West Brom beat Fulham with ease
23 October 2010
Another game and another performance that gives belief to the Baggies fans that this could be the season that sees Albion establish themselves amongst the Premier League's elite.
Fulham were missing several key players but really a club with aspirations of competing in the Premier League should have players that can deputise for the so called star players. West Brom were again able to compete without star striker Peter Odemwingie, Marc-Antoine Fortuné proving a different but able deputy.
This was yet another game when the Baggies would fall behind and it was old boy Zoltan Gera who opened the scoring, (albeit harshly credited as an o.g. from Scott Carson). Gera found himself in acres of space in front of the penalty and he let fly with a powerful shot that Carson managed to push onto the post but unfortunately for him it rebounded onto his back and into the goal.
Moments after Fulham opened the scoring they were presented with a gilt edged chance by an inexplicable pass from Gonzalo Jara which only found its way to former Baggie Diomansy Kamara who failed to hit the target with a shot from just outside the box, his shot just skimmed the post that had been so unkind to the Albion keeper.
From then on it was all West Brom and they soon equalised following some neat interplay that saw the Cottagers normally sound defence torn to shreds as an unmarked Youssouf Mulumbu finished with aplomb.
The Baggies got their winner just before half time with a first goal of the campaign for Fortuné. The goal was set up by Jara, after a fine tackle on the edge of his own area the Chilean defender sent a fine pass up field and the ball eventually found its way to Jerome Thomas who set up Fortuné to side foot into Schwarzer's net. The goal sent the Hawthorns into raptures and in truth there should have been more goals Albion, Olsson had a fine header cleared off the line shortly before the winner had been struck and Scharner managed to only hit the side netting just after Fortuné's goal.
The second half saw Albion again in control and they could have easily added to their tally had James Morrison laced up his finishing boots and the referee Kevin Friend been kinder with a sure penalty when Jerome Thomas was hauled down by the hapless Kelly.
Fulham introduced long term injury victim Andy Johnson mid way through the second half and although they put the Baggies' back line under more pressure they never looked like equalising even though Jonas Olsson had to be withdrawn from the action following an achilles injury. Again the strength of Albion's squad was tested and came up trumps with Spanish international Pablo Ibanez slotting in seamlessly alongside the hugely impressive Gabriel Tamas.
The final whistle was met with a huge cheer and its amazing to think that Albion have managed to climb into a European spot without last season's player of the season Graham Dorrans figuring to any great extent and having already faced the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool and Spurs.
Right now most fans will be content with just keeping their top flight place for next season but if the same form can be maintained perhaps come the end of the season there might be something else to celebrate.