Monday 24 November 2003, 8:00pm at Loftus Road, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
2
Saha 30', 33'
Portsmouth
0
Two goals from Louis Saha secure an impressive victory over Portsmouth for the Cottagers.

30' Goal

Louis Saha

33' Goal

Louis Saha

68' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Junichi Inamoto
Off:Barry Hayles

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Facundo Sava
Off:Louis Saha

37' Yellow Card

Steve Stone Card was given for a foul

45' Yellow Card

Sebastien Schemmel Card was given for a foul

70' Yellow Card

Tim Sherwood Card was given for a foul

82' Red Card

Patrik Berger Card was given for a foul

60' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alexei Smertin
Off:Gary O'Neil

60' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Matthew Taylor
Off:Hayden Foxe

73' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Deon Burton
Off:Steve Stone

0
15
30
45
60
75
90
For half an hour Harry Redknapp must have believed his Pompey team had a chance of finally securing their first away win of the season - but Fulham striker Louis Saha had other ideas. 

Portsmouth were dominating against a very shaky-looking Fulham side, who needed French defender Jerome Bonnissel to come to their rescue with a goal-lineclearance from Dejan Stefanovic's header and big Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van derSar saved at the feet of Nigerian striker Yakubu Ayegbini. 

Saha turned the game dramatically around after half an hour, with two goals in as many minutes, the first a thumping drive from just inside the penalty area -the club's 100th Premiership goal - and the second a bullet header from insidethe six yard box. To add insult to injury for Pompey, Patrik Berger saw red for foul and abusive language in the 82nd minute. Portsmouth came to Loftus Road on the back of their 6-1 thrashing of Leeds a fortnight ago but while goals were easy to come by at home, they had gone morethan five and a half hours since their last away strike when skipper TeddySheringham scored at Arsenal on September 13. 

That drought almost ended when the home team needed a goal-line clearance from Bonnissel to keep them in the game in the 16th minute. Berger curled in a corner from the right and defender Stefanovic's powerful downward header from eight yards was heading inside the far post until Bonnisselblocked it with his chest. Fulham were lucky to escape again in the 21st minute when some dreadful defending let in Ayegbini.  Released by Steve Stone's chip forward, the strikerwas in plenty of space on the right edge of the area, but he delayed his shotand van der Sar saved at his feet. Then, totally against the run of play, Fulham turned the game on its head with two goals in as many minutes - both scored by Saha. 

On the half hour Berger conceded a free kick on the Fulham right for a foul on Moritz Volz and when the ball was lofted into the box it was never properlycleared.  A header down by Hayden Foxe fell right for Saha to smash it home from16 yards - Fulham's 100th Premiership goal. Two minutes later Lee Clark crossed from the right and Saha nipped ahead of Foxe on the six yard line to power home a header, his eighth goal of the season. 

That was really game over, and the second half was not much of a spectacle, with the quality of passing pretty poor by Premiership standards. You had to feel a little sorry for Sheringham, as he looked too good for some of his team-mates. Redknapp reshuffled as he sent on Matt Taylor and Alexei Smertin, then Deon Burton, but the visitors were never going to score three times and secure that elusive win on the road. Saha was not match fit and he made way after 69 minutes for Facundo Sava, but by then he had earned his win bonus. Sava almost completed the victory with a header from Clark's cross after 79 minutes which crashed against the bar, but it mattered not to Fulham boss ChrisColeman who was relieved to see his team back on track. The game ended in controversy in the 82nd minute as from nowhere referee Alan Wiley produced a red card for Berger - presumably for something he said afterseeing his team denied a penalty as Ayegbini went down under a Zat Knightchallenge. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Monday 24 November 2003
Kick-off: 8:00pm

Venue: Loftus Road, London
Attendance: 15,624

Referee: Alan Wiley

Fulham

Line-up: Van der Sar; Volz, Knight, Melville, Bonnissel; Legwinski, Clark, Davis, Malbranque; Hayles (Inamoto 68'), Saha (Sava 70')

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Djetou, Pratley

Portsmouth

Line-up: Wapenaar; Foxe (Taylor 60'), Stefanovic, De Zeeuw, Schemmel; O'Neil (Smertin 60'), Stone (Burton 73'), Berger, Sherwood; Yakubu, Sheringham

Unused substitutes: Srnicek, Zivkovic

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Arsenal 13 33
2 Chelsea 13 32
3 Manchester United 13 31
4 Charlton Athletic 13 22
5 Fulham 13 21
6 Birmingham City 13 20
7 Newcastle United 13 19
8 Manchester City 13 18
9 Liverpool 13 18
10 Southampton 13 17
11 Portsmouth 13 15
12 Tottenham Hotspur 13 15
13 Middlesbrough 13 15
14 Bolton Wanderers 13 15
15 Everton 13 13
16 Leicester City 13 12
17 Blackburn Rovers 13 11
18 Aston Villa 13 11
19 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 10
20 Leeds United 13 8
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 16Zat Knight
  • 4Andy Melville
  • 18Jerome Bonnissel
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 10Lee Clark
  • 23Sean Davis
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 15Barry Hayles
  • 8Louis Saha
Substitutes
  • 12Mark Crossley
  • 17Martin Djetou
  • 6Junichi Inamoto
  • 31Darren Pratley
  • 9Facundo Sava
Portsmouth (4-4-2)
  • Harald Wapenaar
  • Hayden Foxe
  • 3Dejan Stefanovic
  • Arjan De Zeeuw
  • Sebastien Schemmel
  • 26Gary O'Neil
  • Steve Stone
  • 23Patrik Berger
  • Tim Sherwood
  • 24Yakubu
  • 8Teddy Sheringham
Substitutes
  • Pavel Srnicek
  • Boris Zivkovic
  • 14Matthew Taylor
  • 16Alexei Smertin
  • 8Deon Burton