Saturday 20 September 2003, 3:00pm at Loftus Road, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Malbranque 73'; Boa Morte 79'
Manchester City
Manchester City
o.g. Knight 45'+1; Wanchope 90'

73' Goal

Steed Malbranque

79' Goal

Luis Boa Morte

42' Yellow Card

Lee Clark Card was given for a foul

42' Yellow Card

Junichi Inamoto Card was given for a foul

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Mark Pembridge
Off:Luis Boa Morte

45'+1 Own-goal

Zat Knight

90' Goal

Paulo Wanchope

17' Yellow Card

David Sommeil Card was given for a foul

25' Yellow Card

Shaun Wright-Phillips Card was given for a foul

46' Yellow Card

Nicolas Anelka Card was given for a foul

55' Yellow Card

Sun Jihai Card was given for a foul

56' Yellow Card

Joey Barton Card was given for a foul

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Antoine Sibierski
Off:Nicolas Anelka

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Paul Bosvelt
Off:Shaun Wright-Phillips

85' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Robbie Fowler
Off:Steve McManaman

Paulo Wanchope popped up three minutes into injury time to secure Manchester City an unlikely share of the spoils at Loftus Road this afternoon.

Fulham looked set for their third victory of the season after Steed Malbranque and Louis Saha had cancelled out Nicolas Anelka's strike 17 seconds after the restart, but City pushed ahead in the dying moments and were rewarded by Wanchope's late equaliser. Fulham boss Chris Coleman had called for his team to show more steel and they delivered, looking solid at the back and refusing to give up when free-scoring City - spurred on by Anelka's score - threatened to cut loose. 

But they failed to keep their concentration until the final whistle and the paid the price against a City side that has looked very dangerous on their travels following away wins at Aston Villa and Blackburn. Coleman made no changes to his starting line-up after the 2-2 draw with Birmingham but named centre-backs Martin Djetou and Andy Melville on the bench after both defenders had recovered from injury. Danny Tiatto was City's only alteration to the side which hammered Aston Villa last weekend with Michael Tarnat sidelined by a stomach complaint while there was no place in the squad for Claudio Reyna, the player who snubbed Fulham for a last-minute switch to City. Former Real Madrid midfielder Steve McManaman was given a central role but he floated out wide on the right in the opening exchanges and almost unlocked Fulham's defence with a dangerous through-ball which Shaun Wright-Phillips just failed to reach. 

Trevor Sinclair flashed a header into the arms of Edwin van der Sar moments later as City continued to press before curling in a corner which Wanchope nodded wide, squandering a glorious chance. A quickfire raid from Fulham was halted when Portuguese striker Luis Boa Morte was hauled down just outside the area, but the Cottagers had won a free-kick which Steed Malbranque used to feed Zat Knight only for the lanky defender to nod over the bar. Boa Morte was in the thick of the action in the 21st minute after collecting Saha's incisive pass before turning the City defence inside out, but having done the hard work he pushed his shot inches wide of the right post. Wright-Phillips was given a yellow card for a foul on Sylvain Legwinski shortly after and team-mate David Sommeil followed him into the book moments later for a similar offence as Fulham began to threaten. 

City still looked dangerous on the counter but Fulham were attacking with growing efficiency, forcing Kevin Keegan's side into committing a series of fouls to deal with the danger. Saha ghosted infield in the 34th minute and fired a powerful shot from just outside the area but his effort was easily matched by Seaman who, for all the Cottagers' ambition, had yet to be properly tested. The second half was just 17 seconds old when City eventually broke the deadlock, Anelka picking up the ball in midfield and advancing forward before unleashing a 20-yard shot into the bottom right corner for his seventh goal of the season. Despite his effort lacking real power it was beautifully placed to give van der Sar little hope of preventing the score, although the Dutch keeper will not have been pleased with his defence who were caught unawares. 

Malbranque tested Seaman in the 56th minute after being played in by Saha but City responded quickly when Wright-Phillips forced the keeper into action at the other end, with Sinclair's subsequent corner scrambled away desperately. Fulham's attacking ambition was rewarded in the 73rd minute when Moritz's chip to the far post was met by Boa Morte who drew Seaman before squaring neatly to Malbranque who made full use of the open goal before him. Malbranque then set Saha who slipped his shot past Seaman into the left corner but there was still time for Wanchope to level the score after he met Sun Jihai's cross and nodded home.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 20 September 2003
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Loftus Road, London
Attendance: 16,124

Referee: Phil Dowd


Line-up: Van der Sar; Volz, Knight, Goma, Bonnissel; Malbranque, Legwinski, Inamoto, Clark, Boa Morte (Pembridge 84'); Saha

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Melville, Djetou, Sava

Manchester City

Line-up: James; Jihai, Distin, Tiatto, Sommeil; Wright-Phillips (Bosvelt 77'), McManaman (Fowler 85'), Barton, Sinclair; Wanchope, Anelka (Sibierski 70')

Unused substitutes: Weaver, Dunne

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 5 13
2 Arsenal 5 13
3 Manchester United 5 12
4 Southampton 6 12
5 Manchester City 6 11
6 Liverpool 6 11
7 Birmingham City 5 11
8 Portsmouth 6 9
9 Blackburn Rovers 6 8
10 Fulham 5 8
11 Aston Villa 6 7
12 Bolton Wanderers 6 6
13 Leicester City 6 5
14 Everton 5 5
15 Charlton Athletic 6 5
16 Leeds United 6 5
17 Tottenham Hotspur 6 4
18 Newcastle United 5 3
19 Middlesbrough 5 1
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 1
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 18Jerome Bonnissel
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 6Junichi Inamoto
  • 10Lee Clark
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 8Louis Saha
  • 12Mark Crossley
  • 4Andy Melville
  • 17Martin Djetou
  • 7Mark Pembridge
  • 9Facundo Sava
Manchester City (4-4-2)
  • 1David James
  • 17Sun Jihai
  • 15Sylvain Distin
  • Danny Tiatto
  • 2David Sommeil
  • 11Shaun Wright-Phillips
  • Steve McManaman
  • 8Joey Barton
  • 28Trevor Sinclair
  • Paulo Wanchope
  • 39Nicolas Anelka
  • 12Nicky Weaver
  • 22Richard Dunne
  • Paul Bosvelt
  • Robbie Fowler
  • 10Antoine Sibierski