Saturday 3 May 2003, 3:00pm at Loftus Road, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
2
o.g. Stubbs 33'; o.g. Wright 42'
Everton
Everton
0
Two disastrous own-goals give jubilant Fulham victory over Everton at Loftus Road on Saturday afternoon.

33' Own-goal

Alan Stubbs

42' Own-goal

Richard Wright

90' Yellow Card

Lee Clark Card was given for a foul

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Louis Saha
Off:Elvis Hammond

86' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Barry Hayles
Off:Steed Malbranque

52' Yellow Card

Tony Hibbert Card was given for a foul

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Duncan Ferguson
Off:Scot Gemmill

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alessandro Pistone
Off:Mark Pembridge

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Steve Watson
Off:Tony Hibbert

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

David Moyes' men, who were in the frame for top-four finish until a fortnight ago, now face title favourites Manchester United next Sunday knowing defeat and a Blackburn victory at nose-diving Tottenham will mean they will miss out on Europe.  

Alan Stubbs and Thomas Gravesen did the damage by putting through their own net at Loftus Road, gifting the Cottagers mathematical safety after months of relegation nerves in west London.  

The Toffees in fact almost scored three own-goals as Joseph Yobo toe-poked ayard wide just before Stubbs stretched to reach Sean Davis' flick-on in the 34thminute, succeeding only in looping the ball over Richard Wright and into his own net.  

Gravesen's own-goal was much more unlucky, with Steed Malbranque's whipped free-kick from the left wing brushing his studs to send the ball squirming under Richard Wright.  

The goalkeeper was furious and unsuccessfully claimed Luis Boa Morte, standing next do Gravesen, had deflected the ball past him with his hand.  

Lee Carsley had hit the post for Everton early on but Kevin Campbell fluffed the Merseysiders' two best chances, both of which were set up by excellent Wayne Rooney headers.  

Fulham had plenty of chances and were good value for this win, which represents 'job done' for caretaker boss Chris Coleman as Mohamed Al Fayed's club can now look forward to a third term of top-flight football come August.  

But for Everton, the belief that the start of next season would bring continental action is now fading fast.  

In the opening exchanges, Maik Taylor - favoured by Coleman ahead of Edwin van der Sar - looked far from comfortable.  

He spilt Thomas Gravesen's deflected shot to allow Carsley to nick in and hit the post from point-blank range.  

Jon Harley flashed a shot past the angle of post and bar and, at the other end, Mark Pembridge sent a set-piece curling wide for the Toffees.  

Pembridge also produced a wickedly in swinging corner from the right which Taylor leapt to tip over.  

Fulham came back again, with Luis Boa Morte steaming goalwards and Yobo intercepting.   

The centre-back stuck out a boot and was relieved to see his toe-poke bobble just a yard wide of the left upright with Wright stranded.  

But Stubbs was not so lucky in the 34th minute and scored a nightmare own-goal.  

Davis flicked on Jon Harley's driven ball forward and it deflected behind Stubbs.   

He flung out a leg but only lofted the ball over Wright and into his ownnet.  Campbell had a great chance to level 60 seconds later but shot straight at Taylor after latching onto Rooney's flick on.  

Alain Goma almost doubled Fulham's lead with a powerful header which hit the top of Wright's bar.  

And it was 2-0 four minutes before the break.   Boa Morte was fouled near thecorner flag on the Cottagers' left flank and Malbranque whipped in a vicious free-kick.  

The Frenchman fired the set-piece into the near-post and the ball slipped Gravesen's studs, deceived Wright and rolled inches over the line before the goalkeeper could claw it out.  

Everton started strongly after the interval and could have scored twice in the48th minute.  First, Rooney's free-kick was destined for the top corner before Taylor shuffled across his goalline to catch the ball above his head.  

But the keeper's sloppy distribution was seized on by Gravesen, whose first-time shot from 45 yards out went a few yards wide with Taylor nowhere insight.  

Fulham went close to establishing a three-goal cushion four minutes later when Malbranque cut in from the right and Wright spilled his shot.   

Elvis Hammond slidin and the ball span just wide.  

Campbell, who had missed Everton's best chance immediately after Stubbs'own-goal, was presented with another fine opening by Rooney with 65 minutes onthe clock.  

The 17-year-old nodded down to his skipper once again but Campbell got theball caught between his feet in front of goal and then fell over.  

With 10 minutes left, Fulham substitute Louis Saha sent an angled drive inchespast the far post.  

Duncan Ferguson, who had come off the bench for the visitors, headed down forYobo to sky the ball when in space seven yards out, before Wright saved spectacularly from Saha with two minutes remaining.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 3 May 2003
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Loftus Road, London
Attendance: 18,385

Referee: Graham Barber

Fulham

Line-up: Taylor; Finnan, Melville, Goma, Harley; Malbranque (Hayles 86'), Legwinski, Clark, Davis, Boa Morte; Hammond (Saha 68')

Unused substitutes: Van der Sar, Knight, Collins

Everton

Line-up: Wright; Hibbert (Watson 62'), Stubbs, Yobo, Unsworth; Gemmill (Ferguson 45'), Gravesen, Carsley, Pembridge (Pistone 62'); Campbell, Rooney

Unused substitutes: Simonsen, Osman

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 37 80
2 Arsenal 35 72
3 Newcastle United 37 68
4 Chelsea 37 64
5 Liverpool 37 64
6 Everton 37 59
7 Blackburn Rovers 37 57
8 Manchester City 37 51
9 Tottenham Hotspur 37 50
10 Middlesbrough 37 49
11 Southampton 36 49
12 Charlton Athletic 37 49
13 Birmingham City 37 47
14 Aston Villa 37 45
15 Fulham 37 45
16 Leeds United 36 41
17 Bolton Wanderers 37 41
18 West Ham United 37 41
19 West Bromwich Albion 37 25
20 Sunderland 37 19
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 12Maik Taylor
  • 2Steve Finnan
  • 4Andy Melville
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 26Jon Harley
  • 14Steed Malbranque
  • 18Sylvain Legwinski
  • 8Lee Clark
  • 23Sean Davis
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 34Elvis Hammond
Substitutes
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 10John Collins
  • 15Barry Hayles
  • 20Louis Saha
Everton (4-4-2)
  • 1Richard Wright
  • 2Tony Hibbert
  • 15Alan Stubbs
  • 66Joseph Yobo
  • 25David Unsworth
  • Scot Gemmill
  • 10Thomas Gravesen
  • 26Lee Carsley
  • 24Mark Pembridge
  • Kevin Campbell
  • 10Wayne Rooney
Substitutes
  • 1Steve Simonsen
  • Alessandro Pistone
  • 2Steve Watson
  • 21Leon Osman
  • Duncan Ferguson