Tuesday 31 January 2006, 8:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Bocanegra 90'
Tottenham Hotspur
0
A last minute Carlos Bocanegra header handed Fulham all three points in dramatic fashion at Craven Cottage.

90' Goal

Carlos Bocanegra

57' Yellow Card

Heidar Helguson Card was given for a foul

23' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Tomasz Radzinski
Off:Sylvain Legwinski

73' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Collins John
Off:Brian McBride

50' Yellow Card

Michael Dawson Card was given for a foul

67' Yellow Card

Jermaine Jenas Card was given for a foul

72' 2nd Yellow Card

Michael Dawson Card was given for a foul

26' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Tom Huddlestone
Off:Andy Reid

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jermain Defoe
Off:Grzegorz Rasiak

74' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Anthony Gardner
Off:Aaron Lennon

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

New signing Michael Brown was presented to the home fans before the match as the Whites looked to continue their impressive home form. The midfielder received a warm welcome from the Fulham faithful as well as a good send-off from the followers of his former club.  Wayne Bridge was also getting his first look at Craven Cottage as a Fulham player – making his home debut.

The match started in a measured manner with Fulham actively looking to pressure the Spurs defence into playing rushed long balls.

Fulham called Spurs keeper Paul Robinson into action on 13 minutes when a Simon Elliott diagonal set piece caused confusion in the Tottenham penalty area. 

Another well-delivered set piece from Elliott on 20 minutes found Carlos Bocanegra free in the area.  The American international rose, unchallenged, to plant his header just wide.  Moments later, Steed Malbranque created space for himself on the edge of the area and drifted a ball towards the back post where Boa Morte was waiting.  However, despite his best efforts to get to the ball, the delivery was just out of reach.

Sylvain Legwinski’s participation in the match lasted just over 20 minutes before an injury meant that he was replaced by Tomasz Radzinski.

Fulham had the visitors in trouble with another set piece in the 33rd minute.  Elliott drifted the ball into the danger area and, after rebounding off the chest of Zat Knight, the ball fell in front of McBride whose fierce shot could only be beaten out by Robinson.

Fulham started to apply further pressure from this point with the midfield in particular working as an effective unit.  Simon Elliott’s performance was demonstrating that he required minimal time to acclimatise to the pace of the Premiership.

Fulham started the second period on the front foot and had a good opportunity to test Robinson when an Elliott cross was sent spinning goal wards by the stooping Bocanegra.

Spurs’ main threat was coming down their left wing where the pace of Lennon was giving even the fleet-footed Liam Rosenior trouble.  However, more often than not, the Fulham right back was able to contain his opponent.

What started as a tidy display of passing football from both sides began to turn into a scrappier affair as the second half progressed.  The change in style of play appeared to suit the visitors more as they penned Fulham back in their defensive third for extended periods, forcing a plenty of corners along the way. 

To their credit Fulham held firm until a break in play allowed them to regroup and settle into their shape. 

A diagonal run out of defence from Boa Morte found Radzinski on the right wing; he embarked on a run infield before passing to Helguson.  The Icelandic striker turned past Dawson who had no alternative but to wrestle the forward to the ground – earning his second yellow card of the evening.  From the resulting free kick, Brian McBride forced a flying save out of Robinson.

The onus was now on Fulham to break down their ten-man opponents – no easy task.  Indeed, with Jermain Defoe now leading the line, Spurs were still packing a significant threat in attack.

But with only minutes remaining, Tom Huddlestone brought down Luis Boa Morte after a promising counter attack. Simon Elliott delivered another superb set piece and Carlos Bocanegra forced his way in front of his marker to head home from six yards – giving Fulham all three points.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Tuesday 31 January 2006
Kick-off: 8:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 21,081

Referee: Howard Webb

Fulham

Line-up: Niemi; Rosenior, Bocanegra, Knight, Bridge; Malbranque, Legwinski (Radzinski 23'), Elliott, Boa Morte; McBride (John 73'), Helguson

Unused substitutes: Warner, Goma, Jensen

Tottenham Hotspur

Line-up: Robinson; Stalteri, Dawson, King, Kelly; Lennon (Gardner 74'), Carrick, Jenas, Reid (Huddlestone 26'); Keane, Rasiak (Defoe 70')

Unused substitutes: Cerny, Jackson

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Chelsea 23 62
2 Manchester United 23 48
3 Liverpool 21 44
4 Tottenham Hotspur 24 41
5 Wigan Athletic 24 38
6 Arsenal 22 37
7 Bolton Wanderers 21 36
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 34
9 West Ham United 23 32
10 Manchester City 23 31
11 Charlton Athletic 22 30
12 Everton 24 30
13 Fulham 24 29
14 Newcastle United 22 26
15 Aston Villa 23 26
16 Middlesbrough 23 25
17 West Bromwich Albion 24 23
18 Birmingham City 22 19
19 Portsmouth 23 17
20 Sunderland 23 9
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 29Antti Niemi
  • 17Liam Rosenior
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 6Zat Knight
  • 31Wayne Bridge
  • 4Steed Malbranque
  • 5Sylvain Legwinski
  • 27Simon Elliott
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 20Brian McBride
  • 10Heidar Helguson
Substitutes
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 33Niclas Jensen
  • 13Tomasz Radzinski
  • 15Collins John
Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2)
  • 1Paul Robinson
  • 13Paul Stalteri
  • 20Michael Dawson
  • 26Ledley King
  • 3Stephen Kelly
  • 7Aaron Lennon
  • 16Michael Carrick
  • 21Jermaine Jenas
  • 19Andy Reid
  • 10Robbie Keane
  • 9Grzegorz Rasiak
Substitutes
  • 12Radek Cerny
  • 30Anthony Gardner
  • 4Johnnie Jackson
  • 6Tom Huddlestone
  • 18Jermain Defoe