Fulham vs. Swansea City  1 - 2

Article

Jol rues gifted goals

30 December 2012 00:13

Fulham manager Martin Jol believes his side's performance against Swansea City deserved a win after a 2-1 loss on Saturday.

Jol was also disappointed back-up goalkeeper David Stockdale's errors undone an otherwise good performance at Craven Cottage.

Fulham laid siege to the Swansea goal for much of the second half, but could not find an equaliser after Bryan Ruiz brought the home side back into the game.

"I can't blame 90 percent of my players," Jol told reporters.

"I think they did everything, they gave everything, the only one who didn't have the best Christmas day was my goalkeeper, and he's a very good goalkeeper. And I won't blame him, but you can see that we gave them two goals. Simple.

"I feel the first goal we presented them, and the second was almost a Christmas gift."

Though Stockdale gifted Swansea their two goals – scored by Danny Graham and Jonathan de Guzman – Jol was otherwise impressed with his side's improvement since a 1-1 draw with Southampton on Boxing Day.

"I feel that a lot of things didn't go wrong," Jol said. "I think we started off in the way we wanted to.

"Today I felt we did everything, we changed everything, in two or three days.

"Tactically it was probably our best game of the last couple of months, because we were wretched over the last couple of months, particularly in midfield. And today I really enjoyed watching us."

Victorious Swansea manager Michael Laudrup praised the defensive resolve and character of his side to survive a late onslaught from Fulham.

"Even when we went 2-0 up I knew it would be a very hard, very long second half," Laudrup told reporters.

"But I think we showed that we can win (ugly). You can't always win playing well with the ball.

"Sometimes you have to try to do it in other ways, and that is what I talked about when I arrived some months ago. That sometimes you need to use a plan B or a plan C.

"I think it was a great win and once more showed the team has character."

Article

Premier League: Fulham 1 Swansea City 2

29 December 2012 18:06

Swansea City survived a late barrage from Fulham to clinch a 2-1 victory at Craven Cottage during an entertaining encounter on Saturday.

The visitors went ahead when Danny Graham's bicycle kick nestled in the bottom right-hand corner of the goal after some good work down the right from Angel Rangel and Nathan Dyer, helped by some sloppy goalkeeping from David Stockdale.

Swansea doubled their lead following the interval, Pablo Hernandez picking up the ball after a woeful clearance from Stockdale and Jonathan De Guzman passing into the net from outside the box.

Bryan Ruiz then pulled one back for Fulham in a goalmouth scramble shortly afterwards.

Fulham manager Martin Jol made six changes to the side that drew with Southampton on Boxing Day, with Stockdale, Brede Hangeland, Matthew Briggs, Giorgos Karagounis, Kerim Frei and Ruiz all called to the starting line-up.

Michael Laudrup also rang the changes from Swansea's last game away at Reading, with Gerhard Tremmel, Hernandez, Garry Monk, Rangel, Kemy Agustien, De Guzman and Graham all coming in, the Premier League's top scorer Michu missing out with an ankle injury.

After a lively opening from both sides, it was Swansea who grabbed the first goal in the 18th minute through Graham, after Stockdale palmed out Dyer's tame effort before the forward acrobatically turned the ball home.

The hosts almost responded immediately, with Frei flashing a vicious strike right across goal after collecting Sascha Riether's cross from the right, before the impressive Ruiz brought a smart stop out of Tremmel after trying to curl an effort into the far corner from outside the box.

After the break, Ruiz went close once again with a free kick from the edge of the area which just clipped the post on its way out of play.

Swansea raced into a two-goal lead in the 52nd minute through De Guzman after yet another Stockdale howler, with his poor clearance hitting Hangeland before Hernandez latched on to the loose ball and squaring it for De Guzman to coolly slot home.

Fulham grabbed a goal back to get themselves back into the game in the 55th minute with Ruiz the scorer.

A goalmouth scramble ensued after a Berbatov header was tipped onto the bar before the Costa Rica international tapped in unmarked in the six-yard box, despite suspicions Riether may have got a touch on it from an offside position before it went in.

With the game becoming increasingly open, Frei tested Tremmel with a sweetly-hit volley from outside the area, Berbatov seeing a goal correctly disallowed for offside after Tremmel parried Karagounis' effort from distance.

Despite Swansea struggling to clear their lines during a nervy close to the game, Fulham failed to create any genuine clear-cut opportunities and the visitors went on to claim all three points.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25