MX23RW : Friday, May 14 17:15:40| >> :120:18129:18129:
Jan 30, 2013 at 8pm UK at Craven Cottage
West HamWest Ham United
Berbatov (10'), Rodallega (49'), O'Brien (90' og.)
FT(HT: 1-0)
Nolan (48')

Live Commentary: Fulham 3-1 West Ham United - as it happened

Live text commentary as Fulham took on West Ham United at Craven Cottage.

Fulham hosted West Ham United in a vital clash at the bottom half of the Premier League table.

Fulham started well and took the lead through Dimitar Berbatov's controversial header and went into the break with the lead in tact.

West Ham responded in the second half and equalised through Kevin Nolan. However, Fulham hit back just 33 seconds later with a Hugo Rodallega goal and wrapped up the win in stoppage time with a Joey O'Brien own-goal.

Read below how the action unfolded.

Hello everyone and welcome to out coverage from this vital Premier League clash between Fulham and West Ham United.

It's not a relegation six-pointer just yet, but wins are becoming very important indeed for both these clubs.

While I await the team news, I'll go through some stats and key facts tonight.

If past meetings are any sort of an indicator, and they tend to be, then Fulham will need a lot of luck tonight to improve on their dismal record against the Hammers. Of the 17 Premier League games between the sides Fulham have won just two, with West Ham managing 10 victories.

Before I go back to some more stats, the team news is in, at least for the visitors, so I'll get right to that.

FULHAM XI: Schwarzer; Riether, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise; Duff, Karagounis, Sidwell, Rodallega; Ruiz; Berbatov

Fulham subs: Etheridge, Baird, Petric, Frimpong, Hughes, Dejagah, Davies

WEST HAM XI: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Reid, Tomkins, O'Brien; Noble, Diame, Nolan, Jarvis, J.Cole; Chamakh

West Ham subs: Henderson, Pogatetz, Taylor, O'Neil, Vaz Te, Carroll, C.Cole

So first to Fulham. It's pretty much as expected from Martin Jol. Aaron Hughes is dropped to the bench after his stupid handball against Manchester United, with Philippe Senderos coming in. It's Hugo Rodallega who starts on the flank instead of Alexander Kacaniklic, who misses out entirely.

Emmanuel Frimpong has to settle for a place on the bench. Interestingly for the Whites, Simon Davies has been deemed fit enough for a place on the bench, the Welshman has been out for many months.

For West Ham, Sam Allardyce has gone for Marouane Chamakh to lead the line, flanked by Matt Jarvis and Joe Cole. He has gone for an attacking bench, with three forwards on it, including the returning Andy Carroll.

An interesting tidbit: Fulham are the only side yet to win a London derby this season. Yet another thing in the visitors' favour then. I seem to remember - though don't have the stat handy - that Fulham were near the top of the London table last term.

Fulham have just two wins from 15, while West Ham have claimed just eight points from a possible 33. It really could be a precursor to one of these sides getting sucked into the battle below them.

I've looked up that London derby stat, you'll be pleased to know. Fulham ended second out of five with 12 points from eight games. There was no West Ham and in fact Chelsea were bottom, with Tottenham finishing first.

A complete turnaround this term. Fulham are rock bottom with two points from five games with West Ham fourth with 10.

West Ham have six wins from the previous eight here, with just one defeat.

However, Fulham will be boosted by the fact that West Ham have netted just six times away from home all season. The fewest in the league - two behind Stoke City. Those are the only two sides yet to reach double figures.

Fulham themselves have been far from free-scoring at home. They've hit the target 18 times in their 11 appearances at the Cottage so far.

Fulham themselves have been far from free-scoring at home. They've hit the target 18 times in their 11 appearances at the Cottage so far.

Around 15 minutes until kickoff here. Time for a peek at the odds, I think.

As you might expect, they really don't want to call this one. Fulham are just about favourites thanks to home advantage, you can take a punt on them at 8/5. The Hammers can be had at 12/5 while a draw is around the 9/4 mark.

If I had to stick my neck out - and I do - I'd go for the draw. A 1-1 draw at around 5/1 could tempt me.

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Fulham's last league win came on New Year's Day away to West Brom, with West Ham's coming on the same day at home to Norwich City. A chance, then, for both sides to finish January the way they started it.

The teams are coming out of the tunnel to a packed house at the Cottage. Jol hasn't smiled for quite some time and he isn't right now. Allardyce has a similar glum look - will either man be grinning come 9.50ish?

Just a minute to go here. Both sides will naturally be looking for a quick start - certainly Fulham will not want to fall behind right at the beginning as they did against Manchester City.

We're underway here!

CHANCE! Early chance for Joe Cole. Chamakh laid the ball back to him but his left-footed drive goes wide.

Chamakh's hair, by the way, is as bad as always. That won't affect the game, of course, but it has to be mentioned. Dimitar Berbatov looks for Duff early on but Guy Demel clears for a throw.

