clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fulham 5 - 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Getty Images

Perhaps the scoreline told more of Wolverhampton Wanderers' demise and general defensive sorrow than it did Fulham's exquisitely fluid football, but 5-0 at home to any side is a result that turns heads, and so is a hat trick.

Pavel Pogrebnyak will, yet again, take the plaudits here, his performance being of the greatest calibre and his three goals being taken with aplomb, but in truth, the performance of the team as a whole was one to behold in its beauty. Wolves did half the work, but such was Fulham's play, were it not for the Cottage sitting cosily in the corner, you'd think you were at the Nou Camp when witnessing this match. In midfield, Moussa Dembele roamed with an unnerving authority, his neat footwork yet again proving to be effortlessly easy on the eye. At some moments, you have to wonder how he isn't plying his trade in the Champions League right now.

To top it off, Clint Dempsey was his usual, predatory self, claiming a late brace and stealing the show with a fine strike. His week has been beyond superb and yet, you have to feel that maybe, just maybe, Martin Jol deserves the plaudits for this one. His decision to move Dembele into a central position has prevailed and, although the opposition were lackluster in their attempts, they were also well trained in the work of buoyancy - something shown last week in their Newcastle fightback - and our Dutch manager quite simply outclassed Terry Connor in the opposite dugout with simple, tactical, ingenuity.

Fulham fans had a right to be joyous, and with their first winning streak of 3 games since May 2008 (and their 1000th league victory - yes, I'm full of stats today), they certainly were.

The tone for this encounter was set early on. That the blueprint was to attack was quite prevalent, Ronald Zubar only preventing a sound opportunity for Dempsey with a waste high tackle adopted from the world of kick-boxing. The resulting free-kick was fired straight into the wall, but with only a few minutes on the clock, the outlook was positive.

Dempsey almost got his reward for his bruising, the American firing a shot which was astutely saved by visiting goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. That wasn't Hennessey's only bit of action, however, as John Arne Riise forced him into an athletic save after shooting from outside the box. The Norwegian struck the ball sweetly but the save was equally adept.

Riise wasn't going to stop there, however, as he was clearly intent on claiming a goal against what was a fragile Wolves back line. One shot was blocked and another hit the post - it clearly wasn't going to be his day in that respect.

Richard Stearman almost hushed a vociferous home crowd, heading just off target, but in truth it was a chance carved out of little possession and it was entirely against the run of play.

Hennessey was called into action yet again, this time saving with his feet from Andy Johnson. Some sublime work from Dembele set Riise free, his cross finding the former Palace man inside the area.

And then, finally, the resistance was broken. Pavel Pogrebnyak retained his record of scoring in every game he's played for Fulham after heading home from a matter of yards from a pinpoint Damen Duff corner. As you'd expect, the chants of 'who needs Zamora when we've got the Pog' resonated around the ground. The Russian is most assuredly having the time of his life.

As much was proven eight minutes later, as Pogrebnyak doubled his tally and ensured Fulham went in to the half time break two goals to the good. He won a loose ball in Wolves territory and fed the ball to strike partner Johnson who then returned the favour. Pogrebnyak's one touch finish was majestic and intricate in equal measure.

Unlike on recent occasions, Fulham took their fine form into the second period. Dempsey fired a low shot at the Wolves goal but Hennessey was equal to it. Despite conceding five, the Welshman still had a respectable day.

That doesn't mean Dempsey wasn't going to get the better of him - the American all but confirming the three points for Fulham. It was Murphy's ball that found him - the captain was influential in his display - and Texan born Dempsey did the rest of the work, finishing with a fine right footed shot.

The Hammersmith End was quickly in raptures yet again, The Pog scoring his first goal at that end since joining. It was his third of the game and the fourth of the match - meaning he's scored more goals since joining in January than Fernando Torres has at Chelsea since signing at the same point last year - and it was a true poachers finish. An Andy Johnson shot was repelled with a Hennessey save, but Pogrebnyak responded quicker than any Wolves defender.

Another landmark was reached, as Mahamadou Diarra made his debut for the club. While he didn't make the score sheet, he still held a palpable air of confidence and barely misplaced a pass in his twenty minutes on the field.

Fulham continued to press, seemingly not content with four. Dembele tested Hennessey yet again before Dempsey completed what was undoubtedly a rout. A wonderful passing move from the Whites, with Diarra making the final pass, was finished astutely by Clint Dempsey and the game was sealed.

No nervous last minutes. No frantic defensive calamities in the dying moments. Instead, another clean sheet and eight place in the table. Europe anybody?