Matthew Briggs, who replaced John Arne Riise in the starting line-up, wasted no time in stamping his authority on the game when he sprinted down the left flank and managed to force Jan Lastuvka into making a save at his near post just a few minutes into the game.
Lastuvka was certainly coming under increasing pressure in the opening stages and after tipping a Damien Duff corner away from the danger zone, he was called upon to produce a routine catch after Steve Sidwell found space for a free header just 10 yards out.
Whilst both sides looked evenly matched in terms of their ability to maintain possession, Fulham appeared far more likely to register the first goal. By the 25th minute Martin Jol’s men had already forced five corners to Dnipro’s one and Lastuvka was by far the busier of the two custodians.
However, Dnipro looked a lively unit on the counter-attack and when they managed to dispossess the Whites; the blue shirts were quick to advance on Mark Schwarzer’s goal.
But the Whites finally made their pressure count in the 39th minute when Matthew Briggs sidestepped two Dnipro defenders and played a low cross into the path of Aaron Hughes, who managed to divert the ball past a committed Lastuvka with the most delicate of touches.
Fulham made it two on 43 minutes and it was Danny Murphy who was instrumental in creating the opportunity. The Fulham Captain played a perceptive first-time pass out to Stephen Kelly. Steve Sidwell was available to collect the return pass and deliver a pinpoint cross into the area where Clint Dempseygratefully converted past Lastuvka from close range.
Fulham lost no momentum over the half-time period and started the second-half with serious attacking intent. It wasn’t long before Dempsey netted his second of the match shortly after the restart when he leapt high and headed Pajtim Kasami's cross powerfully past Lastuvka.
Dnipro produced good spell of pressure shortly after conceding the third of the game, but Fulham’s back line stood firm for long enough to allow the Whites to regain their attacking edge. Certainly judging by the frequency with which Aaron Hughes was getting into the opposing area, the Fulham centre back was eager to get his name on the score sheet again.
Martin Jol rang in the changes on 66 minutes replacing Danny Murphy and Damien Duff with Dickson Etuhu and Mousa Dembele.
A delightful passing move that involved Mousa Dembele and Stephen Kelly on 73 minutes culminated in Bobby Zamora firing over from Kelly’s cross. It was a golden opportunity for the Whites to extend their lead, however Zamora was slightly unsighted by the attentions of this marker.
As the game entered the closing stages Dnipro threw caution to the wind and forced the Whites onto the back foot on plenty of occasions, but despite their best efforts Mark Schwarzer remained relatively untroubled.