Saturday 7 December 2002, 3:00pm at Loftus Road, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Djetou 10'
Leeds United
0
Terry Venables' terrible run as Leeds manager continued as his team tumbled to a 1-0 defeat at Fulham, with only goalkeeper Paul Robinson saving United from a real stuffing.

10' Goal

Martin Djetou

1' Yellow Card

Sylvain Legwinski Card was given for a foul

30' Yellow Card

Sean Davis Card was given for a foul

48' Yellow Card

Pierre Wome Card was given for a foul

39' Yellow Card

Eirik Bakke Card was given for a foul

48' Yellow Card

Robbie Fowler Card was given for a foul

82' Yellow Card

Jason Wilcox Card was given for a foul

90' Yellow Card

Jonathan Woodgate Card was given for a foul

45' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Robbie Fowler
Off:Alan Smith

57' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:James Milner
Off:Stephen McPhail

73' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Danny Mills
Off:Ian Harte

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

This entirely-deserved loss was the Yorkshire side's 10th in the Premiership,leaving the Elland Road faithful anticipating a five-month battle against relegation.  

Only luck, the woodwork and Robinson's heroics prevented crisis club United from total collapse against a patched-up Fulham strikeforce in a bristling first half at Loftus Road.  

Martin Djetou rose unmarked to head home Pierre Wome's corner for the winner after just after nine minutes - his first Cottagers goal.  

And as the home side dominated, stand-in forward Steed Malbranque hit the crossbar.  

But it was Robinson, in front of England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was the star for Leeds with a catalogue of top-drawer saves to keep the half-time deficit at a single goal.  

Leeds finally displayed a few murmurings of attacking invention after the interval - but they barely compared to Fulham's succession of chances as former England boss Venables' misery continued.  

It was the battle of the out-of-form teams, with Tigana's team having taken just five points from a possible 24 and United struggling badly.  

Fulham were without all four recognised strikers and discovered last night that Barry Hayles will be out until July as he needs necks surgery.  

The visitors were unable to call on Mark Viduka (shoulder), Harry Kewell(virus) and Lee Bowyer (ankle).  Leeds were an absolute shambles at the back early on, with Robinson berating his defenders after Ian Harte blocked Bjarne Goldbaek's thunderous drive.  

At the other end, Alan Smith showed neat footwork to shoot tamely from 16 yards, with Edwin van der Sar gathering easily.  

But United's shocking defensive play was the talking point, with Malbranque spinning on a sixpence to feed Luis Boa Morte - who outpaced Harte and shot across the face of goal.  

In an action-replay in the ninth minute, Michael Duberry saved the day - and it was no surprise when Fulham took the lead moments later.  Djetou rose totally unmarked to power home Wome's right-wing corner.  

Leeds were all over the place, sparking glum looks from chairman Peter Ridsdale in the directors box, when Goldbaek fired just wide.  

Tempers frayed in the 13th minute when Jason Wilcox clattered Sylvain Legwinski, who responded by repeatedly shoving the Leeds midfielder and earning the first booking from referee Paul Durkin.  

Only a last-gasp Jonathan Woodgate tackle prevented Malbranque putting Boa Morte through on goal again.  Robinson was screaming at his defenders again at the half-way point in the first period, after they allowed Malbranque space to unleash a shot which the keeper dived full length to turn round his left-hand post.  

The Leeds goal was besieged now, with only luck and Robinson acrobatics preventing them falling two goals behind in a hugely-entertaining game.  

Boa Morte raced goalwards in the 31st minute, spinning Woodgate and shooting into the midriff of Duberry.  The ball rebounded to Malbranque, who smacked a 10-yard volley against the face of the United crossbar.

And 30 seconds later, Steve Finnan whipped in a right-flank cross which Davis met with a thumping header to bring a marvelous flying save from Robinson.  

The Leeds keeper pulled off a scarcely-believable double-save three minutes before the interval.   He did well to parry Wome's rasping 20-yard drive - and somehow recovered in time to deflect Malbranque's point-blank follow-up effort round his post. 

Venables threw on Robbie Fowler, just back from his hip operation, in place of Smith at half-time.   

And the ex-Liverpool man was booked after just two minutes after clashing with Wome, who was also shown the yellow card.  

Leeds did finally show some invention just before the hour, when Stephen McPhail's dipping 25-yard volley was gathered by Edwin van der Sar.  

And Bridges should have equalised when he raced onto Harte's curling cross but side-footed the wrong side of van der Sar's right-hand upright.  

Harte also fired wide but Fulham hit back and Goldbaek jinked his way past Erik Bakke and Michael Duberry but dragged his shot disappointingly wide.  

Fowler had his first real sniff of goal in the 74th minute and was only denied by a reaction parry from van der Sar.   

Substitute James Milner, 16, crossed butFulham's Dutch keeper was equal to the England striker's header.  Fulham then fluffed two great chances to wrap up victory.   

First, Robinson pushed Boa Morte's shot into the path of Sean Davis, who wastefully fired over from six yards.  Then Malbranque had far more space than he realised and only produced an embarrassing air shot when the ball fell to him eight yards out.  

In the final minute, Davis' close-range effort hit the top of the bar.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 7 December 2002
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Loftus Road, London
Attendance: 17,494

Referee: Paul Durkin

Fulham

Line-up: Van der Sar; Finnan, Djetou, Melville, Brevett; Goldbaek, Legwinski, Boa Morte, Malbranque, Wome; Davis

Unused substitutes: Taylor, Knight, Inamoto, Stolcers, Willock

Leeds United

Line-up: Robinson; Kelly, Woodgate, Duberry, Harte (Mills 73'); Okon, McPhail (Milner 57'), Wilcox, Bakke; Smith (Fowler 45'), Bridges

Unused substitutes: Martyn, Lucic

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 17 35
2 Chelsea 17 33
3 Manchester United 17 32
4 Liverpool 17 31
5 Everton 17 29
6 Newcastle United 16 28
7 Southampton 17 26
8 Middlesbrough 17 25
9 Blackburn Rovers 17 24
10 Tottenham Hotspur 16 24
11 Charlton Athletic 17 23
12 Fulham 17 22
13 Birmingham City 17 20
14 Manchester City 16 20
15 Aston Villa 17 19
16 Leeds United 17 17
17 West Bromwich Albion 16 15
18 Bolton Wanderers 16 14
19 Sunderland 16 14
20 West Ham United 17 13
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Steve Finnan
  • 17Martin Djetou
  • 4Andy Melville
  • 3Rufus Brevett
  • 19Bjarne Goldbaek
  • 18Sylvain Legwinski
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 14Steed Malbranque
  • 27Pierre Wome
  • 23Sean Davis
Substitutes
  • 12Maik Taylor
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 6Junichi Inamoto
  • 40Andrejs Stolcers
  • 33Callum Willock
Leeds United (4-4-2)
  • 1Paul Robinson
  • 2Gary Kelly
  • 39Jonathan Woodgate
  • 5Michael Duberry
  • 23Ian Harte
  • Paul Okon
  • 37Stephen McPhail
  • Jason Wilcox
  • Eirik Bakke
  • 17Alan Smith
  • 17Michael Bridges
Substitutes
  • 25Nigel Martyn
  • Teddy Lucic
  • 18Danny Mills
  • 7James Milner
  • Robbie Fowler