Tuesday 28 December 2004, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Legwinski 34'; Radzinski 90'
Birmingham City
Heskey 25'; Carter 41'

34' Goal

Sylvain Legwinski

90' Goal

Tomasz Radzinski

67' Yellow Card

Zesh Rehman Card was given for a foul

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Zesh Rehman
Off:Ian Pearce

56' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Steed Malbranque
Off:Brian McBride

57' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Elvis Hammond
Off:Collins John

25' Goal

Emile Heskey

41' Goal

Darren Carter

75' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Julian Gray
Off:Emile Heskey

82' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Stephen Clemence
Off:Clinton Morrison

Birmingham made it four-straight wins in the Premiership thanks to a superb display by Emile Heskey. The former England player smashed in the opener, following a neat one-two with strike partner Clinton Morrison.

And, after Sylvain Legwinski had equalised against the run of play for Fulham, Heskey nodded down for Darren Carter to restore the visitors' lead. Robbie Savage sealed the win with a spectacular second-half volley before Tomasz Radzinski's late consolation.

Fulham opted for an ultra-attacking line-up in their search for festive points, recalling Brian McBride to operate alongside skipper Andy Cole with Radzinski and Collins John in support.

The hosts started the brighter, carving open a good chance for John, who headed tamely at former Fulham keeper Maik Taylor when unmarked at the edge of the penalty area. Birmingham strikers Morrison and Heskey were also making life uncomfortable for the Fulham rearguard.

And they combined to score the first goal on 25 minutes, Heskey playing a one-two with Morrison and rifling past Edwin van der Sar from 20 yards. Birmingham started to play some neat one-touch football, but they paid the price for scrappy defending at the other end.

Radzinski cut the ball back to Legwinski who stabbed home completely against the run of play. The play was suddenly wide open and Radzinski might have scored himself moments later, but his shot was well held. And the visitors immediately responded when Heskey nodded down a Savage cross for Carter to score. Cole should have equalised straight after the restart, but his shot from a tight angle was scrambled away.

And the miss proved extra costly when the inspirational Savage latched on to a weak clearance to volley spectacularly home with the outside of his left boot. Fulham boss Chris Coleman responded by introducing out-of-favour playmaker Steed Malbranque and Elvis Hammond.

That initially made little difference to an attack shackled by Blues talismen Matthew Upson and Kenny Cunningham. But Hammond and then Cole should both have converted headers in the last five minutes to apply pressure, while Malbranque's deflected shot flashed wide.

Fulham finally scored seconds from the end, when Radzinski turned in a Moritz Volz cross. But it could not prevent his side slipping into the relegation frame, while assured Birmingham must believe they can chase a European spot in the New Year. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Tuesday 28 December 2004
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 18,706

Referee: Mark Clattenburg


Line-up: Van der Sar; Volz, Pearce (Rehman 45'), Knight, Bocanegra; John (Hammond 57'), Diop, Legwinski, Radzinski; McBride (Malbranque 56'), Cole

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Pembridge

Birmingham City

Line-up: Taylor; Melchiot, Cunningham, Upson, Tebily; Johnson, Carter, Dunn, Clapham; Morrison (Clemence 82'), Heskey (Gray 75')

Unused substitutes: Vaesen, Taylor, Anderton

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 20 49
2 Arsenal 19 41
3 Everton 20 40
4 Manchester United 19 37
5 Middlesbrough 20 35
6 Liverpool 19 31
7 Charlton Athletic 20 31
8 Tottenham Hotspur 20 29
9 Birmingham City 20 26
10 Portsmouth 20 26
11 Aston Villa 19 25
12 Manchester City 20 24
13 Bolton Wanderers 20 23
14 Newcastle United 19 22
15 Blackburn Rovers 20 19
16 Fulham 20 18
17 Crystal Palace 20 15
18 Norwich City 20 15
19 Southampton 19 14
20 West Bromwich Albion 20 11
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 35Ian Pearce
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 34Carlos Bocanegra
  • 17Collins John
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 17Tomasz Radzinski
  • 8Brian McBride
  • 8Andrew Cole
  • 12Mark Crossley
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 7Mark Pembridge
  • 21Zesh Rehman
  • 19Elvis Hammond
Birmingham City (4-4-2)
  • 1Maik Taylor
  • 29Mario Melchiot
  • 4Kenny Cunningham
  • 20Matthew Upson
  • 27Olivier Tebily
  • 22Damien Johnson
  • 4Darren Carter
  • 8David Dunn
  • 3Jamie Clapham
  • 19Clinton Morrison
  • 18Emile Heskey
  • 18Nico Vaesen
  • 5Martin Taylor
  • Darren Anderton
  • 6Stephen Clemence
  • 11Julian Gray