Thu | May 25, 2017

Fuller magic earns Stoke victory

Published:Monday | March 29, 2010 | 3:00 AM
Stoke City's Ricardo Fuller (right) reacts after scoring against West Ham United during their English Premier League soccer match at Upton Park in London on Saturday. - AP

LONDON, England (CMC):

Jamaican striker Ricardo Fuller scored a magical goal within two minutes of coming off the bench to fire Stoke City to a 1-0 victory over troubled West Ham in the English Premier League on Saturday.

The 30-year-old replaced Matthew Etherington in the 67th minute and two minutes later broke the deadlock at Upton Park to carry Stoke 10th in the standings on 39 points.

With the game wandering towards a nil-all result, Fuller intervened to swing the advantage the visitors' way.

Collecting a pass from Danny Collins on the left side of the box, he weaved his way past Manuel Da Costa, beat Scott Parker before turning inside Matthew Upson to smash his volley past goalkeeper Robert Green.

"It was a fantastic goal. Rick can do that. As a player, if he gets in that position he is so strong and his feet are so quick he can do that. It was a special goal," said Stoke boss Tony Pulis.

No response

West Ham had no response as they slipped to their sixth straight defeat which left them only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

There were precious little clear-cut chances in the first half as both teams failed to assert their dominance, even though West Ham displayed very little quality on the ball.

At the Reebok Stadium in north-west England, Bolton's Trinidad and Tobago defender, Jlloyd Samuel, slid in an own goal to set Manchester United on their way to a rousing 4-0 win.

Samuel, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, bizarrely turned Ryan Giggs' cross into his own net in the 38th minute, to give United an important lead at half-time.

Dimitar Berbatov (69th, 78th) then scored twice in the second half while Darron Gibson added another in the 82nd, as United raced back to the top of the Premiership after Chelsea had temporarily replaced them earlier.

Standings

LONDON (AP): Standings in English Premier League football after yesterday's games.

Team GP W D L GF GA PtsMan United 32 23 3 6 76 25 72Chelsea 32 22 5 5 82 29 71Arsenal 32 21 5 6 74 34 68Tottenham 31 17 7 7 57 29 58Man City 30 14 11 5 55 39 53Liverpool 31 15 6 10 50 32 51Aston Villa 31 13 12 6 43 32 51Everton 32 13 10 9 50 42 49Birmingham 32 12 9 11 33 37 45Stoke 31 9 12 10 30 35 39Fulham 31 10 8 13 33 36 38Blackburn 31 10 8 13 34 50 38Sunderland 31 8 11 12 41 47 35Wolves 32 8 8 16 28 50 32Bolton 32 8 8 16 36 60 32Wigan 31 8 7 16 29 59 31West Ham 32 6 9 17 38 55 27Hull 31 6 9 16 31 64 27Burnley 31 6 6 19 31 64 24x-Portsmouth 32 6 4 22 28 60 13

x-deducted 9 points for breaching financial regulations

Top net finders

LONDON (AP): Leading scorers in the English Premier League after yesterday's games: 26 - Wayne Rooney, Manchester United; 24 - Didier Drogba, Chelsea; 20 - Darren Bent, Sunderland; 18 - Fernando Torres, Liverpool; 17 - Jermain Defoe, Tottenham, Frank Lampard, Chelsea; 16 - Carlos Tevez, Manchester City; 15 - Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal; 13 - Louis Saha, Everton; 12 - Dimitar Berbatov, Manchester United.