Sunday 17 November 2002, 3:00pm at St Andrew's, Birmingham
Barclays Premier League
Birmingham City
0
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
Nine-man Fulham ended a run of four successive Barclaycard Premiership defeats after Edwin van der Sar saved a penalty from Birmingham striker Stern John at St Andrews.

21' Yellow Card

Paul Devlin Card was given for a foul

79' Yellow Card

Robbie Savage Card was given for a foul

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Clinton Morrison
Off:Stern John

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bryan Hughes
Off:Olivier Tebily

82' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jovan Kirovski
Off:Robbie Savage

33' Yellow Card

Steve Finnan Card was given for a foul

37' Red Card

Rufus Brevett Card was given for violent conduct

79' Red Card

Steve Marlet Card was given for violent conduct

60' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Martin Djetou
Off:Sylvain Legwinski

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Zat Knight
Off:Luis Boa Morte

85' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Junichi Inamoto
Off:Bjarne Goldbaek

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Jean Tigana's side were reduced to 10 men after 35 minutes when Rufus Brevett was red-carded for handling a Darren Purse header on the goalline.  

That led to Blues being awarded the spot-kick which van der Sar clung ontofrom John.   

Then with 11 minutes left Steve Marlet kicked out in retaliationafter being fouled by Robbie Savage and was also dismissed by referee Matt Messias, but Steve Bruce's side could not capitalise.  

Blues will feel that this was two points thrown away given the penaltyopportunity and having the numerical advantage.  

Savage was inspirational in midfield and again showed that he should be viewedas more than just a workhorse.   

He was instrumental in setting up many of the home attacks.  

The only downside was that the booking he picked up in the incident which saw Marlet sent off means he will now have to incur a one-game suspension forcollecting five cautions.  

Geoff Horsfield also posed plenty of problems with his power and aggressionagainst his former club but City were unable to display the killer touch - and when they did break through van der Sar and his gutsy defenders, including the rock-like Andy Melville, were equal to the task.  

Blues made a bright start and van der Sar was kept busy in the opening 15minutes.  

The Dutchman tipped over a curling free-kick from Stan Lazaridis - although the whistle had gone for offside - and then did well to parry a low left-footedeffort from Horsfield around the post.  

Purse did have the ball in the Fulham net following a pass from Savage but Horsfield had strayed offside.  Fulham weathered the initial storm and City goalkeeper Nico Vaesen blocked an effort from the recalled Steed Malbranque.  

The home side gave away a succession of free-kicks and Paul Devlin became thefirst player to be yellow-carded for a touchline challenge on Brevett.  

An overhit back pass from Devlin almost played Vaesen into trouble and he wasrelieved to see his clearance ricochet off Marlet at the expense of a corner.  

Steve Finnan became the first Fulham player to be booked for appearing to diveon the edge of the Blues penalty area and then in the 35th minute Fulham found themselves reduced to 10 men.  

Purse got plenty of power onto his glancing header from a Lazaridis corner andit seemed destined for the corner of the net until Brevett handled and wasinstantly given his marching orders.  

Up stepped John to take the spot-kick but it was an effort lacking belief andconviction and van der Sar was able to save away to his left although he would have been relieved to see Horsfield put the rebound wide.  Tigana reorganised by switching striker Luis Boa Morte to left-back and employing Marlet as the only out-and-out striker but his side coped relativelycomfortably for the remainder of the half.  

Birmingham began the second half as they had the first with plenty of drive and momentum as they looked to make their numerical advantage count.  

Savage was instrumental in setting up many of their attacks and van der Sarproduced a splendid save to keep his side on level terms after 59 minutes.  

The Wales international took a quick free-kick to Lazaridis and his inswingingcross found the onrushing Purse whose point-blank range header was turned asideby van der Sar.  

Savage then needed lengthy treatment after colliding heavily with the Fulham goalkeeper as he attacked a left-wing cross from Lazaridis before being able to resume.  

Then came the incident which saw Marlet sent off after the initial challenge on him by Savage.  

Olivier Tebily flashed a long-range effort just wide and substitute Clinton Morrison had an injury-time effort ruled out for offside but Fulham managed tohold on for a share of the spoils.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Sunday 17 November 2002
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: St Andrew's, Birmingham
Attendance: 26,164

Referee: Matt Messias

Birmingham City

Line-up: Vaesen; Tebily (Hughes 75'), Cunningham, Purse, Kenna; Devlin, Savage (Kirovski 82'), Cisse, Lazaridis; Horsfield, John (Morrison 75')

Unused substitutes: Bennett, Powell

Fulham

Line-up: Van der Sar; Finnan, Goma, Melville, Brevett; Malbranque, Legwinski (Djetou 60'), Clark, Goldbaek (Inamoto 85'); Boa Morte (Knight 81'); Marlet

Unused substitutes: Taylor, Sava

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 14 32
2 Liverpool 14 31
3 Chelsea 14 26
4 Everton 14 26
5 Manchester United 14 23
6 Newcastle United 13 22
7 Middlesbrough 14 21
8 Blackburn Rovers 14 20
9 Tottenham Hotspur 14 20
10 Leeds United 14 17
11 Southampton 14 17
12 Manchester City 14 17
13 Fulham 14 16
14 Aston Villa 14 16
15 Birmingham City 14 16
16 Charlton Athletic 14 14
17 Sunderland 14 14
18 Bolton Wanderers 13 12
19 West Ham United 14 12
20 West Bromwich Albion 14 12
Birmingham City (4-4-2)
  • 18Nico Vaesen
  • 27Olivier Tebily
  • 4Kenny Cunningham
  • 5Darren Purse
  • Jeff Kenna
  • Paul Devlin
  • 8Robbie Savage
  • 18Aliou Cisse
  • 11Stan Lazaridis
  • 29Geoff Horsfield
  • Stern John
Substitutes
  • 13Ian Bennett
  • Jovan Kirovski
  • Darryl Powell
  • 27Bryan Hughes
  • 19Clinton Morrison
Fulham (4-4-1-1)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Steve Finnan
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 4Andy Melville
  • 3Rufus Brevett
  • 14Steed Malbranque
  • 18Sylvain Legwinski
  • 8Lee Clark
  • 19Bjarne Goldbaek
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 7Steve Marlet
Substitutes
  • 12Maik Taylor
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 17Martin Djetou
  • 6Junichi Inamoto
  • 9Facundo Sava