Marcello Trotta’s first half brace secured a comfortable 4-0 over Lokomotive Leipzig in the latest leg of the Whites’ pre-season tour of Germany tonight.
Trotta seized his opportunity to make an impression in a rare first-team outing with a well-taken first half double before Mladen Petric and Lauri Della Valle added second half strikes in a straightforward win over the German fifth-tier team.
The hosts made a bright start as Fulham were reliant on a last-ditch tackle from Mesca to deny Andre Stratmann a clear sight of goal. Fulham quickly established a strong grip on the contest and Alex Kacaniklic was thwarted by a good save from Christopher Gang after latching onto a devilish Mesca cross. Trotta drove Fulham in front midway through the first half after good interplay between Mesca and Sascha Riether down the right wing.
Trotta might have doubled the lead almost immediately after latching onto a clever Kacaniklic ball but his clever chip just cleared the crossbar. Steve Sidwell then ghosted into the penalty to meet an invting Mesca cross but headed wide when he was completely free.
Lokomotive almost levelled matters when Markus Krug headed wide from a corner and Trotta clinically punished that miss with a lovely finish from twenty yards after the Italian was beautifully picked out by an inventive Kacaniklic corner.
Martin Jol made nine changes at half-time and Fulham took a while to settle in the second period. Brede Hangeland produced an excellent interception to deny Rico Engler as he seemed certain to score, before excellent combination play between Kerim Frei and Mladen Petric created Fulham’s third. Frei unlocked the home defence with a lovely through ball and Petric completely outfoxed the goalkeeper with a dummy before gliding around another defender and rolling in his first Fulham goal.
Fulham added a fourth with seven minutes left when Mahamadou Diarra headed Simon Davies’ deep cross back across goal and Della Valle finished emphatically from six yards.
LOKOMOTIVE LEIPZIG (4-1-4-1): Gang; Bachmann (Schulz 45), Brodkorb, Kittler, Krug (Bury 60); Grandner (Saalbach 77); Wendschuch (Brumme 77), Engler, Werner (Oechsner 45), Walthier (Seipel 85); Strattman (Franholz 60).
FULHAM (4-3-2-1): Stockdale (Schwarzer 45); Riether (Brister 70), Riise (Briggs 45), Hughes (Hangeland 45), Halliche (Baird 45); Etuhu (Diarra 45), Gecov (Dembele 45), Sidwell (Frei 45); Mesca (Davies 45), Kacaklinic (Dalla Valle 70); Trotta (Petric 45).
GOALS: Trotta (22, 37), Petric (69), Dalla Valle (83).
REFEREE: Lars Albeit.