Championship
StokeStoke City2FulhamFulham3

Stoke City 2-3 Fulham: Championship leaders win five-goal thriller in Potteries

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at the Bet 365 Stadium
Rodrigo Muniz was only playing at Stoke in the absence of Fulham top scorer Aleksander Mitrovic
Two-goal Rodrigo Muniz was only playing at Stoke in the absence of Fulham top scorer Aleksander Mitrovic

Championship leaders Fulham's amazing goalscoring feats were diluted as they were limited to just three goals to shade a thriller with Stoke City in the Potteries.

After strikers D'Margio Wright-Phillips and Rodrigo Muniz traded goals inside the first 90 seconds, Fulham led at the break when they got a second, possibly from Fabio Carvalho, although Muniz appeared to get the final touch, and may yet get credited with the goal.

Stoke new boy Lewis Baker blasted the hosts level again from 30 yards. But, although Muniz might have missed out on a hat-trick when his header bounced off the bar, it fell to Bobby Decordova-Reid who connected superbly on the half-volley from 18 yards.

His 72nd-minute winner made it 22 goals in four league games since the turn of the year to take Fulham, who had hit seven, six and six in their previous three games, eight points clear of Bournemouth.

Fulham ended the day looking even more secure at the top of the league - and their 949 away fans in a 21,749 crowd optimistically chanting "Manchester City, we're coming for you".

But it was the Cottagers whose own defence was at sixes and sevens when Stoke got off to a sensational start, catching Fulham cold in their first attack in the very first minute.

Josh Tymon floated in a teasing ball from the left and Wright-Phillips leapt to guide home a stunning near-post right-foot volley - before running off in the direction of the corner flag to celebrate acrobatically.

But, within 30 seconds, Fulham were level when Muniz, called up to replace absent top scorer Aleksander Mitrovic, was allowed too much time to turn 15 yards out as he met Harrison Reed's pass and found the merest of gaps to lash home an equally stunning equaliser with his right foot into the top-right corner.

If the next half hour rather failed to match that start, so did Fulham's scrappy second.

Fulham opened up Stoke down the right but made a right mess of finishing off Decordova-Reid's low cross as Carvalho's initial attempt eventually went in off Muniz, then the left upright.

Lewis Baker equalised for Stoke on his full league debut
Lewis Baker equalised for Stoke on his full league debut

Stoke then had to survive some dicey early second-half moments before drawing level on 58 minutes through Baker.

Newly arrived last week from Chelsea, and included at the expense of Tom Ince, who had scored in Stoke's previous two games, Baker looked up 30 yards out, took aim and blasted home a right-foot screamer.

But Fulham had the greater share of good chances - and it was probably deserved when Muniz outjumped home keeper Jack Bonham to see his header bounce back off the bar only for the ball to divert back to Decordova-Reid, whose superb strike settled it.

Even then Stoke could have snatched a draw when latest Potters signing Jaden Philogene-Bidace came off the bench late on, but the on-loan Aston Villa attacker's angled left-foot shot flew just over, possibly helped on its way by Fulham keeper Marek Rodak.

Stoke City boss Michael O'Neill told BBC Radio Stoke:

"We were a bit hard done by. We deserved more. Fulham shaded it in the first half but in the second half we were the better side. And the reaction to going behind was good. It was a brilliant goal by Lewis Baker and we had chances.

"We made a great start. It was a brilliant goal for the lad. D'Margio has come in and shown what he's capable of. All the young players at the club should take great heart from what he's done.

"But to concede straight after was disappointing. Maybe we could have done more to stop him getting the shot off. For the second goal we've got to do better when the ball drops in the middle of the pitch. And for their third there was a subtle foul on our keeper Jack Bonham."

Fulham boss Marco Silva told BBC Radio London:

"Some very good moments of football and I think we deserved the three points.

"It was a balanced game and Stoke had big moments too. But we showed we have the character to be top of this league.

"Stoke are a quality team and are always hard to beat. We expected it to be a tough one and they scored after 45 seconds but we reacted well."

The dream start in Stoke...

1st minute . . . D'Margio Wright-Phillips puts Stoke ahead on his first home league start
1st minute . . . D'Margio Wright-Phillips puts Stoke ahead on his first home league start
2nd minute . . . Rodrigo Muniz scores the first and best of his two goals to equalise
2nd minute . . . Rodrigo Muniz scores the first and best of his two goals to equalise

Line-ups

Stoke

Formation 3-5-2

  • 13Bonham
  • 24Harwood-BellisBooked at 79mins
  • 19Jagielka
  • 5Chester
  • 2Smith
  • 42Baker
  • 4AllenSubstituted forInceat 79'minutes
  • 7Clucas
  • 14Tymon
  • 32Wright-PhillipsSubstituted forPhilogene-Bidaceat 85'minutes
  • 18BrownBooked at 39minsSubstituted forCampbellat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Fox
  • 8Vrancic
  • 9Fletcher
  • 10Campbell
  • 23Ince
  • 29Fielding
  • 47Philogene-Bidace

Fulham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Rodák
  • 2TeteSubstituted forOdoiat 51'minutes
  • 16Tosin
  • 13Ream
  • 33Robinson
  • 10Cairney
  • 6Reed
  • 14De Cordova-ReidSubstituted forKnockaertat 86'minutes
  • 28Carvalho
  • 7KebanoSubstituted forChalobahat 76'minutes
  • 19Muniz Carvalho

Substitutes

  • 3Hector
  • 4Odoi
  • 11Knockaert
  • 12Chalobah
  • 21Gazzaniga
  • 25Onomah
  • 65Stansfield
Referee:
Dean Whitestone
Attendance:
21,749

Match Stats

Home TeamStokeAway TeamFulham
Possession
Home49%
Away51%
Shots
Home6
Away13
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home3
Away5
Fouls
Home7
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Stoke City 2, Fulham 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Stoke City 2, Fulham 3.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Josh Tymon.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Cairney.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Fabio Carvalho (Fulham) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Denis Odoi.

  6. Post update

    Anthony Knockaert (Fulham) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by James Chester (Stoke City).

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nathaniel Chalobah (Fulham) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

  9. Post update

    Fabio Carvalho (Fulham) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Tom Ince (Stoke City).

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jaden Philogene-Bidace (Stoke City) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Lewis Baker.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jaden Philogene-Bidace (Stoke City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Josh Tymon.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Josh Tymon (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tyrese Campbell.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Fulham. Anthony Knockaert replaces Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Jaden Philogene-Bidace replaces D'Margio Wright-Phillips.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Fabio Carvalho (Fulham).

  17. Post update

    Tom Ince (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tosin Adarabioyo (Fulham) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Tom Cairney with a cross following a corner.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Fulham. Conceded by Phil Jagielka.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Stoke City. Tyrese Campbell replaces Jacob Brown.

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As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fulham27176473254857
2Bournemouth27147643241949
3Blackburn27147644301449
4QPR2614574031947
5West Brom27129634201445
6Huddersfield2812883733444
7Middlesbrough2612683125642
8Nottm Forest2711793529640
9Stoke26115103228438
10Coventry2510783430437
11Sheff Utd2510693332136
12Blackpool27106112832-436
13Luton259883631535
14Millwall268992729-233
15Preston268992933-433
16Bristol City2796123547-1233
17Swansea248792832-431
18Birmingham2787122840-1231
19Hull2785142331-829
20Cardiff2665152847-1923
21Reading2784153351-1822
22Peterborough2554162151-3019
23Derby2781182626014
24Barnsley2528151738-2114
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