Fulham 2-1 Norwich City
Last Updated: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 17:21
Fulham withstood a late Norwich fightback to hold on for a narrow victory and take maximum points at Craven Cottage.
The Canaries didn't get out of the blocks at all in the opening stages and found themselves behind inside the opening two minutes as Fulham made the perfect start. Bryan Ruiz cut in from the left flank and although his curling effort was kept out by John Ruddy it was tapped into the empty net by top scorer Clint Dempsey.
The Cottagers, buoyed by their perfect start, flowed forward and the impressive Ruiz almost made it two just moments later but Ruddy again denied him. However, the home side didn't have to wait long for a second goal as Damien Duff drove into the box and curled a delightful shot beyond an outstretched Ruddy into the far corner of the net.
Norwich just couldn't penetrate at the other end and Mark Schwarzer was a mere spectator until the hour mark when Norwich found their way back into the game.
The Australian keeper had to be at his best to keep out Wes Hoolahan and then Simeon Jackson. However, there was nothing that Schwarzer could do about Aaron Wilbraham's deflected strike that gave Norwich a lifeline with 13 minutes left.
The Canaries came forward with everything they had but Fulham held firm to take the three points, a result that lifts them above today's opponents in the Premier League table.