English Premiership

Meulensteen enjoys first win

2013-12-08 17:51
Dimitar Berbatov (AFP)

London - Relegation-threatened Fulham gave Rene Meulensteen his first win as their manager with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at Craven Cottage in the Premier League on Sunday.

Steve Sidwell put the home side in front in the 21st minute when he scored against his old side after lofting the ball over the advancing Brad Guzan.

Fulham, who previously hadn't scored two goals at home all season, then doubled their lead through a controversial penalty nine minutes later.

Alex Kacaniklic broke clear and charged into the box where he appeared to make the initial contact with Villa's Leandro Bacuna.

But the referee Mike Dean awarded a penalty and Dimitar Berbatov, after selling Guzan a dummy, rolled the ball into the bottom corner.

Victory saw Fulham, beaten 2-1 by Tottenham in Meuelensteen's first game in charge on Wedenesday after he succeeded fellow Dutchman Martin Jol, climb one place into 18th spot but remain in the relegation zone.

However, their tally of 13 points left them level with London rivals Crystal Palace and West Ham, the two clubs either side of them in the table, and in the bottom three on goal difference alone.

Sidwell said Fulham were responding well to the influence of Meulensteen, who oversaw the midweek 2-1 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur.

"We've tried different formations since he's took charge," he told Sky Sports.

"There's versatility in the squad, we all put in a shift and hopefully it's working now."

Meanwhile Fulham captain Scott Parker praised the work of Berbatov, who had a hand in both goals.

Berbatov has been linked with a move away from Craven Cottage but Parker made it clear his team-mates wanted the "exceptional" former Manchester United striker to stay with west London side Fulham.

"We all know the quality he has," Parker said. "He was exceptional again today (Sunday) and was on Wednesday."

Asked about the importance of the result, Parker replied: "Massive. We all knew how important today was, we put in a shift and got the three points."

Bottom-of-the-table Sunderland are now five points adrift at the foot of the table.

Premier League leaders Arsenal will go seven points clear at the summit if they beat Everton -- fresh from a win over Manchester United -- at the Emirates Stadium in Sunday's other top-flight fixture.

Villa's defeat means both Swansea and Hull will have the chance to leapfrog them into the top half of the table when they meet at the Liberty Stadium on Monday.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

ASEC beat Chiefs 'B' team

2014-04-20 18:12

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
26 April 2014
Southampton v Everton, St. Mary's Stadium 13:45
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Fulham v Hull City, Craven Cottage 16:00
Swansea City v Aston Villa, Liberty Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United, The Hawthorns 16:00
Manchester United v Norwich City, Old Trafford 18:30
27 April 2014
Sunderland v Cardiff City, Stadium of Light 13:00
Liverpool v Chelsea, Anfield 15:05
Crystal Palace v Manchester City, Selhurst Park 17:10
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.