Saturday 31 January 2004, 3:00pm at Loftus Road, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Malbranque (pen) 45'; McBride 67'
Tottenham Hotspur
Keane (pen) 18'

45' Penalty

Steed Malbranque

67' Goal

Brian McBride

56' Yellow Card

Barry Hayles Card was given for a foul

59' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Brian McBride
Off:Barry Hayles

89' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bobby Petta
Off:Luis Boa Morte

18' Penalty

Robbie Keane

31' Yellow Card

Christian Ziege Card was given for a foul

79' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bobby Zamora
Off:Helder Postiga

Brian McBride helped the Fulham fans forget Louis Saha as he marked his debut with the goal which ended Tottenham's 100% Premiership record in 2004.

The USA international, signed last week from Columbus Crew but familiar to English fans after a loan spell at Everton, came off the bench after 58 minutes and bundled home the winner just eight minutes later to seal Fulham's comeback. 

Robbie Keane had given Spurs the lead from the penalty spot after 17 minutes when Fulham's other debutant Ian Pearce handled. Steed Malbranque equalised in first-half of injury-time also from the spot, after Luis Boa Morte's charging run was brought to a halt by Michael Brown, although replays suggested the offence was fractionally outside the box. 

McBride - signed after former favourite Saha joined Manchester United - then popped up with the winner after Kasey Keller did well to keep out Pearce's header from a corner, and that was enough to see Chris Coleman's side back to winning ways. 

The swirling wind and rain made good football hard to come by but the game sprang to life when Fulham goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar needed every inch of hisgiant frame after 16 minutes as he dived to his right to tip Keane's fierce low drive on to his post. A minute later Keane won Spurs a penalty.  

Using his trickery he tried to chip the ball over Pearce but the defender blocked the ball with his hand and referee Matt Messias had no alternative but to point to the spot. Keane confidently tucked the ball inside the bottom left corner to register his ninth league goal of the season - and his second penalty success in successive Premiership games. 

There was almost a rapid reply from Fulham as Steed Malbranque played in Barry Hayles but his 20th-minute shot from the edge of the area was brilliantly savedby Keller. Pearce conceded a corner with a misplaced header back towards goal in the final minute of the half and van der Sar did well at his near post to beat out Postiga's in swinging corner. 

Fulham earned their own penalty in injury-time as Gary Doherty tried to clear down the right and Stephane Dalmat lost possession.  Boa Morte charged forward and was tripped by Brown right on the penalty box line.  

The referee awarded the spot-kick and Malbranque fired the equaliser into the top right corner. 

Spurs had been hoping to see the best of Postiga after he finally broke his Premiership goal scoring duck against Liverpool a fortnight ago, but after 49 minutes he embarrassingly swung at Keane's cross and mis-kicked from close range. 

He almost made amends with a fierce low drive after 55 minutes but van der Sar dived to his right to make the save. Coleman introduced McBride after 58 minutes in place of Barry Hayles and he went close after 65 minutes as he raced towards goal wide on the right.  

He tried to lob Keller but his fellow American made an important block. Fulham were celebrating a minute later - and it was McBride who got the final touch as they took the lead. A Davis corner on the left was headed down at the far post by Pearce.  Keller did well to stop it, but McBride pounced on the line to bundle the ball home.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 31 January 2004
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Loftus Road, London
Attendance: 17,024

Referee: Matt Messias


Line-up: Van der Sar; Volz, Knight, Pearce, Bocanegra; Djetou; Malbranque, Davis, Clark, Boa Morte (Petta 89'); Hayles (McBride 59')

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Inamoto, Sava

Tottenham Hotspur

Line-up: Keller; Carr, Gardner, Doherty, Ziege; Davies, King, Brown, Dalmat; Postiga (Zamora 79'), Keane

Unused substitutes: Burch, Bunjevcevic, Kelly, Jackson

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 23 53
2 Arsenal 22 52
3 Chelsea 22 46
4 Charlton Athletic 23 37
5 Liverpool 23 34
6 Newcastle United 23 34
7 Fulham 23 34
8 Bolton Wanderers 23 32
9 Birmingham City 22 31
10 Southampton 23 30
11 Aston Villa 23 30
12 Middlesbrough 22 28
13 Tottenham Hotspur 23 27
14 Everton 23 25
15 Manchester City 22 23
16 Blackburn Rovers 22 23
17 Portsmouth 23 23
18 Leicester City 23 20
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 20
20 Leeds United 23 17
Fulham (4-1-4-1)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 35Ian Pearce
  • 34Carlos Bocanegra
  • 17Martin Djetou
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 23Sean Davis
  • 10Lee Clark
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 15Barry Hayles
  • 12Mark Crossley
  • 6Junichi Inamoto
  • 26Bobby Petta
  • 8Brian McBride
  • 9Facundo Sava
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2)
  • 1Kasey Keller
  • 2Stephen Carr
  • 30Anthony Gardner
  • Gary Doherty
  • Christian Ziege
  • 29Simon Davies
  • 26Ledley King
  • 17Michael Brown
  • 11St├ęphane Dalmat
  • Helder Postiga
  • 10Robbie Keane
  • 40Robert Burch
  • Goran Bunjevcevic
  • 2Stephen Kelly
  • 4Johnnie Jackson
  • 25Bobby Zamora