Saturday 4 March 2006, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
Arsenal
Arsenal
4
Henry 31', 77'; Adebayor 35'; Fábregas 86'
Fulham’s impressive home run was brutally ended by Arsenal in an almost totally one-sided encounter at Craven Cottage.

61' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Collins John
Off:Heidar Helguson

31' Goal

Thierry Henry

35' Goal

Emmanuel Adebayor

77' Goal

Thierry Henry

86' Goal

Francesc Fábregas

68' Yellow Card

Vassiriki Abou Diaby Card was given for a foul

72' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dennis Bergkamp
Off:Emmanuel Adebayor

79' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Francesc Fábregas
Off:Aliaksandr Hleb

84' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:José Antonio Reyes
Off:Thierry Henry

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

The Whites made two changes to the side that took to the field a week earlier at the Reebok Stadium. With Wayne Bridge injured whilst on international duty, Liam Rosenior came in at left back.  In the centre of defence, Alain Goma played in place of Carlos Bocanegra.

Arsenal immediately gained the upper hand in the opening stages of the match and their early pressure forced Luis Boa Morte into misdirecting a back header almost beyond Tony Warner’s grasp, luckily the goalkeeper managed to get a fingertip on the ball and Moritz Volz was able to clean up. 

Fulham soon started to show their composure on the ball when under pressure, much to the annoyance of some Arsenal players – with most notably Abou Diaby and Silva illegally bringing down their men, having been beaten.  However, any such moments of Fulham superiority in the first half were fleeting, as the Gunners out-muscled and out-worked Fulham in the middle of the park.  

A Simon Elliott free kick from the right caused panic in the Arsenal area on 16 minutes as Fulham attempted to work their way back into the game.

The visitors, however, were still enjoying the majority of possession, with Fulham looking to sit back and break away on the counter.  The Whites came close to conceding in the 24th minute when Adebayor broke into the penalty area only to be denied by a wonderful sliding Zat Knight challenge.  It was the first in a number of important interventions from the big centre back.

Arsenal took the lead just after the half hour mark when a weak Moritz Volz clearance kept the Fulham back line under pressure.  The ball was worked to Thierry Henry who breezed past Volz and fired a fierce left footed shot past Warner.

The goal had Fulham rocking and Arsenal further pressed home their physical advantage in the midfield area to set the Whites back on their heels. Four minutes later, Ljungberg found himself completely unmarked in front of Fulham’s back line and threaded a ball inside Volz for Adebayor to finish with his first touch.

The inevitable half time grilling from Chris Coleman certainly seemed to have an immediate effect as Fulham came out playing their more familiar high-tempo style.  On 48 minutes, a Volz overlap created Fulham’s first real chance of the game.  The fullback squared a low pass into the path Radzinski, who stepped over the ball to allow McBride the shot on goal.  Unfortunately for Fulham, Toure was able to flick a foot out and divert the ball away from the American striker.

Just moments later, Henry managed to isolate Volz before rounding him on the by-line and firing the ball dangerously across the face of goal. The Whites were barely able to gather themselves before Henry cut inside two defenders and put the ball on a plate for Adebayor, who was unable to guide his effort past the rapidly advancing Warner.  It was a fine piece of goalkeeping from the big stopper.

Warner was again off his line quickly to deny Hleb after he was put though by Henry. The goalkeeper made it a hat-trick of stops when he improvised brilliantly to sweep away a low cross with his leg. With Fulham’s defence unable to contain the visitors’ attacking play, Warner again earned his corn as the last line of defence.  This time he reacted well down to his right to deny Diaby, after the Arsenal midfielder found himself with the goal at his mercy.

The introduction of Collins John for Heidar Helguson saw the Whites switch formation, with John and Radzinski being moved into wide supporting roles behind Brian McBride. The change in formation certainly saw Fulham call Jens Lehmann into action more than in the first half, however, there was no significant change in the flow of the game.

Arsenal put the result further beyond doubt in the 76th minute.  The ball was worked to Ljungberg, who found himself in acres of space on Fulham’s right.  The Swedish midfielder dragged Moritz Volz infield, allowing Henry to creep round the back and receive the reverse pass.  Tony Warner had little chance with the finish.

Cesc Fabregas rounded off the scoring in the 87th minute after, once again, Fulham were cut open down the right.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 4 March 2006
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 22,397

Referee: Rob Styles

Fulham

Line-up: Warner; Volz, Goma, Knight, Rosenior; Radzinski, Elliott, Malbranque, Boa Morte; McBride, Helguson (John 61')

Unused substitutes: Crossley, Bocanegra, Jensen, Elrich

Arsenal

Line-up: Lehmann; Eboué, Touré, Senderos, Flamini; Hleb (Fábregas 79'), Gilberto Silva, Abou Diaby, Ljungberg; Henry (Reyes 84'), Adebayor (Bergkamp 72')

Unused substitutes: Poom, Djourou

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 28 72
2 Manchester United 26 54
3 Liverpool 27 54
4 Tottenham Hotspur 27 46
5 Arsenal 28 44
6 Blackburn Rovers 27 43
7 Bolton Wanderers 26 42
8 West Ham United 27 42
9 Wigan Athletic 27 40
10 Newcastle United 28 39
11 Manchester City 27 37
12 Everton 28 37
13 Charlton Athletic 27 35
14 Aston Villa 28 34
15 Middlesbrough 27 34
16 Fulham 28 32
17 West Bromwich Albion 28 26
18 Birmingham City 27 23
19 Portsmouth 28 18
20 Sunderland 27 10
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 2Moritz Volz
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 17Liam Rosenior
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
  • 27Simon Elliott
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 20Brian McBride
  • 10Heidar Helguson
Substitutes
  • 1Mark Crossley
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 33Niclas Jensen
  • 27Ahmad Elrich
  • 15Collins John
Arsenal (TBA)
  • 1Jens Lehmann
  • 27Emmanuel Eboué
  • 5Kolo Touré
  • 6Philippe Senderos
  • 16Mathieu Flamini
  • 13Aliaksandr Hleb
  • Gilberto Silva
  • 24Vassiriki Abou Diaby
  • 8Fredrik Ljungberg
  • 14Thierry Henry
  • 25Emmanuel Adebayor
Substitutes
  • 21Mart Poom
  • 20Johan Djourou
  • José Antonio Reyes
  • 4Francesc Fábregas
  • 10Dennis Bergkamp