Thursday 29 April 2010, 8:05pm at Craven Cottage, London
UEFA Europa League
Fulham FC
Davies 69'; Gera 76'
Hamburger SV
Hamburger SV
Petrić 22'

69' Goal

Simon Davies
Assist by Danny Murphy

76' Goal

Zoltán Gera

45'+20 Yellow Card

Brede Hangeland Card was given for a foul

90'+3 Yellow Card

Clint Dempsey Card was given for dissent

56' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Clint Dempsey
Off:Bobby Zamora

74' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:John Pantsil

22' Goal

Mladen Petrić

62' Yellow Card

Jerome Boateng Card was given for a foul

90'+3 Yellow Card

Frank Rost Card was given for a foul

56' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Tomas Rincon
Off:Robert Tesche

79' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Pablo Guerrero
Off:Tomas Rincon

89' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:David Rozehnal
Off:David Jarolim

Fulham booked their place in the Final of the UEFA Europa League with a memorable victory over Hamburg at Craven Cottage on Thursday evening.

Fulham booked their place in the Final of the UEFA Europa League with a memorable victory over Hamburg at Craven Cottage on Thursday evening.

Mladen Petrić gave the home side the lead with a first-half free kick, but a beautiful second-half strike from Simon Davies levelled matters before Zoltan Gera netted in the 76th minute to secure a historic win.

Bobby Zamora was declared fit to play and John Pantsil also made a return to Europa League action in place of the suspended Chris Baird.

Played amidst a cauldron of sound, this epic encounter got off to an entertaining start, with the first chance falling to Zamora in the second minute after he exchanged passes with Gera on the edge of the Hamburg area. Despite having the ball trapped under his feet somewhat, Zamora was able to get a shot on target which the scrambling Frank Rost managed to smother.

The Whites were certainly looking a more potent force in attack early on as our second corner of the match on seven minutes found the head of Brede Hangeland, only to sail over Rost’s bar. But Hamburg soon came out of their shell and proceeded to enjoy a spell of useful possession which produced a dangerous corner and some teasing passes into the Fulham penalty area.

Prompted by Ze Roberto, the Hamburg midfield started enjoying good possession in the wide areas, with their play down Fulham’s left flank in particular causing some problems for the Whites. Much of their success was down to the advanced positioning of wingers Robert Tesche and Jonathan Pitroipa – who were playing almost in line with Ruud van Nistelrooy and Petrić.

Hamburg took the lead on 22 minutes when a surging run from Ze Roberto was ended by Danny Murphy 30 yards from goal. Petrić stepped up and smashed a thunderous effort past Schwarzer to give the German side the lead and the all-important away goal.

But, to their credit, the home faithful used the opportunity to get behind their side more than ever.

The Whites battled to gain a foothold in midfield but the ever busy David Jarolim was proving to be an influential figure in Hamburg’s defensive efforts.

The second half started at a frantic pace as Fulham raced out of the blocks in search of a much needed equaliser. The ongoing tussle between Zamora and Jerome Boateng looked set to be one of the key factors in determining the success of Fulham’s attacks.

Elsewhere on the pitch, the war of attrition continued along the same lines as the first half. Hamburg maintained high levels of pressure on the Whites high up the pitch, preventing Roy Hodgson’s men working the ball through to the danger areas with the care they would have liked.

Zamora had passed a late fitness test to feature and was giving the game his all, but his troublesome Achilles was clearly flaring up, and so Hodgson had little choice but to replace him with Clint Dempsey shortly before the hour mark.

Backed by a highly vocal Craven Cottage, Fulham started to turn the tide and put Hamburg under pressure. Boateng could consider himself lucky to have stayed on the pitch on 61 minutes when he scythed Gera down near the corner flag – the defender escaped with a yellow card. From the resulting free kick Damien Duff almost diverted Paul Konchesky’s low delivery into the net.

With Fulham committing more players forward, Hamburg’s threat on the counter-attack grew, as did Pitroipa’s influence.

Fulham got back on level terms on 69 minutes when Davies latched onto a perceptive chipped through-ball from Danny Murphy, turned past his marker in the box before finishing past Rost - sending the Craven Cottage crowd wild. Game on.

John Pantsil made way for Erik Nevland in the 74th minute as Hodgson added another attacking option to the field. Davies moved to right back as Nevland joined Dempsey in attack.

And the vital second goal then arrived, sending the place into delirium. After the visitors failed to deal with Davies’ corner, Gera was able to control the ball in the area before spinning on the spot and firing a crisp shot past Rost.

Fulham continued to press as the game entered the final 10 minutes as Hamburg started to look tired from their frantic early pace.

Hearts were in mouths when the ball dropped conveniently for van Nistelrooy in stoppage time, but the man who had so often been our scourge in the past thankfully stabbed his shot miles off target.

The only other moment of note in added time was a yellow card for Rost after the out of position goalkeeper chopped down Dempsey in a wide area, as the Whites professionally saw out the game to book a historic Final in Hamburg.

A fantastic evening that will never be forgotten by anyone there.

Match Information

Competition: UEFA Europa League

Date: Thursday 29 April 2010
Kick-off: 8:05pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 23,705

Referee: Cuneyt Cakir


Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil (Nevland 74'), Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Duff, Murphy, Etuhu, Davies; Gera; Zamora (Dempsey 56')

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Smalling, Bjorn Helge Riise, Greening, Dikgacoi

Hamburger SV

Line-up: Rost; Demel, Mathijsen, Boateng, Aogo; Tesche (Rincon 56' (Guerrero 79')), Jarolim (Rozehnal 89'), Ze Roberto, Pitroipa; van Nistelrooy, Petrić

Unused substitutes: Hesl, Berg, Arslan, Schulz

Fulham (4-4-1-1)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 16Damien Duff
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 29Simon Davies
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 25Bobby Zamora
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 26Chris Smalling
  • 17Bjorn Helge Riise
  • 27Jonathan Greening
  • 34Kagisho Dikgacoi
  • 10Erik Nevland
  • 23Clint Dempsey
Hamburger SV (4-4-2)
  • 1Frank Rost
  • 6Guy Demel
  • 5Joris Mathijsen
  • 17Jerome Boateng
  • 6Dennis Aogo
  • 13Robert Tesche
  • 14David Jarolim
  • 8Ze Roberto
  • 21Jonathan Pitroipa
  • 22Ruud van Nistelrooy
  • 10Mladen Petrić
  • 3David Rozehnal
  • 9Pablo Guerrero
  • 12Wolfgang Hesl
  • 16Marcus Berg
  • 19Tolgay Arslan
  • 25Tomas Rincon
  • 34Kal-Fabian Schulz