Fulham’s relegation from the Premier League after a 13-year stay was confirmed on Saturday as Stoke City ran riot in a 4-1 victory at the Britannia Stadium.
Peter Odemwingie and Marko Arnautovic both turned in memorable performances for the Potters with a goal and an assist each to pile misery on Felix Magath’s men.
But Liverpool loanee Oussama Assaidi was arguably Mark Hughes’ star-player, showing just why the Stoke manager is reportedly keen to sign him permanently this summer.
The Moroccan stroked home his side’s third goal of the day on the end of a swift counter, hitting the target with three of his four total shots and completing 82% of his passes.
|Team||Goals||Total Shots||Shots on Target||Dribbles||Touches||Pass Accuracy||Mins|
If those stats do not exactly leap out at you, however, consider this - Assaidi completed an astronomical eight dribbles in his 75-minute showing. That is Eden Hazard territory.
Assaidi was so irresistible on the ball that he later claimed Dan Burn, who lined up opposite him at right-back for Fulham, asked him to move to the other side of the pitch.
‘Yes, I felt very sorry for the defender,’ the winger said to the Stoke Sentinel.
‘He was a nice guy, the first right-back. He told me to change sides, he didn’t want to play against me anymore.
‘I really enjoyed it. That’s how I want to play. I want to take defenders on.’
Burn, a centre-back by trade, was finally given respite from Assaidi after 58 minutes, when he was withdrawn in favour of striker Kostas Mitroglu with Fulham 2-0 down.
As for the Moroccan, Hughes’ resolve to prise him away from Liverpool for good should only increase after watching him strike such fear into an opponent.
The Reds seem content to let Assaidi walk after investing a relatively low £2.4million two summers ago and pursue a high profile alternative to add to their options out wide.
Hughes admitted last week ‘there have been tentative enquiries’ to Liverpool regarding the 25-year-old, and Stoke will be keen to get Liverpool to the negotiating table as soon as possible in view of Saturday’s performance.