Sunday 24 May 2009, 4:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
Everton
Everton
2
Osman 45', 88'
Fulham confirmed their qualification for next season’s Europa League following Saturday’s defeat to Everton – the Whites maintained their seventh spot after Tottenham failed to win against Liverpool at Anfield.

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bobby Zamora
Off:Erik Nevland

73' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Olivier Dacourt
Off:Zoltán Gera

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Chris Smalling
Off:Aaron Hughes

45' Goal

Leon Osman

88' Goal

Leon Osman

76' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dan Gosling
Off:Philip Neville

79' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Segundo Castillo
Off:Louis Saha

86' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:James Vaughan
Off:Steven Pienaar

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

The game started with good chances falling to both sides. Erik Nevland came close to finishing off a fine pass from Danny Murphy before Louis Saha struck the bar for Everton - albeit after the referee’s whistle.

Everton, lining-up in a 4-5-1 formation, looked to pack the midfield, leaving Saha to plough a lone furrow up front. The former Fulham striker was supported by the forward runs of Tim Cahill and Steven Pienaar from midfield.

Nevland saw a shot go inches wide just before the ten minute mark when he received the ball on the angle of the Everton six yard box. The Norwegian striker took a touch before hitting a snap shot narrowly wide.

The fast pace of the opening minutes soon died down as the heat started taking its toll on the players – ensuring this encounter would be more of a tactical battle than one of speed and physicality.

Tim Howard produced a smart save to deny Zoltan Gera following a good Fulham attack. Clint Dempsey’s pass found Paul Konchesky racing up the touchline on the overlap; his cross reached the unmarked Gera at the far post and the Hungarian international headed firmly towards goal.

Gera found himself with time and space to unleash powerful effort moments later. With the Everton back line expecting a pass, Gera, with little back lift, hit a curling shot which flew just over the near top corner.

Fulham were successfully limiting Everton’s efforts on goal to long range strikes, which were easily collected by Schwarzer. David Moyes’ side was able to produce an extended spell of pressure on the half hour mark as they penned the Whites back in their own half – however the attack fizzled out when Jack Rodwell ballooned his long distance attempt well over the bar.

Mark Schwarzer was called into action on 36 minutes when Steven Pienaar stole possession in midfield and powered towards goal, he played a square pass to Saha whose right footed shot saw Schwarzer save at full stretch.

Fulham were next to attack and a delightful pass from Gera cut out Joseph Yobo and found Kamara at the back post. Unfortunately he was unable to direct his shot on goal.

Leon Osman handed Everton the lead just before the half-time interval after Fulham failed to clear their lines. The visitors won possession back on the right side of Fulham’s back line and Steven Pienaar’s pass found the run of Osman who touched the ball past Schwarzer and side footed into the net.

The second-half started with Fulham enjoying a significantly greater share of the possession stakes. Everton seemed more content to reign in their attacking instincts and look for counter-attacking opportunities through the pace of Pienaar and Saha.

Schwarzer produced a good save on 54 minutes to deny a Saha header after the Frenchman did well to direct a high looping ball into the box towards goal.

A John Pantsil cross caused a moment of confusion in the Everton area when the ball sneaked through both Yobo and Lescott. Clint Dempsey was able to touch the ball away from Tim Howard which resulted in a race between the two American internationals. Fulham’s appeals for handball were turned down as Howard looked to touch the ball just as it rolled out of the area.

Fulham continued in their search for an equaliser but were meeting stiff resistance from a well-organised Everton side. Roy Hodgson replaced Erik Nevland with Bobby Zamora in an attempt to give the Fulham front line a refresh. The striker certainly gave the Whites an added physical dimension up front.

Olivier Dacourt replaced Zoltan Gera on the 72 minute mark, a move which saw Danny Murphy move out to the right side of midfield.

Fulham’s third and final substitution saw Academy graduate Chris Smalling earn his Fulham debut as he replaced Aaron Hughes on 77 minutes.

Despite their best efforts, the Whites were finding it difficult to raise the pace of the game and convert their possession at the back into something useful further up the pitch.

Six minutes from time Bobby Zamora almost pulled Fulham level after latching onto a long ball into Everton’s area. The striker’s control was admirable but his shot across goal failed to find the target.

Three minutes from time Osman put the result beyond doubt with a thunderous drive past Mark Schwarzer from inside the area.

Despite Sunday’s result Fulham were guaranteed a seventh place finish in the Barclays Premier League thanks to Liverpool’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield. Fulham fans can look forward to Premier League and European football next season after an outstanding 08/09 campaign.

 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Sunday 24 May 2009
Kick-off: 4:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 25,497

Referee: Mike Riley

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hughes (Smalling 77'), Hangeland, Konchesky; Dempsey, Murphy, Etuhu, Gera (Dacourt 73'); Kamara, Nevland (Zamora 68')

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Stoor, Baird, Gray

Everton

Line-up: Howard; Hibbert, Lescott, Yobo, Baines; Osman, Neville (Gosling 76'), Rodwell, Pienaar (Vaughan 86'); Cahill; Saha (Castillo 79')

Unused substitutes: Nash, Jacobsen, Fellaini, Jô

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 38 90
2 Liverpool 38 86
3 Chelsea 38 83
4 Arsenal 38 72
5 Everton 38 63
6 Aston Villa 38 62
7 Fulham 38 53
8 Tottenham Hotspur 38 51
9 West Ham United 38 51
10 Manchester City 38 50
11 Wigan Athletic 38 45
12 Stoke City 38 45
13 Bolton Wanderers 38 41
14 Portsmouth 38 41
15 Blackburn Rovers 38 41
16 Sunderland 38 36
17 Hull City 38 35
18 Newcastle United 38 34
19 Middlesbrough 38 32
20 West Bromwich Albion 38 32
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 15Diomansy Kamara
  • 10Erik Nevland
Substitutes
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 22Fredrik Stoor
  • 34Chris Baird
  • 37Chris Smalling
  • 16Olivier Dacourt
  • 17Julian Gray
  • 9Bobby Zamora
Everton (4-4-1-1)
  • 24Tim Howard
  • 2Tony Hibbert
  • 5Joleon Lescott
  • 66Joseph Yobo
  • 3Leighton Baines
  • 21Leon Osman
  • 18Philip Neville
  • 8Jack Rodwell
  • 20Steven Pienaar
  • 17Tim Cahill
  • 8Louis Saha
Substitutes
  • 1Carlo Nash
  • 15Lars Jacobsen
  • 19Dan Gosling
  • 8Segundo Castillo
  • 25Marouane Fellaini
  • 11
  • 14James Vaughan