Saturday 31 December 2005, 3:00pm at Fratton Park, Portsmouth
Barclays Premier League
O'Neil 43'
Fulham FC

43' Goal

Gary O'Neil

87' Yellow Card

Azar Karadas Card was given for a foul

86' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Azar Karadas
Off:Darío Silva

41' Yellow Card

Liam Rosenior Card was given for a foul

85' Yellow Card

Carlos Bocanegra Card was given for a foul

28' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Collins John
Off:Heidar Helguson

59' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Carlos Bocanegra
Off:Ahmad Elrich

Fulham went down to single goal on a mud bath of a pitch at Fratton Park. The decisive strike came three minutes before the break from Gary O’Neil.

Chris Coleman made three changes from the line up which had started the Aston Villa game. Fit again Alain Goma was recalled in place of Carlos Bocanegra, with Ahmad Elrich and Tony Warner replacing Phillipe Christanval and Mark Crossley respectively. Portsmouth were forced to make a last minute change when goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown was injured in the warm up with the former Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld replacing him.

Fulham nearly took the lead in the fifth minute. Brian McBride flicked on a right sided corner and Heider Helguson saw his shot deflect up to Tomasz Radzinski who lifted his effort over the crossbar. A minute later some in the Fratton Park crowd thought the home side had scored following Gary O’Neil’s surging run but the ball had gone narrowly wide.

McBride and Helguson were causing the home side problems early on and the US striker again caused a moment of concern when he rose unchallenged to meet Elrich’s 17th minute corner but his header dropped harmlessly wide.

Portsmouth won a free kick on the edge of the box after Leacock conceded a foul and Warner was forced into action to turn over LuaLua’s fierce shot. In the 24th minute Zat Knight’s long ball found Heider Helguson chasing into the box but the Icelandic striker was unable to gain full control of the ball and Westerveld deflected his effort for a corner. Helguson sustained an injury in the move and was replaced by Collins John four minutes later.

Fulham were in control at this stage and Tomasz Radzinski teased and tormented Priske before cutting inside to fire an effort just over the bar. The home side created a chance when LuaLua and Taylor combined to set up Silva who saw his shot just clear the crossbar. Seconds later LuaLua’s low centre passed across the Fulham goalmouth but danger was averted at the expense of a corner.

Liam Rosenior was booked following a foul on Silva with Pompey gaining a free kick just outside the box but Laurent Robert fired harmlessly over the bar.

Pompey went ahead three minutes before the break when Gary O’Neil scored from close range after appearing to control a left wing centre from Silva with his hand. From the kick off Pompey regained possession and Warner was forced to save a rasping drive from Robert.

Fulham’s first chance after the break came in the 55th minute when Elrich and Boa Morte combined to set up Collins John but Westerveld raced to the edge of his area to smother the danger. Portsmouth almost made it two a minute later when Taylor almost got on the end of a cross from Robert. Chris Coleman brought on Carlos Bocanegra for Ahmad Elrich after 59 minutes.

The second period saw both sides going in search of a goal. Dean Leacock’s centre was forced into the box but Radzinski was unable to control a bouncing ball. At the other end Lua Lua sent a curling shot just wide.

A long punt forward from Warner bounced into the opposing box, Radzinski volleying the clearance just wide As the tension mounted Fulham threw ball after ball into the box but the Portsmouth defence held firm.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 31 December 2005
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Fratton Park, Portsmouth
Attendance: 19,101

Referee: Mike Riley


Line-up: Westerveld; Griffin, Stefanovic, O'Brien, Priske; Hughes, O'Neil, Taylor, D'Alessandro; Darío Silva (Karadas 86'), Lua Lua

Unused substitutes: Guatelli, John Viafara, Cisse, Todorov


Line-up: Warner; Leacock, Goma, Knight, Rosenior; Elrich (Bocanegra 59'), Legwinski, Boa Morte, Radzinski; McBride, Helguson (John 28')

Unused substitutes: Drobny, Jensen, Pearce

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 20 55
2 Manchester United 20 44
3 Liverpool 18 40
4 Tottenham Hotspur 20 37
5 Wigan Athletic 20 34
6 Arsenal 19 33
7 Bolton Wanderers 18 31
8 Manchester City 20 28
9 Blackburn Rovers 19 27
10 West Ham United 20 26
11 Newcastle United 19 25
12 Charlton Athletic 18 25
13 Aston Villa 20 22
14 Middlesbrough 19 21
15 Fulham 20 20
16 Everton 20 20
17 West Bromwich Albion 20 19
18 Portsmouth 20 17
19 Birmingham City 19 13
20 Sunderland 19 6
Portsmouth (4-4-2)
  • 1Sander Westerveld
  • 16Andy Griffin
  • 3Dejan Stefanovic
  • 33Andy O'Brien
  • 6Brian Priske
  • 22Richard Hughes
  • 26Gary O'Neil
  • 14Matthew Taylor
  • 4Andres D'Alessandro
  • Darío Silva
  • 32Tresor Lomana Lua Lua
  • Andrea Guatelli
  • John Viafara
  • 18Aliou Cisse
  • 8Azar Karadas
  • 9Svetoslav Todorov
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 22Dean Leacock
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 17Liam Rosenior
  • 27Ahmad Elrich
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
  • 20Brian McBride
  • 10Heidar Helguson
  • 32Jaroslav Drobny
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 33Niclas Jensen
  • 35Ian Pearce
  • 15Collins John