Fulham 1 - 0 Stoke City

Match info: Premier League at Craven Cottage

Date: 23/02/2013 KO: 12:45 Ref: L Probert Att: 25,458

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers


Dimitar Berbatov 45+2



FT (ht: 1-0)

  • Last Updated: February 23 2013, 17:40 GMT

Matchwinner Dimitar Berbatov insisted Fulham must build on today's Barclays Premier League win over Stoke.

We need to build on win - Berbatov

The Bulgarian got the only goal of the game in the first half to ease the Cottagers' relegation fears, although they needed goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to save a Jonathan Walters penalty.

Berbatov said: "Today was important but it's not going to mean much if we lose the next game.

"Today we played very good football. We know Stoke play the long ball and have strong players but we managed it very well and got the three points, which is most important."

On his goal, an impressive volley, Berbatov added: "I practice it in training. It's just a moment when you need to do something special - and you do it."

On the striker's technique for the goal, Schwarzer said: "We see it every day in training.

"We know what quality he has and expect it from him, which puts more pressure on him."

On the penalty save, the Australian veteran said: "We looked at video footage before the game so I was confident I knew where he was going to go. I was lucky enough to get behind it."

Schwarzer also made a good save to deny Peter Crouch and added on Sky Sports: "Any time you don't concede a goal is important.

"We needed the points today. You know what you are going to get from Stoke and it is especially vital at home to pick up three points."

Fulham boss Martin Jol said: "For us, today was vital. You know you can get dragged into problems but now we have 33 points we can look forward to the next couple of games.

"I feel you always need special, professional players who can make a difference and today it was Dimitar.

"We were the better team in the first half but we needed Mark Schwarzer to get us the clean sheet and the three points."

The Dutchman believed Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi was fortunate to escape with only a yellow card for striking Bryan Ruiz after the Fulham player had released the ball.

Jol said: "I think he's very lucky to get a yellow card. This was a sort of knockout punch that was more than red. It was evil."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis admits his side are still not safe from relegation this season and felt the result at Fulham proves that every game is a difficult challenge.

The point at which Stoke should be safe is on the manager's mind, and Pulis will not accept they are certainly staying up "until we get 40 points, and we are still seven away".

"That will be the watershed and always is for me," Pulis said.

"I think everyone in the league who hasn't got 40 points will be (looking over their shoulders) that is the way it is.

"The league is a relentless league and every game is a tough game as we found out again today."

Pulis also bemoaned Walters' penalty miss as a turning point in the game for his side, who coped better with Fulham after the interval.

He said: "The first half was a very, very dead game and the only bit of quality was Berbatov's. Personally I think Fulham did not cause us many problems in the second half. We needed to score the penalty but we didn't.

"If we score the penalty then it is a different game. We have been closer in away games this year and have had opportunities and chances that we haven't taken."

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