MX23RW : Friday, September 21 10:27:53
May 3, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​bet365 Stadium
StokeStoke City
Odemwingie (39'), Arnautovic (54'), Assaidi (73'), Walters (82')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Richardson (80')
Parker (65'), Dejagah (75')

Live Commentary: Stoke City 4-1 Fulham - as it happened

Live text coverage as Fulham travel to the Britannia Stadium for a crucial match against Stoke City.

Fulham headed to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon knowing that they would be relegated if results went against them in the Premier League.

Stoke started the match confidently, and deservedly took the lead in the 39th minute when Peter Odemwingie tapped home from close range.

Marko Arnautovic doubled Stoke's advantage in the second half with an emphatic finish to complete a counter attacking move, before Oussama Assaidi made it 3-0 to the hosts in the 73rd minute.

Kieran Richardson pulled a goal back for Fulham with 10 minutes remaining, but Stoke had the final say as Jonathan Walters completed a 4-1 success for the Potters.

Read below to find out how Fulham were relegated on an afternoon when Sunderland beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford.

2pmGood afternoon everyone. There are just two matches left for Fulham to save their season. They travel to the Britannia Stadium today to face Stoke City. It must be considered a must-win for Felix Magath and his players.

2.02pmFulham arrived in the Premier League, but they are agonisingly close to being relegated from the top tier of English football. It's been a difficult season for the club. However, a victory today would spark huge celebrations in the away end.

2.05pmIt could all end for Fulham later this afternoon. If Sunderland manage to record a victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, and Stoke beat the visitors at the Britannia later on, Fulham will be playing their football in the Championship next season. Don't rule out another surprising display from the Black Cats.

2.07pmSTOKE: Begovic; Pieters, Muniesa, Wilson, Cameron; Arnautovic, Nzonzi, Whelan, Assaidi; Ireland, Odemwingie

SUBSTITUTES: Sorensen, Palacios, Adam, Walters, Crouch, Etherington, Wilkinson

2.11pmThe big news for Stoke is that Marc Muniesa is trusted to fill in at centre back as Ryan Shawcross misses out following his red card against Spurs last week. Despite picking up a knee injury in training, Oussama Assaidi is fit enough to be named in the starting lineup. Peter Odemwingie will lead the attack with support from Stephen Ireland.

2.14pmWe're still awaiting full team news from Fulham, but the big question will be whether Steve Sidwell has passed a fitness test after missing training this week. Record signing Kostas Mitroglou could play a part this afternoon. Is it time for him to step up?

2.18pmArsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham are the only teams on a longer stretch in the Premier League than Fulham. They've come close to dropping out of the top-flight on a number of occasions, but this could be their biggest challenge yet. Stoke and Crystal Palace stand in their way. Magath will probably feel that he needs four points from those two games.

2.20pmIt's not going to be an easy afternoon for the visitors. Stoke are on a mission of their own as Mark Hughes looks to take them to ninth in the Premier League table. Very few people would have predicted that when he replaced Tony Pulis last season. Newcastle are on a dreadful run of form, so Stoke must be ready to take advantage.

2.23pmFULHAM: Stockdale, Heitinga, Hangeland, Burn, Riise, Holtby, Parker, Sidwell, Diarra, Richardson, Bent

SUBSTITUTES: Joronen, Kasami, Mitroglou, Dejagah, Woodrow, Riether, Amorebieta

2.26pmIt's a big boost for Fulham prior to the match as Sidwell is named in the team. Darren Bent has divided opinion at Craven Cottage, but the former England striker gets the nod to start in attack, while Mitroglou makes the bench. The squad suggests that Hugo Rodallega has picked up a knock, as he misses this crucial match.

2.29pmRemember, you can follow every game from the Premier League by clicking on the fixture in the box on the right of the page. I'll make sure to keep you up to date with the scores that have an impact on Fulham and Stoke. It's going to be nervy afternoon.

2.33pmHistory suggests that we will see a winner at the Britannia Stadium. In the previous 10 meetings between these two sides, there has not been a draw. In truth, a point wouldn't do much for Fulham this afternoon. They need a victory.

2.35pmStoke's form at home could be a big problem for Magath and his players today. The Potters have taken 33 points from their 18 games, which is a record that only the top five teams in the Premier League can beat. They'll be desperate to get back on track following the 1-0 loss to Spurs a week ago.

