Fulham Vs. Norwich City: Cottagers Cage the Canaries 5-0

After all the consternation and discussion about Clint Dempsey, Fulham put it all aside and did what you should do in your season opener, thrash your opponent. New signing Mladen Petric had a near perfect debut, scoring a brace and setting up Alexander Kacaniklic on another as Fulham steamrolled Norwich City 5-0 at Craven Cottage.

Fulham dominated the first half, at least in terms of possession. Bryan Ruiz and John Arne Riise generated a couple dangerous chances that were foreshadowing for what would come later. The Cottagers continued to press the Canaries defense and finally broke through in the 26th minute. Riise caught out the Norwich defense with a perfectly placed diagonal long ball over the top to Damien Duff who made a simple first touch, and poked the ball past goalkeeper John Ruddy just inside the far post.

Fulham got a second goal in the 41st minute that initially appeared to be cleared off the line by Norwich. The AR was in the right place though and correctly ruled that Mladen Petric's header crossed the line, putting Fulham up 2-0 at halftime.

The second half looked shockingly similar to the first half. The big difference was Fulham only needed 10 minutes to score again. Petric fought off a foul outside the Norwich box and blasted a lovely left-footed strike that appeared to take a slight deflection on its way past Ruddy. Alexander Kacaniklic got in on the fun in the 66th minute, giving Fulham a 4-0 lead after an absolutely sublime back heel assist from Petric that allowed the Swede to go in uncontested against Ruddy.

Just because they wanted to match Swansea's 5-0 thrasing of QPR, Steve Sidwell converted a late penalty to give Fulham their fifth goal. The PK was set-up by Hugo Rodallega who was dragged down in the box by defender Michael Turner.

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