Stoke 1 Fulham 0
Fulham paid the price for a lacklustre performance as Charlie Adam’s first-half strike secured the points for Stoke.
Adam pounced to convert Peter Crouch’s knock-down on 26 minutes and Fulham, missing several influential players, failed to muster a response.
The home side could have won by a greater margin as Fulham failed to cope with the Potters’ renowned aerial threat.
Ryan Shawcross crashed a header against the bar, Whites keeper Mark Schwarzer tipped over from Robert Huth and Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones had a late goal chalked off for offside.
It took Martin Jol’s side 74 minutes to register their first shot on goal, Dimitar Berbatov drawing a save from Asmir Begovic, and the Stoke defence was rarely troubled thereafter in an entirely forgettable encounter.
Fulham were without suspended captain Brede Hangeland and the injured Bryan Ruiz, Alex Kacaniklic and Kieran Richardson.
And the absence of Hangeland proved costly as replacement Phillippe Senderos was beaten in the air by Crouch, whose header set up the unmarked Adam to fire home.
Stoke were a constant threat from set pieces, with Senderos hitting the bar and his defensive partner Huth forcing Schwarzer into a save in the second.
Fulham exerted some belated pressure on Stoke in the last 20 minutes but failed to create clear-cut chances despite the introduction of Damien Duff and Hugo Rodallega as substitutes.
Fulham: Schwarzer; Riether, Hughes, Senderos, Riise; Dejagah, Baird, Karagounis (Duff 73), Sidwell (Rodallega 80), Petric; Berbatov. Unusued subs: Kelly, Kasami, Diarra, Banya, Etheridge.