2.39pmMuniesa steps in to replace Shawcross today. Hughes, when speaking about his skipper's absence, told reporters yesterday: "Losing Rob was a big blow to us all and we've really missed him on occasions but Ryan and Marc have played well to fill that hole. We will miss Ryan tomorrow too, because he is a real leader and it would have been nice to have seen him play in every minute of every game. Unfortunately that wasn't meant to be."

2.42pmThe first Premier League result of the day is in. West Ham have secured their Premier League status for another season thanks to a 2-0 victory over Spurs, who were reduced to 10 men when Younes Kaboul was sent off in the first half.

2.45pmPREDICTION: The action is just 15 minutes away at the Britannia Stadium, so it's time to have a guess at what the score will be this afternoon. On an afternoon when Fulham need a result, I expect them to produce a big test for Stoke. However, I think the hosts will have enough to earn a draw. 2-2.

2.49pmThese two sides last met in October. On that day Bent proved to be the match-winner as his 83rd minute strike secured a 1-0 victory. It's not been a great season for the forward, but he'll be desperate for a repeat today.

2.52pmThe key players today will surely be the men playing just behind the striker for both sides. Lewis Holtby is the most creative player in the Fulham side, and the visitors will need to be on the ball as often as possible. For Stoke, they'll be hoping that Stephen Ireland can get forward regularly to link up with Odemwingie.

2.57pmBoth sets of players are lined up in the tunnel as kickoff quickly approaches. If Fulham get the first goal, we could see the visitors get men behind the ball and launch counter attacks. The last thing Magath will want is to fall behind early on.

3pmGood crowd inside the Britannia Stadium, and it's a superb atmosphere already. Plenty of noise coming from the away supporters, too. Fulham will get the game started.

2 minBrilliant noise from the supporters in the opening stages. You can tell we're at the business end of the season. Very little to report in the first couple of minutes.

2 minBrilliant noise from the supporters in the opening stages. You can tell we're at the business end of the season. Very little to report in the first couple of minutes.

3 minCHANCE! Great play from the hosts as N'Zonzi reaches the byline before pulling the ball back for Assaidi, who send his shot over the crossbar from inside the box. Decent opportunity for Stoke.

5 minBoth teams are looking pretty relaxed in possession, but Stoke are showing a bit more ambition when they do get the ball in advanced areas. We've seen very little of Holtby and Bent so far.

8 minIt's Assaidi's turn to beat a couple of players on his way to the byline. He gets himself into a very promising position, but Heitinga responds well to clear the cross which follows from the winger on loan from Liverpool. Fulham will need plenty more of that this afternoon.

9 minAll of the pressure is coming from Stoke now as Ireland attempts to find Arnautovic, whose first touch lets him down after he had found space on the right wing.

11 minExcellent defending from Heitinga again as he steps in to make a crucial interception following a clever piece of play from Pieters. Fulham need to find a way to get further up the pitch. Promising start to the game for Stoke.

13 minStoke could certainly afford to send a few more players forward. They've been creating some decent opportunities, but at times there hasn't been enough support in the box for the crosser. Magath is looking nervous on the touchline. Can you blame him?

15 minSidwell creates space to pick out Bent, who has been quiet so far in the first half. The striker misses his chance to shoot, and is eventually dispossessed on the edge of the area.

16 minSHOT! Odemwingie drops deeper to collect the ball, before earning some room to unleash a shot which drifts just wide of the target from 25 yards.

18 minUPDATE: First goal of the day at the bottom of the table as Newcastle take the lead in their game with Cardiff thanks to Shola Ameobi. The Bluebirds need to respond to that goal, which would keep Stoke in 10th this afternoon.

21 minStoke are dominating possession, but Fulham are doing well to keep out the hosts. The visitors are finding it difficult to be positive when they do get the ball. Holtby simply isn't being allowed to cause damage at the moment.

23 minMore pressure from Stoke as Fulham are forced to clear a couple of balls which are delivered into the box. Magath's side can't afford to fall behind. Stoke will be confident of defending a lead if they take the advantage.

25 minSAVE! Ireland is gifted far too much space outside the box, but his powerful effort is well stopped by Stockdale, who dives low to push the ball to safety.

25 minSAVE! Ireland is gifted far too much space outside the box, but his powerful effort is well stopped by Stockdale, who dives low to push the ball to safety.

