Lethargic, laboured are some of the words rightly attributed to the home side’s wretched performance against Fulham. Tuesday’s defeat was the third suffered at home by the Baggies in a season where they have done very well at the Hawthorns. Steve Clarke will obviously be disappointed at dropping points at home but more than that it will be the manner in which his team lost that will worry him the most.
Man of the match Dimitar Berbatov opened the scoring on the 39th minute netting Fulham’s first and deserved goal. For much of the first half the Cottagers dominated the game and had most of the ball albeit with very little penetration. Belgian Lukaku pulled West Brom back level with an easy tap in after Billy Jones had made an overlapping run to square the ball in. In the 78th minute of the game Brian Ruiz picked up the ball from deep and made a long overhead pass to Alexander Kacaniklic who brought it under control, took a second touch to set it up and placed it calmly beating Ben Foster to make it 2 – 1 to Fulham.
“It was a poor first half and a much better second half,” said Clarke post match, and the Albion manager also acknowledged that the performance was nowhere near the standard that is expected of them.
The Baggies have won two of their last four fixtures and that is not half bad. They face Reading away in their next league tie right after they take an FA cup detour against QPR. There are no “gimmies” in the Premier league but Albion will fancy their chances against a struggling Reading.