Senderos gives the ball away to Diame, but West Ham cannot work it into a chance.

Atrocious touch from Bryan Ruiz! Berbatov and Rodallega work a one-two, Winston Reid gets a foot in and Ruiz miscontrols out for a goal kick. Unlike the Costa Rican, that.

Matt Jarvis brings down a long ball superbly - with a hint of handball - but Sascha Riether is across well to clear for a corner.

It looks like Rodallega is playing from the right, with Duff on the left tonight. The Colombian mishits a pass there to Riether in a good position.

CHANCE! Good effort from Ruiz from just outside the box. He's found by Karagounis but it's at just the right height for Jussi Jaaskelainen who parries it away.

Duff drives forward, with no-one closing him down. He tries an effort from about 25 yards on the angle but it's well wide. A strong start from Fulham after the very early chance for West Ham.

Free-kick for Fulham on the right hand side. Winston Reid tangled with Rodallega as he looked to latch on to a pass over the top. Duff to take...

GOAL! Fulham 1-0 West Ham (Berbatov)

It's a goal for the birthday boy! Poor marking from West Ham from Duff's delivery, and three line up for Fulham. It's Berbatov, however, who nods in at the far post. Fulham's pressure pays off.

It's still Fulham doing much of the pressing at the moment. They appear to want it more in the early stages, but there's plenty of time for West Ham to mount a response.

West Ham push forward and win another corner off Riether. Hangeland gets a good head on it and Diame overhits his cross for a goal kick.

West Ham now are on the offensive. They're testing Fulham's ability in the air with crosses towards Chamakh. Currently Hangeland is solid.

Berbatov is battling for every ball. He pips Kevin Nolan but West Ham manage to get it away. They then give it back to Rodallega who strikes wide from just outside the box - he could have done better there!

Karagounis is down for about the third time tonight. He's struggling with the physicality of the Hammers midfield. His teammates will be hoping he toughens up a bit or we could be seeing Frimpong earlier than expected.

Another couple of battles between Jarvis and Riether. First, the full-back wins a header before nicking a goal kick off the winger. He's been solid so far has the German, a really good loan signing.

Fulham now slowing down the pace of the game. They keep the ball well in defence, but lose out when Karagounis looks for a ball over the top to Ruiz.

Berbatov is just called offside from a Rodallega flick-on. The front three or four seem to be moving about with fluency for Fulham - Rodallega is behind Berbatov now, with Ruiz drifting to the wings.

It's the Hammers's turn for a spell of keep-ball. It ends with a Demel cross deep to Jarvis, who beats Riether to the ball this time but heads well over the bar from about eight yards. Much better from West Ham.

CLOSE! Berbatov links up well with Rodallega, who finds Duff to the left of the box. The Irishman tries a cross-shot that goes wide of the right-hand post.

This one's hit a bit of a lull in the last few minutes. Both sides are keeping the ball, but running out of ideas when they near the final third. Who can get on top of this next?

CHANCE! Nolan should have levelled! Diame crosses with his left foot and Nolan heads it from about seven yards but puts it wide. The header was largely uncontested, he should have at least hit the target.

YELLOW CARD! Sidwell is the first player in the book after a 50-50 with Diame. He was a shade high but the ball was there to be won. A fair decision, I think.

It's still West Ham on top of this one. However they've still just created the one real chance - it was a wonderful chance, however.

Jarvis robs Ruiz. The Costa Rican has been very quiet and has looked very sluggish so far tonight, just not quite on the pace.

Fantastic defending from Karagounis, who clears with an overhead, before Rodallega gets tugged back by Demel - no foul, just a throw.

Karagounis lines up one of his loved low drives from distance, but Reid blocks well. Fulham now coming into this again.

Fulham's pair of Sidwell and Karagounis has seen more than Noble and Nolan to this point. They haven't created much through the middle, though, indeed both sides's chances have been from wide.

Fantasic in the middle from Diame, who holds off Ruiz, Sidwell and Karagounis, but his pass is well overhit.

More good West Ham passing between Nolan, Diame and Cole finds the latter offside. It would have been a good chance had he held his run.

CLOSE! Berbatov powers his way through the middle and hits a shot from 25 yards that clips the outside of the post! Superb attempt.

Riether again gets the better of Jarvis and West Ham win their fourth corner. It bounces in the box and Fulham somehow clear. One minute added on.

Riether again gets the better of Jarvis and West Ham win their fourth corner. It bounces in the box and Fulham somehow clear. One minute added on.

HALF-TIME: Fulham 1-0 West Ham

Well, you'd have to say Fulham just about shaded that and the scoreline suggests they did. The goal could have been given offside - Berbatov looked like he was ahead of the line, but the West Ham defenders were more concerned with appealing than defending and found themselves a goal down.

