Four out of four – defeats that is. Felix Magath arrived at Fulham last season, summoned like some kind of Red Adair of football because he was known in Germany as a man who could save a club from disaster and make them successful.
After his proud boast of never having a club relegated went up in flames and after Fulham’s 5-1 thrashing at Derby he will be feeling intense heat again as the West London club sits bottom of the Championship.
“That was the worst performance but the good thing about today is that it is clear we have to change something,” Magath said. “The result was very bad and so now is the time to change. I have to react and bring some players in.”
Trailing at the break to Jamie Ward’s goal from a cross by a Johnny Russell, Fulham were back on level terms by the 54th minute through Danny Murphy, but not for long. Within seven minutes Craig Bryson had restored Derby’s lead, again set up by Russell, and Chris Martin had made it 3-1.
Fulham rarely looked like getting back in the match and late on Martin added his second before Simon Dawkins, who had come off the bench, left Felix feeling neither happy nor lucky.
Go, go, Antonio
It was a good day for the Midlands, with Nottingham Forest thrashing Reading 4-0 to stay top while promoted Wolves stayed on their coat-tails with a 1-0 home win over Cardiff thanks to Mark Hudson’s sliced own goal in added time. Narrow margins and good judgment in the transfer market aided Forest with Michail Antonio (right) heading in off the cross-bar and adding a second goal with a short that sneaked inside the post. Matty Fryatt’s header from close range made it 3-0 and Britt Assombalonga, like Antonio and Fryatt a new signing, continued his rich scoring vein amid a scramble. “The most important thing for me is not the result, it is how quickly the new faces have settled into the team,” Stuart Perace, Forest’s manager, said.
Rough for Riga
It would be no surprise if José Riga was a closet Fulham fan. The West London club is keeping his troubled Blackpool side off the bottom of the table after they also added a fourth defeat, 1-0 at Wigan. They didn’t manage a shot on target, but Oriol Riera, the Spaniard signed from Osasuna, opened his Wigan account from one of their two to keep the Tangerine nightmare going.
Flying start to the season
Bayer Leverkusen’s Karim Bellarabi marked the opening round of matches in the Bundesliga season by registering the fastest goal in the league’s 52-year history when he scored after only nine seconds at Borussia Dortmund. The visitors struck straight from the kick-off as Sebastian Boenisch sent the 24‑year-old winger through to score. The previous record was 11 seconds, held by Ulf Kirsten, Giovane Elber and Paul Freier.