Saturday 22 January 2005, 3:00pm at St Andrews, Birmingham
Barclays Premier League
Birmingham City
1
o.g. Volz 51'
Fulham FC
Fulham
2
Cole (pen) 78'; Diop 83'
Papa Bouba Diop's knack of scoring decisive late goals surfaced again to earn victory for Chris Coleman and Fulham at St Andrews.

51' Own-goal

Moritz Volz

82' Yellow Card

Damien Johnson Card was given for a foul

69' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Robbie Blake
Off:Clinton Morrison

83' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Darren Anderton
Off:Damien Johnson

86' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dwight Yorke
Off:Martin Taylor

78' Penalty

Andrew Cole

83' Goal

Papa Bouba Diop

53' Yellow Card

Luis Boa Morte Card was given for a foul

84' Yellow Card

Papa Bouba Diop Card was given for a foul

90' Yellow Card

Carlos Bocanegra Card was given for a foul

89' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Brian McBride
Off:Andrew Cole

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Diop had scored an injury-time winner against West Brom last weekend to follow on from his last-gasp equaliser against Manchester United before Christmas. Then the Senegal international struck again with eight minutes remaining as the Cottagers came from behind to claim their third away win of the season.

Fulham striker Andy Cole came closest to breaking the deadlock in a turgid opening 45 minutes with Birmingham at St Andrews. The former England player was only inches wide with a shot on the turn in a rare moment of excitement on a bitterly cold afternoon. Both sides looked devoid of inspiration and Salif Diao had a quiet opening 45 minutes on his Blues debut.

Birmingham manager Steve Bruce handed a debut to Salif Diao as he made four changes for the home Barclays Premiership clash with Fulham. The on-loan Liverpool player and Julian Gray came into the midfield quartet in place of Darren Anderton and Stephen Clemence.

Bruce also replaced Olivier Tebily at left-back of the side beaten at Charlton and recalled Jamie Clapham. The suspended Matthew Upson was replaced by Martin Taylor in the centre of defence. Fulham made just one alteration from the side who had overcome Watford in a midweek FA Cup replay. Mark Pembridge was brought back into the starting 11 in a 4-5-1 formation in place of Sylvain Legwinski.

Damien Johnson took up an early promising position on the right flank for the home side but his deep cross was headed clear by Birmingham-born Zat Knight.

Emile Heskey won the first corner of the game and Darren Carter's low centre was only half-cleared but Johnson's shot from the edge of the area was blocked. Steve Bruce's side enjoyed most of the early possession but there was a strangely subdued atmosphere around St Andrews for the beginning of the post Robbie Savage era.

Andy Cole, who was playing as the lone striker for Fulham, caused a hint of danger after battling past the challenge of Kenny Cunningham but he was crowded out by the Blues defence. Heskey was ruled offside after Edwin van Der Sar had collected a low shot on the turn from the former England striker in a quiet opening quarter of an hour.

Fulham earned their first corner after 18 minutes but Knight was adjudged to have fouled Heskey when challenging for Mark Pembridge's centre. Martin Taylor, making his first start since August, then did well to head clear a Pembridge free-kick when under pressure from Knight.

The first hint of danger came after 21 minutes when Julian Gray shrugged off the challenge of Moritz Volz but he over-hit the pass through to Heskey and Van der Sar was able to collect. Diao evoked memories of Savage with a crude challenge on Boa Morte and he was fortunate to escape a yellow card from referee Phil Dowd.

Blues 'keeper Maik Taylor was then mightily relieved after his clearance was charged down by Boa Morte and the rebound ricocheted across the face of his goal area. Gray was posing the biggest threat for Birmingham down the left flank and Carlos Bocanegra did well to deal with a deep cross when under pressure from Morrison.

Birmingham were temporarily reduced to ten men when Martin Taylor went to the dressing room for stitches after an accidental clash of heads with Mario Melchiot. The half-hour mark passed without either side having created a worthwhile opening and there was little to warm up the crowd on a bitterly cold afternoon.

