The first half made you wonder at the sanity of spending forty-nine quid to stand in the freezing cold and watch absolutely nothing happen. Only Dempsey’s low shot wide and a couple of efforts from Fulham, one very well saved by Hugo at his near post, threatened to change the display on the pub tv that serves as the ‘big screen’ at Craven Cottage.
The main feature of the opening 45 minutes had been the touch and vision of the traitorous Berbatov, a pleasure to watch unfortunately and at the centre of everything Fulham manufactured during the whole afternoon. The second half began at the same slow plod as the first until the intervention of Sandro, ‘Tottenham Hotspur’s Brazilian yiddo’. Mark Schwarzer has a history of gifting us goals, mostly for Middlesbrough and whilst this wasn’t up there with his best gaffe’s, it was still a surprise to see Sandro’s drive from a loooong way out get past him.
The weather was now forgotten, two more goal celebrations plus endless rounds of AVB’s Blue and White Army saw to that. Firstly Sigurdsson toyed with Senderos before cutting across for Defoe to hit number two from close in and then Dempsey capped a fine performance, as they say, by putting JD in for the game wrapper upper. I’d spent a lot of the afternoon watching Defoe and wondering why he isn’t able to get into games as much as we need him to, (size and movement I suspect are the two main missing ingredients) and then he provides the decisive moments. Two chances and two goals.
All the atmosphere came from the away end, the home fans were quiet but contributed by applauding Dembélé from the field when he was subbed and half heartedly booing Dempsey’s early touches clearly not concerned that in Berbatov they have the pioneer of head-not-in-the-right-place sulkiness, i.e. it’s all his fault. Dempsey ignored the mumbles from the stands and had a fine game, as did Caulker and Gallas, Sandro and of course Dembélé.
The injuries to Dawson are Bale are buggers especially with such a busy month ahead. The squad is being stretched and AVB will be delighted to have recorded such an emphatic away win without Huddlestone, Walker and initially Gallas, never mind the hamstrung duo and all the other absentees. Everton next weekend, not a Happy Hunting Ground for us of late but Wigan, Eastlands and the Hemorrhoids have been forgotten. We may not have Bale but we’ll be taking confidence, optimism and Adebayor.
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