Saturday 15 March 2003, 3:00pm at Loftus Road, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Saha 44'; o.g. Svensson 52'
Beattie 80'; Svensson 90'

44' Goal

Louis Saha

52' Own-goal

Michael Svensson

33' Yellow Card

Pierre Wome Card was given for a foul

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Junichi Inamoto
Off:Pierre Wome

84' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Andrejs Stolcers
Off:Junichi Inamoto

80' Goal

James Beattie

90' Goal

Michael Svensson

56' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jo Tessem
Off:Fabrice Fernandes

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Danny Higginbotham
Off:Jason Dodd

79' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Kevin Davies
Off:David Prutton

Fulham were cruelly denied all three points after Michael Svensson netted a 90th-minute equaliser for the visitors.

The Swede, who earlier scored an own-goal, nodded into an empty net after goalkeeper Antti Niemi - up for a corner - incredibly thundered a volley against the angle of post and bar.  

Earlier, flying Finn Niemi had pulled off stunning saves from Steve Marlet, twice throwing himself across his goal to touch the ball round the post.  

But he was helpless two minutes before the interval when Louis Saha connected with a tidy cross from man-of-the-match Steed Malbranque and dispatched a sweet volley into the bottom corner.  

Jason Dodd almost scored a comedy own-goal just after the interval, but Svensson did succeed in putting through his own net in the 50th minute.  

Saha crossed from the left and the Swede could only sidefoot into the wrong net from two yards.  

Goal machine James Beattie gave Saints hope when he produced a towering header for the 20th goal of his quite superb season with nine minutes left.  

And Saints completed a stirring comeback in the third minute of stoppage time when Svensson headed home, sparking joyous scenes among the 3,000-strong travelling support.  

Goalkeeper Martin Herrera had made his full Fulham debut due to Edwin van der Sar's broken foot and Maik Taylor's suspension.  

For the Saints, England Under-21 captain David Prutton returned after being banned from last weekend's 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory against Wolves.  

The first genuine goalscoring opportunity arrived in the 21st minute, when Malbranque cut in from the right, skinned England left-back Wayne Bridge andcrossed to the far post.  

Marlet met the delivery unopposed and Niemi threw himself to his right to turn the Frenchman's header round his right-hand post.  

Niemi then made a stunning point-blank save from Marlet as the half-hour neared.  

Malbranque was again the provider, dinking a precise ball into the box for Marlet to chest down, shrug off Claus Lundekvam and scoop the ball goalwards.  

Niemi stuck out his left glove and deflected the ball just beyond the upright.  

Matt Oakley had two cracks at goal in the 36th minute.   

First, he sent a sweet volley soaring over the top from 20 yards.  And then he lifted the ball over an open goal from 30 yards after Herrera had again raced from his area to challenge Beattie.  

Saints were reliant on Niemi's heroics - but the Scandinavian shot-stopper could do nothing to keep out Saha's 43rd-minute strike.  

Malbranque crossed from the right and Saha span to connect with a fine right-foot volley which whistled inside Niemi's near post from 14 yards.  

Fulham boss Jean Tigana threw on Junichi Inamoto for Pierre Wome at half-time, with Malbranque swapping from the right flank to the left.  

Dodd went close to scoring a candidate for own-goal of the season 60 seconds after the interval.  

His lofted, 25-yard back-pass almost bounced over Niemi, aware he could not handle the ball, who back-pedalled and leapt to head it against his crossbar.  

But it only four more minutes for the Saints to put through their own net and send Fulham storming into a 2-0 lead.  Malbranque robbed Fabrice Fernandes on the left wing and slipped the ball to Saha, who left Lundekvam for dead and drilled the ball across the face on goal, aiming for Marlet.  

Svensson intercepted but was only able to sidefoot the ball into his own net from two yards.  

The goal had a deflating effect on the game, with chances at either end at a premium during the next 20 minutes.  Southampton seized a lifeline with nine minutes left.   

Beattie towered above Sylvain Legwinski to meet Oakley's left-wing cross at the far post and headhome.  

And Southampton grabbed a fairytale injury-time leveller, with keeper Niemi -up for a corner - incredibly volleying against the angle of post and bar.  

The ball rebounded into the goalmouth and Svensson redeemed himself for his own goal with a simple header netting an equaliser.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 15 March 2003
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Loftus Road, London
Attendance: 16,286

Referee: Paul Durkin


Line-up: Herrera; Melville, Ouaddou, Goma, Harley; Malbranque, Legwinski, Djetou, Wome (Inamoto 45' (Stolcers 84')); Saha, Marlet

Unused substitutes: Thompson, Leacock, Sava


Line-up: Niemi; Dodd (Higginbotham 69'), Lundekvam, Svensson, Bridge; Fernandes (Tessem 56'), Oakley, Prutton (Davies 79'), Telfer; Ormerod, Beattie

Unused substitutes: Jones, Williams

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 30 63
2 Manchester United 30 61
3 Newcastle United 30 58
4 Everton 30 50
5 Chelsea 29 48
6 Liverpool 29 46
7 Blackburn Rovers 30 46
8 Charlton Athletic 30 45
9 Southampton 30 43
10 Tottenham Hotspur 29 43
11 Middlesbrough 30 41
12 Fulham 30 38
13 Manchester City 29 38
14 Aston Villa 30 35
15 Leeds United 30 34
16 Birmingham City 29 32
17 Bolton Wanderers 30 29
18 West Ham United 30 27
19 West Bromwich Albion 29 21
20 Sunderland 30 19
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • Martin Herrera
  • 4Andy Melville
  • 25Abdeslam Ouaddou
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 26Jon Harley
  • 14Steed Malbranque
  • 18Sylvain Legwinski
  • 17Martin Djetou
  • 27Pierre Wome
  • 20Louis Saha
  • 7Steve Marlet
  • 30Glyn Thompson
  • 22Dean Leacock
  • 6Junichi Inamoto
  • 40Andrejs Stolcers
  • 9Facundo Sava
Southampton (4-4-2)
  • 1Antti Niemi
  • 2Jason Dodd
  • 5Claus Lundekvam
  • 6Michael Svensson
  • 3Wayne Bridge
  • 29Fabrice Fernandes
  • 8Matt Oakley
  • 20David Prutton
  • Paul Telfer
  • 10Brett Ormerod
  • 9James Beattie
  • Paul Jones
  • Paul Williams
  • 19Danny Higginbotham
  • 21Jo Tessem
  • 14Kevin Davies