Berbatov bags brace in Baggies defeat

PA Sport

Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov scored a brace on his home debut to guide Martin Jol's side to a comfortable 3-0 victory over 10-man West Brom.

The 31-year-old, making his first start since a deadline-day move from Manchester United, opened the scoring in the 32nd minute before adding a second from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, with Steve Sidwell adding a third in the closing stages.

West Brom forward Peter Odemwingie was sent off in between Berbatov's strikes for violent conduct. The second-half was noticeable for a string of superb saves from West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster as Fulham failed to add to their lead until the last minute when Sidwell volleyed home.

Berbatov's opening goal came just after the half-hour mark following some good work from Alex Kacaniklic.

The young winger showed good feet when surrounded by three West Brom defenders before rolling the ball into Berbatov who bent his effort inside Foster's left-hand post.

West Brom came close to an immediate equaliser with Brede Hangeland doing well to block Jonas Olsson's shot after Berbatov fouled James Morrison on the edge of the area.

Moments later West Brom were reduced to 10 men when Odemwingie was shown a straight red card for kicking out at Sascha Riether.

The hosts were awarded a penalty in first-half injury time when Billy Jones fouled the busy Kacaniklic after the 21-year-old had beaten him for pace.

Berbatov stepped up confidently and sent former Manchester United team-mate Foster the wrong way to double Fulham's lead at the interval.

Fulham continued to pile forward in the second half, forcing Foster into save after save. He denied Berbatov and Hugo Rodallega but was powerless to stop Sidwell adding the third with only a minute to go.

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