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Craven Cottage, England

Referee: M Atkinson | Attendance: 11059

* Local time based on your geographic location.


  • Vincenzo Montella 11'
  • Brian McBride 39'
  • Tomasz Radzinski 54'

3 - 0


Fulham 3-0 Stoke: Montella strikes again

Vincenzo Montella, now known in London as well as Rome as 'the Little Aeroplane', brought down Championship high-flyers Stoke 3-0 to steer Fulham through to the fifth round of the FA Cup.

The on-loan Italian scored one goal and had a foot in two others as Chris Coleman's Cottagers comfortably checked an aerial barrage by the Potters to rack up their 10th consecutive match without defeat.

Although seven of those games were draws, Fulham again showed they are an established force in the Premiership with bright, inventive play on the counter-attack and some stoic defending when needed - even though they are still missing several key players.

But on the day they completed the signing of midfielder Alexei Smertin from Dinamo Moscow, adding to three previous arrivals this month in Montella, Clint Dempsey and Simon Davies, the Craven Cottage fans still had only one name on their lips.

• Coleman hails Montella

Montella had scored three times in four games coming off the substitutes' bench and on his first start - in place of suspended Heidar Helguson - the 32-year-old on-loan Roma striker, nicknamed 'L'Aeroplanino' by supporters at the Stadio delle Alpi, was soon showing off his trademark goal celebration.

He had take-off as early as the 12th minute when he landed his fourth goal for Fulham - and he was to help lay on further efforts for Brian McBride six minutes before the break and Tomasz Radzinski seven minutes after it.

His opener came from a short-corner routine featuring winger Wayne Routledge, whose cross produced a header by Radzinski which was athletically kept out by Stoke goalkeeper Steve Simonsen.

But Radzinski was onto the rebound in a flash and steered the ball through a crowded six-yard box for Montella to sweep in.

Stoke made Fulham work for their rewards. Tony Pulis' team of loanees and veterans were always physically up for the battle and sent in a succession of high balls that had the home side's central defenders always on their toes.

But a second Fulham goal - McBride's 10th of the season - seemed to seal their fate in the 39th minute.

Montella was at the heart of it, chesting the ball down and slipping it through for the American to run on and apply a clinical finish.

Fulham, who squeezed through 4-3 in a replay against Leicester in the third round, had goalkeeper Antti Niemi back in the squad after a neck injury - but Jan Lastuvka kept the starting place.

There was nothing for either keeper to do in the opening scrappy 12 minutes but then Montella struck - after an error by Dominic Matteo let in Liam Rosenior to force a corner.

Stoke were lucky not to be 2-0 behind a couple of minutes later when Michael Brown's low drive from 25 yards fizzed just wide with Simonsen well beaten.

Skipper Brown and Moritz Volz bossed the midfield for Fulham early on with a combination of drive and energy while Montella showed some silky touches up front.

But Stoke captain Michael Duberry almost levelled matters in the 20th minute when Matteo swung in a free-kick from the right and the former Leeds star planted his header just wide after outjumping the home defence.

Radzinski twice skewered shots off target as Fulham worked to re-establish their authority, but until McBride's goal there was enough strength in Stoke's performance to maintain hope among their 3,000 or so travelling fans congregated behind the Cottage End goal.

Lee Martin, on loan from Manchester United, had a chance to make a name for Stoke early in the second half but steered an easy opportunity straight into Lastuvka's grateful arms.

Stoke paid the penalty when Montella's simple square pass to Volz was slipped through by the industrious German for Radzinski to clip home a well deserved goal for 3-0 in the 52nd minute.

And although Stoke battled hard to the finish without really testing Lastuvka, the hosts - who replaced Montella with American Dempsey before the hour mark - could have added several more.

  • Coleman hails Montella

    Fulham manager Chris Coleman praised the contribution of on-loan Italian Vincenzo Montella - but admitted there is no chance of keeping the quick Italian beyond the end of this season.

    The 32-year-old Montella, on loan from Roma, scored after 12 minutes of his

    first start for the London club after three goals in four games as a


    But Coleman said: 'He has a long lucrative contract at Roma and we know he

    has got to go back at the end of the season.

    'He is here because he wants to play football and sample living in London -

    and we are glad to have him.

    'He helped make two other goals today and the most important thing after that

    was to rest him because we have a really tough game at Sheffield United on


    Coleman added: 'Vincenzo has scored goals wherever he has been and everybody

    knows about him.

    'There were several clubs after him when he couldn't get into Roma's team,

    which had Francesco Totti as a lone striker.

    'He has fitted in very well in the dressing room, the players and the crowd

    love him and he's every inch a professional in all he does.

    'He has not been back to Italy yet since he arrived and he's going to an

    interpreter three times a week to learn English.'

    Montella was given a standing ovation in the 58th minute when he was replaced

    by American Clint Dempsey.

    Meanwhile, Stoke manager Tony Pulis criticised his Coca-Cola Championship side

    for conceding 'three soft goals' in the FA Cup fourth round defeat.

    Pulis explained: 'We gave Fulham a real leg up and it is very disappointing.

    'We came here to give a show and put up a fight - but you have to attend to

    the basics.

    'It is a step up playing a Premiership team - but once they got the first

    goal we were struggling really. You can't give them a start.'

    Trailing 2-0 at half-time, Stoke missed their chance of a way back in the

    match when on-loan Manchester United youngster Lee Martin put a simple chance

    straight into the arms of goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka.

    Montella and Brian McBride had already scored twice for Fulham and after

    Martin's miss, Tomasz Radzinski added a third goal for the Cottagers.

    Pulis added: 'Fulham have some smashing players and deserved to win but we

    gave them a helping hand and that is a shame because we have a reputation in our

    league for not conceding goals easily.'

  • Scoring Summary

    • Fulham
    • Stoke City

    Match Stats

    • Fulham
    • Stoke City
    12(6) Shots (on goal) 7(3)
    16 Fouls 10
    5 Corner kicks 5
    1 Offsides 2
    53% Time of Possession 47%
    2 Yellow Cards 1
    0 Red Cards 0
    7 Saves 5


    • Fulham
    • Stoke City
    Yellow Cards