Saturday 26 April 2008, 3:00pm at Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Barclays Premier League
Manchester City
Manchester City
2
Ireland 10'; Benjani 21'
Fulham FC
Fulham
3
Kamara 70', 90'; Murphy (pen) 79'
Substitute Diomansy Kamara inspires a stunning comeback at the City of Manchester Stadium. Fulham found themselves 2-0 down and relegated at half-time but three goals for the Whites in the second half, including an injury time winner from Kamara, gave the boys from SW6 3 points and big step towards survival.

10' Goal

Stephen Ireland

21' Goal

Benjani

56' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Geovanni
Off:Stephen Ireland

80' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Felipe Caicedo
Off:Darius Vassell

70' Goal

Diomansy Kamara

79' Penalty

Danny Murphy

90' Goal

Diomansy Kamara

24' Yellow Card

Clint Dempsey Card was given for a foul

64' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Diomansy Kamara
Off:David Healy

71' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:Brian McBride

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

First Half Action

1 min Roy Hodgson kept faith with the same starting eleven that earned three valuable points away to Reading two weeks previous - a similar level of performance was required at the City of Manchester Stadium in order to keep Fulham’s fight for survival alive.

5 min Fulham made a bright start and Joe Hart pulled of a superb fingertip save to deny Clint Dempsey. Healy and Davies linked up well down the right and the Welshman’s centre fell into Dempsey’s path. The American stroked the ball towards the far corner of the net – perfect placement but Hart produced the goods in goal.

9 min City’s first effort on goal produced the game’s opening goal. It was a cruel blow for Fulham but Stephen Ireland’s right footed curling shot from the edge of the area was unstoppable. Top corner.

Manchester City 1-0 Fulham

19 min Fulham left themselves with a mountain to climb when Benjani doubled City’s lead. Vassell latched onto Elano’s through ball down the right channel and squared the ball centre from the byline. Benjani stroked the ball home from 12 yards. Two opportunities – two goals.

Manchester City 2-0 Fulham

26 min Fulham persevered but rarely troubled the home side in the final third. Clint Dempsey was booked for raising his elbow in an aerial challenge with Ball.

34 min Joe Hart once again highlighted his pedigree with an instinctive save to deny Healy from five yards. Simon Davies produced the assist with a fine cross from the right and the striker’s was goal bound before Hart tipped the ball over the bar.

45 min Neither side produced any play of significant note before Mike Dean blew for half-time. A scan over the half time scores left Fulham in a precarious position ahead of the second half. Not only was a major fightback required but the Whites were relying on other results to go their way.

Second Half Action

45 min Fulham got the second half underway but City almost snatched a third after Vassell was played through on goal down the left channel. His shot acoss goal looked in but Keller palmed the ball wide. Phew! