- Stoke vs Fulham

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Saturday 3 May 2014 | Britannia Stadium | Referee: Chris Foy | Attendance 27,429

Stoke
  • Peter Odemwingie (39)
  • Marko Arnautovic (54)
  • Oussama Assaidi (73)
  • Jonathan Walters (82)
Stoke
4 - 1
Fulham
  • Kieran Richardson (80)
Fulham

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Match report

Mark Hughes' Stoke City side sent his former club Fulham into the Championship with a 4-1 victory at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

Felix Magath had never suffered relegation during his managerial career, but the German's record came to an end as his men were swept aside by rampant Stoke in a one-sided Barclays Premier League match. Sunderland's victory at Manchester United ensured the London club's 13-season stay in the top flight is over.

Peter Odemwingie opened the scoring with his sixth goal since his move from Cardiff City, whose relegation was also confirmed on Saturday. Marko Arnautovic doubled Stoke's lead in a game that they dominated from start to finish and the impressive Oussama Assaidi added a third goal. Kieran Richardson did reply for Fulham, but Stoke substitute Jon Walters swiftly made it 4-1 to compound Fulham's misery. Hughes, who left Fulham in 2011, is on course to guide Stoke to their first top-10 finish in the Barclays Premier League, while his former employers must prepare for life in the second tier.

Assaidi was named in the Stoke starting line-up for the first time in almost three months, after a spell on the sidelines with a knee problem, and could have put his side in front just two minutes in. Steven N'Zonzi cut the ball back for the on-loan Liverpool winger, who came in at the expense of Peter Crouch, but Assaidi blazed wildly over the crossbar with his right foot.

Mahamadou Diarra breathed a sigh of relief when he gifted the ball to Stephen Ireland 25 yards from his own goal and David Stockdale spared his blushes with a fine reflex save.

Assaidi was a constant menace to the Fulham defence and Stockdale had to be alert to keep out the Moroccan's long-range drive as Stoke set a frenetic pace. Lewis Holtby made way for Ashkan Dejagah shortly after only 34 minutes, but Magath's attempt to turn the tide failed to have the desired effect.

Stoke were dominant and it came as no surprise when they moved in front six minutes before the break. Arnautovic was the architect as he cut the ball back for Ireland. The midfielder's shot took a deflection before hitting the crossbar and dropping down nicely for Odemwingie to slot home.

Fulham could not deal with the home side's passing and movement and Stockdale produced another fine save to thwart the influential Arnautovic. The Austrian was not to be denied nine minutes after the interval, though, as he finished off a brisk Stoke break to double their lead. Assaidi found Odemwingie with a sublime pass and the Nigerian this time turned provider as he picked out the onrushing Arnautovic, who beat Stockdale with a clinical right-footed finish at the back post.

Assaidi had the bit between his teeth and rounded off another rapid break after Arnautovic had squared from the right 73 minutes in. Substitute Richardson pulled a goal back with a right-footed finish from inside the penalty area 10 minutes from time, but the damage had been done. Walters rounded off the scoring when he slotted home a fourth Stoke goal with eight minutes remaining.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes said: "I've seen a number of people who worked very hard for me when I was at Fulham and obviously they're very upset at the moment.

"You don't like to see people you've worked with go through that but it's an unforgiving league and you have to get the job done which we have and they haven't.

"There are a lot of good people there and a lot of good support staff who helped me so I hope they bounce back quickly.

"We made it difficult for Fulham once we scored that first goal which was really important. It might have been more difficult if they had got in front but they had to throw people forward to get on level terms and that played into our hands."

Fulham manager Felix Magath: "I've never been relegated until today. I feel very sad. I have to apologise for not managing the situation. The club asked me to come - I tried.

"At the end it was better than before but not good enough. Regarding today, the only thing I can imagine there was too much pressure for the players. There was no reason for that performance - it's the worst game since I've been here. I didn't expect it. We were fighting against relegation. I told the team, today was a great chance but we never took the chance.

"The thing is you can never say any player would like to see relegation, but they didn't fight enough, especially today. It's hard for everybody who likes Fulham. I like it at Fulham, the club and the English way of playing football. I want to build a new team - that was the idea when I came here."

Stoke

Stoke

Manager: Mark Hughes

Fulham

Fulham

Manager: Felix Magath

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29 Nov 2014 v Liverpool (A) Buy Now Watch and Listen
02 Dec 2014 v Man Utd (A) Buy Now Watch and Listen
Next fixtures
11 May 2014 v Crystal Palace (H) Buy Now Watch and Listen

Fan Rating

- rate the player performances for this match

Stoke

Stoke

Manager: Mark Hughes

Fulham

Fulham

Manager: Felix Magath

Line-up All Fans BFR
1. Asmir Begovic 6.2 7.52
5. Marc Muniesa 6.4 3.73
20. Geoff Cameron 7.2 4.41
12. Marc Wilson 6.8 4.35
3. Erik Pieters 6.6 4.63
15. Steven N'Zonzi 6.8 4.44
6. Glenn Whelan 7.2 4.49
10. Marko Arnautovic 9.2 5.61
32. Stephen Ireland 7.8 4.55
24. Oussama Assaidi 8.86 6.0
9. Peter Odemwingie 8.67 5.55
Substitutes All Fans BFR
19. Jonathan Walters 7.0 4.39
25. Peter Crouch 1.0 5.31
26. Matthew Etherington 6.0 4.42
16. Charlie Adam 6.5 5.26
29. Thomas Sørensen - 2.63
8. Wilson Palacios - 4.16
28. Andy Wilkinson - 2.78
Line-up All Fans BFR
13. David Stockdale 6.25 4.09
33. Dan Burn 3.0 4.42
4. Johnny Heitinga 4.25 4.38
3. John Arne Riise 3.75 4.66
5. Brede Hangeland 4.5 4.48
9. Mahamadou Diarra 3.75 5.0
7. Steve Sidwell 5.0 4.97
28. Scott Parker 5.5 4.71
10. Lewis Holtby 4.25 4.36
15. Kieran Richardson 6.0 4.26
39. Darren Bent 2.5 5.57
Substitutes All Fans BFR
25. Cauley Woodrow - 4.0
18. Kostas Mitroglou 1.0 7.69
24. Ashkan Dejagah 5.33 4.79
8. Pajtim Kasami 1.0 5.15
27. Sascha Riether - 4.79
35. Fernando Amorebieta - 3.53
41. Jesse Joronen - -

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