Saturday 10 December 2005, 3:00pm at St Andrew's, Birmingham
Barclays Premier League
Birmingham City
1
Butt 84'
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
An 84th minute goal from Nicky Butt gave Birmingham a narrow victory over Fulham who had defended well for much of the game.

84' Goal

Nicky Butt

53' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jermaine Pennant
Off:Stan Lazaridis

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jamie Clapham
Off:David Dunn

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jirí Jarosik
Off:Olivier Tebily

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Fulham travelled to St Andrews to face a City side which had only taken a single point from their seven home games to date. Fulham were without Luis Boa Morte and Papa Bouba Diop both of whom were suspended, injury also continued to rob us of the services of Claus Jensen as well as Moritz Volz, injured late in the game at West Brom. Zat Knight returned to the starting line up as did Phillippe Christanval and Sylvain Legwinski.

Birmingham had the first effort on goal after six minutes when David Dunn zipped in a free kick following a foul by Christanval but Mark Crossley gathered safely. Much of the opening quarter of a hour was played in midfield but Fulham resolutely defended with Lazaridis providing the biggest threat.

Fulham began to press forward more as the half progressed and in the 25th minute Brian McBride sent a header over following a Tomasz Radzinski cross.

A neat passing move almost brought an opening for McBride from a Liam Rosenior cross but Matthew Upson intercepted at the vital moment . The Blues by now were becoming frustrated after a series of offside decisions went against Emile Heskey.

A quick break by Collins John fed Malbranque who almost played in Legwinski. the ball quickly fed to the other end where Heskey went clear of the defence but failed to lift the cross, the ball running harmlessly to Crossley. David Dunn then saw his lofted effort sailed harmlessly over after Emile Heskey had knocked the ball down to the former Blackburn midfielder. On the stroke of half time the home side forced the first corner of the game and though it swung menacingly to the far post but Mark Crossley held firm to take the catch.

Three minutes into the second half the home defence gave the ball away inside their own area and Malbranque’s lofted pass just failed to find the stretching Sylvain Legwinski. Soon after Fulham were awarded a free kick ten yards outside the box in a central position but Collins John saw his shot blocked. In the next attack Steed Malbranque crossed from the right and the ball drifted just ahead of both Collins John and Brian McBride, a touch from either would surely have been decisive.

Blues replaced Lazaridis with Jermaine Pennant on 54 minutes and the ex Arsenal man soon thundered a shot at Mark Crossley, the keeper soon had to be on his toes again in order to smother a diving header from Heskey.

A foul by Tebily on McBride gave Fulham a free kick on the corner edge of the box but though Collins John’s shot was on target Nico Vaesen held comfortably. Jarosik replaced Tebily after 70 minutes as the Blues were enjoying their best spell yet and a move down the right ended with Dunn firing in a shot which Mark Crossley dived to his left to save. Dunn left the field two minutes later to be replaced by Jamie Clapham.

As the game entered the last ten minutes the home side stepped up the pressure and went ahead in the 84th minute, a long ball up field found the head of Emile Heskey who nodded down and Nicky Butt dived to head the ball past Crossley. As Fulham fought back Collins John put the ball into the net after 88 minutes but the goal was disallowed for offside. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 10 December 2005
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: St Andrew's, Birmingham
Attendance: 27,597

Referee: Uriah Rennie

Birmingham City

Line-up: Vaesen; Tebily (Jarosik 69'), Cunningham, Upson, Painter; Johnson, Dunn (Clapham 69'), Clemence, Butt, Lazaridis (Pennant 53'); Heskey

Unused substitutes: Taylor, Forssell

Fulham

Line-up: Crossley; Rosenior, Knight, Goma, Bocanegra; Malbranque, Christanval, Legwinski, Radzinski; McBride, John

Unused substitutes: Warner, Jensen, Pearce, Elrich, Helguson

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 16 43
2 Liverpool 15 31
3 Manchester United 14 30
4 Tottenham Hotspur 15 27
5 Bolton Wanderers 15 27
6 Arsenal 14 26
7 Wigan Athletic 15 25
8 Manchester City 16 24
9 West Ham United 15 22
10 Charlton Athletic 15 22
11 Blackburn Rovers 16 21
12 Newcastle United 15 19
13 Middlesbrough 16 19
14 Aston Villa 16 17
15 Fulham 16 16
16 West Bromwich Albion 16 16
17 Everton 14 16
18 Birmingham City 15 12
19 Portsmouth 15 10
20 Sunderland 17 5
Birmingham City (4-5-1)
  • 18Nico Vaesen
  • 27Olivier Tebily
  • 4Kenny Cunningham
  • 20Matthew Upson
  • 20Marcos Painter
  • 22Damien Johnson
  • 8David Dunn
  • 6Stephen Clemence
  • 20Nicky Butt
  • 11Stan Lazaridis
  • 18Emile Heskey
Substitutes
  • 1Maik Taylor
  • 3Jamie Clapham
  • 7Jermaine Pennant
  • 14Jirí Jarosik
  • 9Mikael Forssell
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Crossley
  • 17Liam Rosenior
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 19Philippe Christanval
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
  • 20Brian McBride
  • 15Collins John
Substitutes
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 33Niclas Jensen
  • 35Ian Pearce
  • 27Ahmad Elrich
  • 10Heidar Helguson