Saturday 5 November 2005, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Malbranque 6', 45'
Manchester City
Manchester City
Croft 20'

6' Goal

Steed Malbranque

45' Goal

Steed Malbranque

39' Yellow Card

Luis Boa Morte Card was given for a foul

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Heidar Helguson
Off:Brian McBride

20' Goal

Lee Croft

12' Yellow Card

Joey Barton Card was given for a foul

66' Yellow Card

Lee Croft Card was given for a foul

75' Yellow Card

Stephen Jordan Card was given for a foul

43' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Antoine Sibierski
Off:Kiki Musampa

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Sun Jihai
Off:Danny Mills

80' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bradley Wright-Phillips
Off:Stephen Jordan

A brace from Steed Malbranque handed Fulham their second consecutive Premiership victory at home.

The match saw Brian McBride earn a recall to the side. The reshuffle saw Tomasz Radzinski stationed on the left of midfield with Collin John on the right and Steed Malbranque taking up a central role.

Fulham took the lead in the 6th minute when a loose piece of control from Richard Dunne allowed Boa Morte to sprint clear.  The Portuguese international squared the ball to Malbranque and the Frenchman had the simple task of tapping home from close range.

Fulham continued their bright opening when Radzinski came close to getting on the end of a teasing delivery into the box.

Malbranque was enjoying the freedom of the Craven Cottage pitch in the early exchanges, no doubt buoyed by his goal scoring start.  However, he was almost taken out of the game when Joey Barton raked his studs down Malbranque’s shin.  The City midfielder earned a yellow card for his trouble.

Another opening almost presented itself to the Whites when David James lost his bearings with a high ball.  The big stopper reached up with one hand and palmed the ball back across the face of goal where, unfortunately, no white shirt was within range.

Man City were back on level terms on 20 minutes when Lee Croft placed his shot over the advancing Tony Warner.  The opportunity arose when the ball was fed into the path of Barton, who played a well-directed first touch pass to Croft who had moved into space down the left of Fulham’s defence.

Undeterred by the equaliser, Fulham continued to press and a fine passing move allowed John to fire a shot in on goal.  James had to be equal to the task as McBride was lurking, looking for any scraps. 

Luis Boa Morte was next into the referee’s book on 39 minutes when Barton went down clutching his face after a tussle.  A brief exchange between Boa Morte and Mills followed but it is unclear as to whether the Portuguese international was booked for his clash with Barton or the exchange with Mills.

Fulham retook the lead moments later when Boa Morte spotted Malbranque making a run beyond the City defence.  A delightful through ball was rolled just in front of Malbranque and he calmly rounded James to prod home.

City started the second half looking the more threatening and could have scored the equaliser but Andy Cole’s mistimed header sailed over the bar.  Soon after Tomasz Radzinski showed good pace to beat his man down the wing and deliver a cross which McBride just couldn’t reach.

Both sides were looking dangerous as Fulham looked to extend their lead and the visitors hoped to get back into the match.  Tomasz Radzinski struck the woodwork just before the hour mark when he ran on to McBride’s flick on and tried to beat James at the near post.

The game had, by now, taken on a scrappy but entertaining feel to it.  James had to produce a fine double save to first keep out John then McBride and Fulham continued to press.  The England stopper first reacted well to keep out John’s volley then bravely spread himself at the feet of the advancing McBride to smother the American’s effort.

Heidar Helguson replaced McBride on 76 minutes and had an almost instant impact as he won the ball against the odds, broke through two tackles before laying a pass off.  Helguson was again in the wars just moments later when he robbed Sibierski with a good tackle before winning the free kick.

Fulham were given a nervy final few minutes when City applied the pressure with a series of set pieces and crosses.  Bradley Wright-Phillips had the ball in the net but thankfully, the striker had strayed into an offside position.

City desperately tried to pull one back as they sent everyone forward, James included, for a late free kcik.  However, when the City goalkeeper lost possession, the race was on to advance on City's empty goal.  Boa Morte surged forward, with City desperately trying to regroup.  The ball was played to Malbranque who, in turn, fed it on to Radzinski.  With an open goal at his mercy, the Canadian horribly dinked his shot and a recovering defender was able to clear for a corner.  Thankfully it wasn’t a costly miss as the final whistle blew moments later.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 5 November 2005
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 22,241

Referee: Rob Styles


Line-up: Warner; Volz, Goma, Bocanegra, Jensen; Malbranque, Diop, Boa Morte, Radzinski; McBride (Helguson 77'), John

Unused substitutes: Batista, Knight, Rosenior, Elrich

Manchester City

Line-up: James; Mills (Jihai 68'), Distin, Dunne, Jordan (Wright-Phillips 80'); Musampa (Sibierski 43'), Ireland, Barton, Croft; Vassell, Cole

Unused substitutes: De Vlieger, Thatcher

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 11 31
2 Wigan Athletic 10 22
3 Arsenal 11 20
4 Tottenham Hotspur 11 20
5 Manchester City 12 20
6 Bolton Wanderers 11 20
7 Charlton Athletic 11 19
8 West Ham United 11 18
9 Manchester United 10 18
10 Newcastle United 12 18
11 Blackburn Rovers 12 17
12 Liverpool 10 16
13 Middlesbrough 11 15
14 Fulham 12 12
15 Portsmouth 11 10
16 Aston Villa 12 9
17 West Bromwich Albion 12 8
18 Everton 10 7
19 Birmingham City 12 6
20 Sunderland 12 5
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 33Niclas Jensen
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
  • 20Brian McBride
  • 15Collins John
  • 16Ricardo Batista
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 17Liam Rosenior
  • 27Ahmad Elrich
  • 10Heidar Helguson
Manchester City (4-4-2)
  • 1David James
  • 18Danny Mills
  • 15Sylvain Distin
  • 22Richard Dunne
  • 22Stephen Jordan
  • 14Kiki Musampa
  • 7Stephen Ireland
  • 8Joey Barton
  • 22Lee Croft
  • 12Darius Vassell
  • 8Andrew Cole
  • 25Geert De Vlieger
  • 3Ben Thatcher
  • 17Sun Jihai
  • 10Bradley Wright-Phillips
  • 10Antoine Sibierski