Fulham’s first Premier League win at the Hawthorns was a fabulous way to start the year and the spirit and application that the Whites showed to survive a significant spell of pressure after Romelu Lukaku’s equaliser and go onto re-take the lead bodes well for the second half of the season. Most impressive of all was the way the patient passing and possession football return as Martin Jol’s side kept the ball excellently against the season’s surprise package – and never allowed the Baggies to settle.

Stockdale: Such an important afternoon for Stockdale after his mistakes against Swansea – and the 27 year-old certainly didn’t let anybody down. Looked nervy under crosses and high balls to begin with, but grew in confidence as the game went on. Made a couple of sharp second half saves to deny the lively Lukaku and commanded his back four well. One poor game doesn’t make a bad keeper. 7

Riether: The German full-back was Fulham’s most consistent performer of 2012 and he delivered a typically efficient effort at the Hawthorns. Calm in possession and eager to provide an overlap for Ashkan Dejagah, Riether’s resolution was one of the reasons why former Fulham favourite Zoltan Gera struggled to make an impression down the West Brom left. Coped well against an entirely different threat – Lukaku’s pace and power – when Steve Clarke switched the Belgian to the left of the Baggies’ front three in the second half. 7

Briggs: Given how long Matthew Briggs has been in and around the Fulham first team squad, it’s sometimes easy to forget he’s still only 21. A measure of Martin Jol’s confidence in the young man was that John Arne Riise, his first choice left back for two seasons, was left out of the eighteen altogether yesterday. Put plenty of tackles and nullified the threat of Marc-Antoine Fortune, but was caught out by Billy Jones’ burst down the right flank for the West Brom equaliser. Offered plenty going forward, making one fine run in advance of Kacaniklic, and deserves a continued run in the side. 7

Hughes: Quietly excellent once again, Hughes lost a couple of grapples with Lukaku but stuck to his task admirably. Read the game superbly as demonstrated by two crucial second half clearances – the first a brilliant header from underneath his own crossbar to clear Chris Brunt’s goalbound shot and, as time ticked away, the Northern Irish international managed to divert a dangerous cross to relative safety with his thigh. 7

Hangeland: This was the Fulham skipper’s best performance in months. There was still the odd sloppy concession of possession but his partnership with Hughes meant Lukaku was so isolated for much of the first half. As the Baggies’ belief grew in the second half, Hangeland’s positioning came to the fore – taking decisive action on countless occasions to clear loose ball – and his will to win was encapsulated by the way that he made every high ball his in the final five minutes. The victory meant so much to the Norwegian that he even gave Stockdale a little kiss as he clung to a loose ball deep into added time. 7

Karagounis: Probably the gutsy Greek’s best performance in a Fulham shirt so far. He waged a fierce battle with Mulumbu and Brunt for supremacy of the midfield area and, vitally, dropped deeper regularly to receive possession from the back four and distributed the ball successfully. He also denied time and space to James Morrison, who was playing just behind Lukaku, and such a disciplined, defensive-minded display afforded Sidwell more license to roam than in recent weeks. 7

Sidwell: Another all-action, eye-catching effort from the man who’s become undroppable at the heart of Fulham’s midfield. Might have done better than shoot over with an early sighter, but Sidwell’s organisation and short passing were far more important as Jol’s side played at a higher tempo in the early stages than they have in a long time. His ability to link the play and drive forward offered the back four an important outlet as they sought to play the ball out from the back. 7

Dejagah: The Iranian international rubbished all that invective about a lack of quality in the final third with a clever cut-back for Berbatov’s opener. Just as importantly, there was a purpose to his pacey running and his desire to reach and create something out of the Bulgarian’s floated forward pass took him away from Jones. Linked well with Riether – as you’d expect given their understanding from their time at Wolfsburg – and covered acres of ground up and down the right. 7

Kacaniklic: Jol broke with the past and played the Swedish winger from the start away from home for the first time since the trip to St. Mary’s – and his decision paid off. Kacaniklic has the look of a youngster who’s still largely left-footed, but he used his right step superbly to skip around from Ben Foster and score the winner after accelerating away from Macauley and Jones to reach Ruiz’s accurate through ball. Looked lively throughout – troubling Foster again with a low drive at the near post – although his adventurousness did leave Briggs a little isolated at times. 7

Ruiz: The Costa Rican playmaker’s floated pass for the decisive second was a thing of real beauty. Ruiz, so crucial to Fulham’s forward fluidity, found space intelligently throughout and rarely gave the ball away. He battled for possession frequently, working back tirelessly to aid a solid defensive effort, and his intelligent running was vital in occupying defenders, as he did beyond Berbatov for the first goal. Ruiz, who slotted serenely into an orthodox central midfield role once Karagounis had departed, now has six Premier League assists – one behind the division’s best in Mata and Rooney – despite having only made twelve appearances. 8

Berbatov: Games like these show why the Ruiz-Berbatov axis is so important. They look like languid footballers, but both only need a yard of space to hurt the opposition. Berbatov’s pass to release Dejagah on the counter-attack was perfectly judgement and, for a man with a supposed economy of effort, he raced into the box to keep up with the speedy winger. The Bulgarian’s willingness to wander away from central areas was a real asset here, extending Fulham’s spells in possession, and dragging West Brom’s defenders out of position. 8


Rodallega: Gave West Brom a different problem up front in the final fifteen minutes after Karagounis ran out of puff – and it was an adventurous change from Jol as he had Richardson and Kasami on the bench. Rodallega drove one shot over the bar shortly after his arrival and helped to keep the ball higher up the pitch. 6

Senderos: The Swiss centre back’s late arrival will have caused less consternation than on Saturday as Fulham successfully saw off the Baggies’ added-time assault to record their second away win of the season. 6