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Fulham 3 West Brom 0

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Ten-man West Brom fell to their first defeat of the Steve Clarke era as Peter Odemwingie's needless red card left them with too much to do at Craven Cottage.

Ten-man West Brom fell to their first defeat of the Steve Clarke era as Peter Odemwingie's needless red card left them with too much to do at Craven Cottage.

The Nigeria international was dismissed late in the first half for a stupid kick at Fulham defender Sascha Riether with his side already 1-0 down to Dimitar Berbatov's first Fulham goal.

Berbatov made it 2-0 from the penalty spot before half-time and, despite a brave Baggies effort after the break, Steve Sidwell added a third on 89 minutes.

Both sides had moments of early promise but it was Albion had went closest through James Morrison.

He collected a pass from Billy Jones and hit a dipping shot that Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer tipped over his crossbar.

The game was evenly poised but it was the hosts who went ahead on 32 minutes through Berbatov.

Alexander Kacaniklic was the creator, weaving his way between Jones and Marc-Antoine Fortune before squaring for Berbatov, who curled home a fine shot into the top corner.

Brede Hangeland made a vital block seven minutes before half-time to deny Jonas Olsson after Fortune had nodded down a Morrison free-kick.

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But Albion were facing an uphill task a minute later thanks to Odemwingie's moment of madness.

The Nigerian lost possession to Sascha Riether and reacted inexplicably by aiming a vicious kick at the Fulham man, leaving referee Roger East with no option but to show the red card.

And it got worse for the Baggies in stoppage-time when Jones, who had moments earlier threatened to score following a fabulous attacking run, was exposed defensively again and fouled Kacaniklic.

The referee pointed to the spot and Berbatov sent Ben Foster the wrong way as he placed the penalty to the keeper's left.

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Albion introduced Chris Brunt and Romelu Lukaku at half-time and they showed resilience after the break, although Berbatov fancied a hat-trick and blasted over from 20 yards after cutting inside Jones.

Brunt forced Schwarzer to push the ball over his crossbar from a 20-yard shot and Lukaku then saw a low effort deflected into the body of the scrambling keeper.

But it was the 11 men of Fulham who carried more threat and Foster had to make a series of smart saves to prevent further damage for Albion.

First he saved a long-range Sidwell shot and palmed the rebound bravely away from Damien Duff, then he blocked a deflected effort from Duff and kept out a decent low drive from Hugo Rodallega.

But he was finally beaten for a third time with two minutes to go after he could only parry a cross-shot from substitute Pajtim Kasami.

Rodallega headed against the crossbar but the rebound fell for Sidwell, who blasted into an empty net.

By Steve Madeley

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