Fulham produced the perfect away performance at Swansea, ending their season on a high with a 3-0 win at the Liberty Stadium.
The Londoners opened the scoring when Alexander Kacaniklic raced clean through and beat Michel Vorm into the bottom corner.
Kacaniklic could have doubled Fulham’s lead a few minutes later when a quick free-kick caught Swansea out, but Vorm palmed it onto the post.
Swansea dominated the second half but could not make the breakthrough, and Dimitar Berbatov rounded Vorm for the second, before substitute Urby Emanuelson put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time.
With both sides certain of a mid-table finish, there was little riding on the outcome of this dead rubber. But with rumours that manager Martin Jol will be replaced as Fulham boss in the summer, the Dutchman would have been determined to end the season on a positive note.
And the Cottagers almost got off to the perfect start when Bryan Ruiz was sent clean through by Kacaniklic, but the Costa Rican striker delayed and eventually miscued his finish when he should have been celebrating an early opener.
Swansea grew into the contest and the lively Pablo Hernandez fired just wide, with Fulham coming under increasing pressure. But Fulham opened the scoring against the run of play, with Kacaniklic latching onto Emmanuel Frimpong’s through ball to drill an accurate low shot into the bottom corner.
Fulham almost doubled their lead moments later when Ruiz’s quick free-kick caught Swansea napping, but Kacaniklic’s shot was tipped on to the post by the agile Vorm.
Swansea came flying out of the blocks for the second half and should have levelled when Jonathan de Guzman’s cross from the right was flicked on to Chico Flores at the far post, but the Spaniard somehow sent his shot straight at Mark Schwarzer from five yards.
Hernandez spurned another great chance when he was played in by Rangel’s delicate touch, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Schwarzer, who's yet to sign a new deal at Craven Cottage, with the goal gaping.
But Fulham were always a threat on the counter-attack and Berbatov put the game out of Swansea’s reach with a coolly taken second, rounding the on-rushing Vorm and stroking into the empty net.
Kacaniklic struck the bar late on as Fulham pushed for a third, which they eventually got in stoppage time. Kacaniklic was again involved, forcing Vorm to parry his shot into the path of the AC Milan loanee, who stroked into the empty net.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Alex Kacaniklic, Fulham – Opened the scoring and had a hand in the third. Also hit the bar in a superb display.
SWANSEA CITY: Vorm 5, Rangel 6, Williams 7, Chico 6, Davies 6, Britton 6, De Guzman 6, Dyer 7, Routledge 5, Hernandez 7, Michu 5. Subs: Taylor N/A, Agustien N/A, Shechter 6.
FULHAM: Schwarzer 8, Riether 7, Senderos 6, Hangeland 7, Riise 6, Duff 6, Frimpong 7, Enoh 7, Kacaniklic 9, Ruiz 7, Berbatov 7. Subs: Emanuelson 7, Karagounis 7, Rodallega N/A
- Sports & Recreation
- Alexander Kacaniklic
- Michel Vorm
- Dimitar Berbatov