May 19 2013 Latest news:
by Nick Wright
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Premier League: Fulham 5-0 Norwich City
Fulham got their season off to a blistering start as they demolished Norwich City in the bright sunshine at Craven Cottage.
The absence of wantaway forward Clint Dempsey was quickly forgotten as Martin Jol’s side, led in attack by the excellent Mladen Petric, put Norwich to the sword.
Fulham, who are unbeaten at Craven Cottage by the Canaries since 1986, take their place at the top of the Premier League table after this resounding victory.
The first clear chance of the game fell to Damien Duff, latching on to Brede Hangeland’s ball over the top after 12 minutes. The Irishman couldn’t get the ball out of his feet, however, and Norwich debutant Michael Turner recovered to clear.
Fulham were easing their way into the game, with midfielders Bryan Ruiz and Alex Kacaniklic particularly bright in the opening stages.
Costa Rica international Ruiz had a great opportunity to score after 21 minutes, chipping over after a dreadful clearance from Norwich keeper John Ruddy.
But just five minutes later, Duff atoned for his earlier miss as he got Fulham’s opener.
A superb cross-field pass from John Arne Riise found Duff in the clear again and this time Ruddy could only deflect his clipped finish into the corner of the net.
Fulham continued to find openings in Norwich’s exposed backline but their second goal came from a set-piece.
Duff’s corner from the right was headed goalwards by Croatian striker Petric and the ball had already crossed the line when Jonathan Howson hooked it clear.
Petric, a new signing from Hamburg, scored five goals in as many games for Fulham in pre-season, and the 31-year-old’s ruthless streak in front of goal continued here.
There was still time for another effort from Ruiz before half-time, as his whipped free-kick was tipped over athletically by Ruddy.
Norwich’s hopes of getting back into the game were dashed in the 54th minute, when Petric grabbed his second and Fulham’s third.
The Croatian was allowed acres of space by the hapless Norwich backline and his driven effort from 25 yards took a deflection of Turner as it looped into the net.
Fulham were running riot and their fourth goal was a thing of beauty.
The industrious Mousa Dembele found Petric inside the box, and his backheeled flick through a defender’s legs fell to Kacaniklic, who made no mistake from eight yards out.
There was still time for one more for the rampant Cottagers, as substitute Hugo Rodallega, making his Fulham debut, was felled in the area by Turner.
Fellow substitute Steve Sidwell stepped up and dispatched the penalty high into the net to round of the scoring for the hosts.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Diarra, Ruiz (Sidwell), Kacaniklic, Dembele, Duff (Kasami), Petric (Rodallega). Subs not used: Stockdale, Kelly, Baird, Halliche.
Norwich: Ruddy, Martin, Bennett, Turner, Tierney, Surman, Howson, Johnson, Pilkington, Snodgrass, Holt. Subs: Rudd, Morrison, Vaughaun, Hoolahan, E Bennet, Lappin, Barnett.