Saturday 31 January 2009, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Johnson 14', 71'; Nevland 80'
Nugent 84'

14' Goal

Andrew Johnson

71' Goal

Andrew Johnson

80' Goal

Erik Nevland

63' Substitution

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

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Zoltán Gera
Off:Clint Dempsey

84' Goal

David Nugent

30' Yellow Card

Hayden Mullins Card was given for a foul

46' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:David Nugent

63' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:John Utaka
Off:Armand Traore

76' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Noé Pamarot
Off:Younes Kaboul

A brace from Andy Johnson and a third from Erik Nevland ensured an emphatic and comfortable victory over Portsmouth at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.

There were no signs of this Barclays Premier League match starting in a reserved fashion with both sides looking to get the ball into their opponent’s final third early on. With the height of Peter Crouch and Kanu up front for Tony Adams’ side, there was plenty to keep Hangeland, Hughes and Schwarzer busy.

Indeed, Portsmouth were the first to craft an attack of any significance when Paul Konchesky saw the ball deflect through his legs, allowing the lively Jermaine Pennant to cross. Fortunately the attack was cut out but Portsmouth, through Pennant in particular, were looking dangerous down the flanks.

Fulham took the lead in the 14th minute thanks to a calm Andy Johnson finish. The move started in midfield where the impressive Simon Davies fed to ball to Clint Dempsey. With Johnson running off the shoulder of the last defender, Dempsey played the ball in behind the defensive line, Johnson had time to glance across at the linesman before slotting the ball low past David James.

Sean Davis forced Mark Schwarzer into a smart save low to his right on 18 minutes when he hit a low shot from the edge of the Fulham penalty area. The Australian keeper showed good hands to keep hold of the ball on the line.

Fulham continued to press and almost worked a good opening in the 24th minute when Davies, Johnson and Dempsey linked up well on the edge of the Portsmouth area; unfortunately the final pass from Dempsey to Davies was over hit and ran out of play.

Glen Johnson had Fulham’s defence on the back foot on 24 minutes when he skipped a challenge in the area and tried a left footed shot; Brede Hangeland deflected the ball away, kicking off an entertaining spell of play.

A good old midfield scrap saw John Pantsil demonstrate his skills, evading two Portsmouth players before losing possession, then winning it back again – much to the appreciation of the home crowd.

The Fulham midfield was certainly working well as a unit with Clint Dempsey and Simon Davies working well down the flanks and also through the middle of the park.

Andy Johnson almost made it two after he ran on to Simon Davies’ through ball. With Sylvain Distin missing the clearance, Johnson drilled a low shot which went out for a corner via the legs of David James.

As the first half drew to a close Portsmouth upped the pace and first Sean Davis forced Schwarzer to tip a floated effort over the bar. Then on 38 minutes, Younis Kaboul rattled the bar, heading a corner against the woodwork from six yards out.

Portsmouth started the second half intent on getting back on level terms. The Pompey fans were outraged when two penalty claims were turned down in quick succession. First David Nugent appealed for a spot kick after he went to ground under a challenge from John Pantsil. The second shout saw Peter Crouch and Aaron Hughes collide going for a high cross, again no decision from the referee.

Fulham were struggling to get out of their half much to the frustration of home supporters and that almost proved costly in the 51st minute when a corner from Jermaine Pennant resulted in Sylvain Distin heading wide from a good position.

Fulham gradually began to get back into the game and a good counter attack just after the hour mark set Bobby Zamora free down the right flank. The striker worked his way into the area but was robbed of the ball just as he was about to shoot.

That proved to be Zamora’s final contribution as the striker was soon replaced by Erik Nevland. The Norwegian striker looked hungry for a goal, as was demonstrated in the 65th minute when he seized on some loose play by Sean Davis and momentarily got the wrong side of Younis Kaboul before losing the physical battle.

John Pantsil’s well timed challenge on Peter Crouch on 68 minutes prevented a clear scoring opportunity as Pompey continued to search for the equaliser.

Fulham doubled their lead on 71 minutes with a fine goal from Erik Nevland. Simon Davies played a long pass down the right flank which caught the Portsmouth back line napping. Nevland, clean through, bore down on goal and with only James to beat the striker calmly stoked the ball into the net with the outside of his foot.

Nevland grabbed his second of the game on 79 minutes and once again Simon Davies was the provider. A low free kick from Danny Murphy found Clint Dempsey on the edge of the area. Dempsey skipped past three players before being tackled. However, the ball only fell to Davies who clipped a pass to Nevland, the striker took a touch and his early shot squeezed past James.

David Nugent gave Portsmouth some hope on 83 minute when he rose at the back post to nod Jermaine Pennant’s free kick past Schwarzer.

The goal ensured a nervy final ten minutes and Brede Hangeland proved to be a key figure in Fulham’s back line as he made a series of important interceptions as Portsmouth threw caution to the wind with a final roll of the dice.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 31 January 2009
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 23,722

Referee: Alan Wiley


Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey (Gera 90'); Zamora (Nevland 63'), Johnson

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Stoor, Kallio, Teymourian, Gray


Line-up: James; Johnson, Kaboul (Pamarot 76'), Distin, Hreidarsson; Pennant, Traore (Utaka 63'), Davis, Mullins; Kanu (Nugent 46'), Crouch

Unused substitutes: Begovic, Lauren, Mvuemba, Little

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 22 50
2 Chelsea 23 48
3 Liverpool 23 48
4 Aston Villa 24 48
5 Arsenal 24 43
6 Everton 23 37
7 Wigan Athletic 24 33
8 West Ham United 24 33
9 Fulham 22 29
10 Manchester City 23 28
11 Hull City 24 28
12 Bolton Wanderers 24 27
13 Sunderland 23 26
14 Tottenham Hotspur 24 24
15 Portsmouth 23 24
16 Stoke City 24 24
17 Newcastle United 23 23
18 Blackburn Rovers 23 23
19 Middlesbrough 24 22
20 West Bromwich Albion 24 22
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 9Bobby Zamora
  • 8Andrew Johnson
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 22Fredrik Stoor
  • 33Toni Kallio
  • 6Andranik Teymourian
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 17Julian Gray
  • 10Erik Nevland
Portsmouth (4-4-2)
  • 1David James
  • 5Glen Johnson
  • 3Younes Kaboul
  • 15Sylvain Distin
  • 6Hermann Hreidarsson
  • 14Jermaine Pennant
  • 30Armand Traore
  • 28Sean Davis
  • 8Hayden Mullins
  • 27Kanu
  • 9Peter Crouch
  • 31Asmir Begovic
  • 4Lauren
  • 16Noé Pamarot
  • 17John Utaka
  • 18Arnold Mvuemba
  • 25Glen Little
  • 10David Nugent