Ruiz tested Jaaskelainen and Berbatov clipped a post with a drive from deep, but West Ham could easily be level with Nolan missing a great chance with his head.

There was also a bit of tastiness between Sidwell and Diame. The Fulham man went in hard on the Senegalese and got booked for his troubles - a fair call, in hindsight.

It has been Fulham who have looked the most lively of the two teams. West Ham will need to up their urgency if they are to get back in it. Of course, while it's 1-0 it only takes one chance. Whichever team comes out stronger in the second half could get themselves on top of the encounter.

The players are coming back out, we're about to get back underway. What have the managers said to their players?

West Ham get us back underway.

West Ham have started much the brighter side here. They're passing crisply and looking swift in attack.

Demel somehow gets by four Fulham players to fizz in a dangerous low cross. It's hacked away but Fulham cannot get a touch on the ball at the moment.

GOAL! Fulham 1-1 West Ham (Nolan)

It's simple from West Ham and really poor from Fulham. A free-kick comes to Nolan at the near post, who beat BErbatov to the ball and finished past Schwarzer at his near post.

GOAL! Fulham 2-1 West Ham (Rodallega)

Well, well, well. Rodallega gets between three Hammers defenders to meet Duff's cross and put the Whites back ahead 33 seconds after the equaliser!

Fulham now on top of this. They're passing well and West Ham just cannot control the ball. Diame gives away a free-kick after clipping Karagounis.

Ruiz scuffs his shot right into the bottom of the wall. Maybe he was anticipating them jumping? No, it was just a poor effort.

Karagounis is all over the pitch at the moment. The 35-year-old really does have a good engine. Now West Ham press, but JArvis's cross goes straight to Schwarzer. Fantastic encounter now.

WEST HAM SUB: Chamakh, who has been anonymous, makes way for Carlton Cole.

The Hammers again looking to test Fulham with ball into the box. This time Schwarzer comes some way to claim it and does really well.

YELLOW CARD: Ruiz again loses out, this time to Diame. The midfielder is then brought down by Riether, who goes into the book. He can't argue, really.

Riether recovers with a fine piece of defending on Nolan, winning the ball with good strength. At the other end Ruiz finds Rodallega, but he's muscled out of it easily by Reid.

There's a real battle in the middle of the park now. Sidwell is penalised for a foul on Joe Cole, he needs to be careful.

Diame is really starting to boss the midfield, pretty much single-handedly. Cole whips in a cross but Nolan can't turn it goalwards. West Ham back on top now.

CHANCE! Ruiz is caught in possession and sells Berbatov short, who in turn is robbed by Diame. Nolan goes for a snapshot but it's easy for Schwarzer. Warning signs for the hosts.

The pace has just come out of the game a little as Fulham get some possession together. Diame gives away a free-kick for a foul on Karagounis.

CHANCE! Nolan puts an effort from a very tight angle just wide. Schwarzer gets a slight touch and it goes for a corner - Nolan is the real dangerman for the Hammers.

Berbatov is limping around here, possibly a hamstring issue. He's staying on for the time being, as West Ham continue to come forward.

CHANCE! Duff puts a shot over the bar after being played in by Riise. It was a decent chance, but still would have been some goal.

CHANCE! Now that is a chance! West Ham come forward allowing Fulham to break. Rodallega goes right to Petric, whose shot with his left foot is not strong enough to beat Jaaskelainen.

Fulham now looking to take a bit of the sting out of the game. Dejagah wins a corner on the right and they look to keep the ball with some possession now. However, they lose out and West Ham come forward again.

CHANCE! Sidwell lets Nolan in far too easily to rob him of the ball and feeds Carroll. The striker cuts on to his left and fires well over the bar when he might have worked Schwarzer.

CLOSE! Tremendous effort from Rodallega. Senderos clears from a corner and the Colombian races on to it, hitting a half-volley not far wide of the post.

The battle now is between Carroll and any one of Riise, Senderos and Hangeland. The West Ham man is winning his fair share of long balls into the box but as yet hasn’t tested Schwarzer.

Petric gives the ball away too easily on a couple of occasions, but eventually Diame mishits a pass for a throw. West Ham dominant as the ball is pinging around in the box but so far Fulham are just hanging on.

GOAL! Fulham 3-1 West Ham (O’Brien)

Rodallega forced an absolutely world class save from Jaaskelainen after being set up by Riether. The ball squirmed towards the byline for Petric, who put it in off O’Brien. It will surely go down as an own-goal.

West Ham have run out of puff now. That goal has finished the game. Instead, Fulham drive forward and Noble heroically blocks from Petric, who pulled the trigger with his right foot.

FULL-TIME: Fulham 3-1 West Ham

Fulham claim a deserved victory over West Ham and take a vital three points. Thanks for joining me tonight and stay with us for the next round of league action.

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