Monday 13 December 2004, 8:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Diop 87'
Manchester United
Manchester United
Heinze 33'

87' Goal

Papa Bouba Diop

80' Yellow Card

Papa Bouba Diop Card was given for a foul

90' Yellow Card

Tomasz Radzinski Card was given for a foul

74' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Tomasz Radzinski
Off:Sylvain Legwinski

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Collins John
Off:Steed Malbranque

33' Goal

Gabriel Heinze

90' Yellow Card

Mikael Silvestre Card was given for a foul

Fulham snatched a late 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage against Manchester United thanks to a stunning late strike from Papa Bouba Diop.

It seemed in the bag for The Red Devils thanks to Alan Smith's first half strike, however, The Cottagers never gave up and bagged a share of the spoils.

United began the better side, but Edwin van der Sar barely had to move as he watched Wayne Rooney's and Paul Scholes's efforts drift wide of goal.

Diop continued the long range theme when he tried his luck from outside the box with a left-footed effort, while Gary Neville at the other end blazed over from distance.

United began to control the game as it wore on and on the half hour mark the visitors penned The Cottagers against the ropes.

Firstly Roy Keane saw a well-placed shot rattle the woodwork after Ian Peace could only clear Ryan Giggs's shot to the edge of the area.

Just moments later Rooney was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet when he collected Smith's through ball, but after clipping the ball past van der Sar the shot hit the post.

After 33 minutes United were deservedly ahead through superb tenacity from Smith.

The former Leeds striker had his initial shot blocked, but chased down the rebound and disposed Sylvain Legwinski in the area before toe-poking past the Dutch keeper at his near post.

Van der Sar was by far the busier of the keepers and he was on hand to deny Keane again shortly after, when he snagged the Irishman's shot with a save away to his left.

Andy Cole caused his former side problems minutes before the break, but after turning Mikael Silvestre in the box no on was running in on goal to turn in his cross shot.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who was lively in the opening 45 minutes, was inches from doubling United's advantage, however his shot flashed just wide of goal.

Cole Coleman's side came out a reformed side after the break and were unlucky not to equalise on a couple of occasions within minutes of the restart. Diop forced Carroll to tip over his close range header while inches later Cole was unlucky to see his effort strike the post after he turned Rio Ferdinand.

Smith tired to bag his second of the game with a header from Silvestre's cross, but van der Sar was well placed to gather the striker's effort.

Steed Malbranque struck a volley just before the hour mark after Silvestre cleared Rosenior's right wing corner, but the driven shot flashes just wide of the far post.

Gabriel Heinze was inches from netting from a set-piece but his curling shot from outside the area drifted just wide of the upright with van der Sar beaten. Cole should have connected with Diop's cross from the right after 76 minutes but was unable to break free from his marker from close range.

With just minutes remaining Diop, Fulham's best player on the night, netted a superb equaliser from distance.

The Senegal international struck the ball from 35 yards, and seemed to slip as his did so, and the ball curled into the post leaving Carroll with no chance.  Rooney should have restored United's lead moments later, but after getting free in the box he snatched at the effort and blazed his shot over the bar.

The result leaves United, who have drawn their last three games 1-1 at Fulham, nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea while Fulham move a point away from the drop zone. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Monday 13 December 2004
Kick-off: 8:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 21,940

Referee: Phil Dowd


Line-up: Van der Sar; Rosenior, Pearce, Rehman, Bocanegra; Malbranque (John 83'), Diop, Legwinski (Radzinski 74'), Pembridge; McBride, Cole

Unused substitutes: Flitney, Knight, Hammond

Manchester United

Line-up: Carroll; Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Heinze; Ronaldo, Scholes, Keane, Giggs; Smith, Rooney

Unused substitutes: Howard, O'Shea, Fletcher, Fortune, Bellion

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 17 40
2 Everton 17 36
3 Arsenal 17 35
4 Manchester United 17 31
5 Middlesbrough 17 29
6 Aston Villa 17 25
7 Liverpool 16 24
8 Charlton Athletic 17 24
9 Bolton Wanderers 17 23
10 Portsmouth 16 22
11 Tottenham Hotspur 17 22
12 Newcastle United 17 21
13 Manchester City 17 20
14 Fulham 17 18
15 Birmingham City 17 17
16 Norwich City 17 15
17 Crystal Palace 17 14
18 Blackburn Rovers 17 14
19 Southampton 17 13
20 West Bromwich Albion 17 10
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 37Liam Rosenior
  • 35Ian Pearce
  • 21Zesh Rehman
  • 34Carlos Bocanegra
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 7Mark Pembridge
  • 8Brian McBride
  • 8Andrew Cole
  • 19Ross Flitney
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 17Tomasz Radzinski
  • 17Collins John
  • 19Elvis Hammond
Manchester United (4-4-2)
  • 1Roy Carroll
  • 2Gary Neville
  • 5Rio Ferdinand
  • 27Mikael Silvestre
  • 14Gabriel Heinze
  • 7Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 22Paul Scholes
  • Roy Keane
  • 11Ryan Giggs
  • 14Alan Smith
  • 10Wayne Rooney
  • 24Tim Howard
  • 22John O'Shea
  • 24Darren Fletcher
  • 25Quinton Fortune
  • 12David Bellion