But after 39 minutes Cole came within inches of breaking the deadlock for the visitors. The ex-England striker made a diagonal run to race onto a pass from Bocanegra and his shot from a narrow angle went just past the far post.

Van der Sar saved a weak effort from Carter before Martin Taylor came back onto the field five minutes before the interval.Johnson headed wide when well placed to meet a Gray cross but that was the sum total of the first half's entertainment.

Bruce would have been looking for a positive response from his side but Fulham came close to taking the lead in the first minute of the second half. The Blues defence looked asleep when Clark played a pass through to Boa Morte and he managed to shrug off the challenge of Cunningham.

 

But from the left hand side of Taylor's six yard box he screwed his shot across the face of goal when he should have at least hit the target. This proved to be a costly miss for after 51 minutes Heskey forced Birmingham in front with the aid of Moritz Volz.

Mario Melchiot's cross took a slight deflection and was then flicked across goal by Morrison, with Heskey bundling the ball goalwards from close range under pressure from van Der Sar and Volz looked to get the final touch.

Fulham tried to retaliate and Maik Taylor did well to turn over a rising effort from Cole after Volz had supplied the pass.

But then Boa More was booked for ungentlemanly conduct after referee Dowd felt he had dived when challenged by Maik Taylor in the Blues penalty area.

Martin Taylor needed further attention to his first half head wound before being able to continue. Bruce made his first change after 69 minutes, taking off Morrison and bringing on recent signing Robbie Blake.

The former Burnley player almost made an immediate impact with a powerful 25-yard drive which flew inches wide. But after 76 minutes Fulham got back on level terms through a controversial penalty from Andy Cole.

There appeared to be little contact between Johnson and Boa Morte but Dowd pointed to the spot and Cole made no mistake although Maik Taylor dived the right way. Then Papa Bouba Diop headed Fulham in front from Pembridge's free-kick although he was then booked for his goal celebrations. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 22 January 2005
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: St Andrews, Birmingham
Attendance: 28,512

Referee: Phil Dowd

Birmingham City

Line-up: Taylor; Melchiot, Cunningham, Taylor (Yorke 86'), Clapham; Johnson (Anderton 83'), Diao, Carter, Gray; Morrison (Blake 69'), Heskey

Unused substitutes: Vaesen, Tebily

Fulham

Line-up: Van der Sar; Volz, Knight, Rehman, Bocanegra; Radzinski, Pembridge, Clark, Diop, Boa Morte; Cole (McBride 89')

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Rosenior, Legwinski, John

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 24 61
2 Manchester United 24 50
3 Arsenal 23 48
4 Everton 24 44
5 Liverpool 24 37
6 Middlesbrough 24 37
7 Charlton Athletic 24 37
8 Tottenham Hotspur 24 33
9 Manchester City 23 31
10 Aston Villa 24 31
11 Bolton Wanderers 23 30
12 Newcastle United 23 29
13 Fulham 24 28
14 Portsmouth 24 27
15 Birmingham City 24 26
16 Blackburn Rovers 23 25
17 Crystal Palace 24 21
18 Southampton 24 18
19 Norwich City 24 17
20 West Bromwich Albion 23 13
Birmingham City (4-4-2)
  • 1Maik Taylor
  • 29Mario Melchiot
  • 4Kenny Cunningham
  • 5Martin Taylor
  • 3Jamie Clapham
  • 22Damien Johnson
  • 15Salif Diao
  • 4Darren Carter
  • 11Julian Gray
  • 19Clinton Morrison
  • 18Emile Heskey
Substitutes
  • 18Nico Vaesen
  • 27Olivier Tebily
  • Darren Anderton
  • 20Robbie Blake
  • 19Dwight Yorke
Fulham (4-5-1)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 21Zesh Rehman
  • 34Carlos Bocanegra
  • 17Tomasz Radzinski
  • 7Mark Pembridge
  • 10Lee Clark
  • 14Papa Bouba Diop
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 8Andrew Cole
Substitutes
  • 12Mark Crossley
  • 37Liam Rosenior
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 8Brian McBride
  • 17Collins John