent off by the referee.37:32
Foul by Peter Odemwingie on Sascha Riether, free kick awarded.37:09
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alex Kacaniklic by Claudio Yacob. John Arne Riise restarts play with the free kick.35:41
James Morrison fouled by Dimitar Berbatov, the ref awards a free kick. James Morrison sends in a cross, Jonas Olsson takes a shot. John Arne Riise makes a clearance.35:24
Billy Jones sends in a cross, Sascha Riether manages to make a clearance.34:18
Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Jonas Olsson gets a block in.31:32
Alex Kacaniklic provided the assist for the goal.31:32 Goal scored
Goal! - Dimitar Berbatov - Fulham 1 - 0 West Brom Dimitar Berbatov gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Fulham 1-0 West Brom.30:44
The ball is sent over by John Arne Riise, clearance by Liam Ridgewell.29:14
Dimitar Berbatov is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Ben Foster restarts play with the free kick.27:36
Damien Duff delivers the ball.26:52
The ball is delivered by Billy Jones, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.26:23
Centre by James Morrison, clearance by Aaron Hughes.25:14
The ball is swung over by Sascha Riether, Jonas Olsson manages to make a clearance.24:48
A cross is delivered by Sascha Riether, Jonas Olsson manages to make a clearance.21:28
Youssouf Mulumbu challenges Steve Sidwell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Steve Sidwell.20:19
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff from the left by-line, Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Gareth McAuley gets a block in.20:06
Sascha Riether produces a cross, clearance made by Gareth McAuley.18:05
Alex Kacaniklic produces a cross, Gareth McAuley makes a clearance.17:35
Shane Long challenges Aaron Hughes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.15:34
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Baird by Liam Ridgewell. Damien Duff delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing.13:35
Billy Jones produces a cross, clearance by Sascha Riether.11:38
The ball is sent over by John Arne Riise, Billy Jones manages to make a clearance.9:49
James Morrison takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Jonas Olsson takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.9:31
James Morrison takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.8:21
Unfair challenge on Marc-Antoine Fortune by Steve Sidwell results in a free kick. Jonas Olsson takes the free kick.6:45
Liam Ridgewell challenges Dimitar Berbatov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Dimitar Berbatov restarts play with the free kick.6:24
Liam Ridgewell concedes a free kick for a foul on Damien Duff. Hugo Rodallega takes the free kick.6:05
Peter Odemwingie takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.2:42
Damien Duff takes a shot. Liam Ridgewell gets a block in.1:57
The ball is swung over by Sascha Riether, Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Save made by Ben Foster.1:12
Damien Duff crosses the ball.0:00
The referee gets the game started.
Live data and text provided by our data suppliers