27 minArnautovic delivers a ball into the area, which is cleared as far as Whelan. The Irish midfielder uses the opportunity to pick out Ireland, whose latest shot from the edge of the box is easily collected by Stockdale.

28 minFulham waste a good opportunity to cause problems for Stoke as Richardson hits a free kick from the wing over all of his teammates inside the box. That is very, very poor from a good position.

29 minUPDATE: Disaster for Fulham. Sunderland's amazing run is still on as they take the lead at Old Trafford thanks to Sebastian Larsson. If results stay the same, Cardiff would definitely be relegated, while Fulham would need a huge swing in goal difference to stand any chance of surviving.

31 minSAVE! Good play from the tricky Assaidi as he eases past a couple of defenders before forcing Stockdale into a good save from 25 yards out. Fulham need something. They are effectively down as things stand.

33 minSUBSTITUTION: Well, I didn't see this coming. Holtby hasn't had the best of starts to the game, but it's still a big surprise to see the German taken off with 33 minutes on the clock. Ashkan Dejagah, who was expected to start, is his replacement. Holtby doesn't look injured.

36 minDejagah attempts to get involved immediately as he advances into the box with the ball. Pieters makes a good challenge to dispossess the substitute, before holding his ground to win a free kick. Would Fulham have been better off with Holtby and Dejagah on the pitch?


40 minBig goal at the Britannia Stadium! Arnautovic keeps calm in a good position to find Ireland in space. The midfielder's effort looks destined for the back of the net, but a deflected strike hits the crossbar before sending the ball to Odemwingie, who taps in from close range. Could that be the goal that send Fulham down? As it stands, both Fulham and Cardiff will be relegated today.

41 minStoke immediately threaten from the restart as Whelan's shot from the edge off the box is well blocked by Sidwell. Odemwingie then collects the ball in the area, but his touch lets him down at the vital moment.

43 minThe signs really aren't good for Fulham. They've failed to produce any kind of response to falling behind. No blame can be placed on Bent, who is being left all alone in attack. Worryingly for Magath, his team are struggling to keep the ball.

45 minThe fourth official confirms there will be just one minute added on. Stoke continue to look comfortable.


3.51pmIt's not over just yet, but it's certainly not looking good for Fulham and the supporters who have made the long trip. They trail Stoke, who lead through Odemwingie's goal, and the Cottagers will be down if sores remain the same in the Premier League.

3.54pmFulham need to produce their best, but they simply haven't arrived in this game yet. Stoke have been completely dominant from the first whistle, and fully deserve to be ahead. The visitors need an injection of pace in attack, but they almost must learn to keep the ball much better.

3.56pmMagath has already turned to his bench once, but unless Holtby is injured, removing him will be one of the stranger decisions you see today. Mitroglou seems to be the obvious choice on the visiting bench. He hasn't played much since moving to the club, but he does have the ability to make a difference.

4pmHughes will be asking for more of the same from his players after the interval. Stoke have kept the ball well, and look very dangerous when they attack from the wings. They've not committed many men forward, so they can afford to be more positive in the second half.

4pmHughes will be asking for more of the same from his players after the interval. Stoke have kept the ball well, and look very dangerous when they attack from the wings. They've not committed many men forward, so they can afford to be more positive in the second half.

4.02pmBoth teams are back out in the middle. It will be Fulham who get the second half started.

47 minLively start to the second half from the visitors as Parker sprints forward before drilling a shot straight at Begovic from the edge of the box. Fulham need to apply the pressure immediately.

49 minAssaidi's pace is a threat on the break as he sprints clear of a few Fulham defenders. The winger picks out N'Zonzi in the middle, but the midfielder can't keep his effort from sailing over the crossbar.

49 minAssaidi's pace is a threat on the break as he sprints clear of a few Fulham defenders. The winger picks out N'Zonzi in the middle, but the midfielder can't keep his effort from sailing over the crossbar.

51 minThat bright start to the second half hasn't been followed much. Fulham's inability to keep the ball is a big source of frustration for the visiting supporters before it gets worse.


55 minToo late, Felix. It's just got worse. Stoke break in numbers after surviving a rare spell of pressure from the visitors. Odemwingie's pace is too much for the desperate defenders as he uses the space well to roll the ball across the box to Arnautovic, who calmly drills the ball into the top corner. Superb finish!

57 minSUBSTITUTION: Dan Burn is sacrificed as Mitroglou comes off the bench. Fulham need something special from their record signing.

59 minSAVE! Fulham's defence fails to close down Assaidi, who responds by forcing Stockdale into a good save when he unleashes a powerful effort from the edge of the box. It's difficult to see a way back for Fulham. Sunderland are still ahead at Old Trafford.

62 minImportant piece of defending from Heitinga, who makes sure his side don't fall further behind when he blocks a shot from Arnautovic, which looked destined for the bottom corner. Ireland has dropped slightly deeper in the second half to pull the strings.

63 minA free kick is won by Fulham in a good position, but Begovic takes the pressure off his defenders by collecting the cross in a congested penalty area. Fulham are starting to adopt a slightly more direct approach. At this moment, Stoke are dealing with everything quite easily.

65 minYELLOW CARD! Parker is late with his challenge on the lively Assaidi, and the midfielder can have no arguments with the booking. Stoke continue to dominate this match.

68 minA Fulham corner is cleared as far as Richardson, who collects the ball on the edge of the box before firing a shot into the stands behind the goal. Fulham are yet to create a clear opportunity this afternoon.

70 minSUBSTITUTION: Charlie Adam comes off the bench to replace Ireland, and he's involved immediately as he fires a shot over the bar from the edge of the box.


74 minIt just continues to get worse for the visitors as Fulham concede a third goal at the Britannia Stadium. Stoke find the back of the net on the counter attack once again as Arnautovic collects the ball in space before sliding the ball to Assaidi, who gets the goal his impressive display deserves when he slots home from close range. Fantastic from Stoke, woeful from Fulham.

75 minYELLOW CARD! Sunderland are still leading at Old Trafford with just over 15 minutes remaining. Back at the Britannia, Dejagah is booked for a cynical foul on Adam.

76 minSUBSTITUTION: Matthew Etherington comes off the bench to replace Assaidi, who gets a standing ovation on his way off. He's been fantastic this afternoon.

78 minSUBSTITUTION: Stoke make their final change as Odemwingie makes way for Jonathan Walters.


80 minToo little, too late it seems. Fulham score what looks to be a consolation goal with 10 minutes remaining. A cross from the right is played to Richardson, who connects with a shot well to give Begovic no chance in the Stoke goal.


83 minAny hopes of a dramatic fightback are over. Stoke add a fourth just moments after Fulham pulled a goal back as Walters collects a through ball from Adam before calmly slotting the ball past Stockdale. Great finish from the substitute. Stoke fully deserve such an emphatic success.

86 minStoke are keeping the ball with apparent ease as they cruise towards the final whistle. Fulham are just a few minutes away from being relegated along with Cardiff, who still trail to Newcastle. Sunderland are hanging on at Old Trafford.

88 minIt's Stoke who continue to attack in the closing stages. They're passing the ball as well as I've seen them do this season. The Potters are still dominating. Adam misses the target with a speculative effort, but the mood won't change inside the ground.

90 minStoke take a corner short, but eventually delivery a ball straight into Stockdale's arms. As the goalkeeper looks to pick out a teammate, the fourth official confirms that three minutes will be added on.

90+2 minCHANCE! Fulham are gifted the opportunity to score a second goal following a mistake from Wilson, but Bent fails to hit the target from inside the box.

90+4 minIt's not been good enough from Fulham. Sunderland continue to lead, so they're under a minute away from relegation.


4.53pmFULHAM ARE RELEGATED FROM THE PREMIER LEAGUE: It's all over at the Britannia, and the final whistle has also been blown at Old Trafford. Sunderland have beaten Manchester United, which means that this 4-1 defeat send Fulham down. They'll be joined in the Championship by Cardiff, who have lost 3-0 to Newcastle.

4.55pmFulham's woes will dominate the headlines, but they weren't even given a sniff by a dominant Stoke side. Hughes and his players fully deserve all three points today as they remain on course for a place in the top half of the table.

4.57pmStoke deservedly collect all three points, while Fulham now begin preparations for life in the Championship. It's been a miserable day for the travelling supporters. That's all from me today. Thanks for joining me throughout the afternoon. Goodbye.

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Fulham manager Felix Magath prior to kick-off against Hull in the Premier League match on April 26, 2014
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Preview: Stoke vs. Fulham

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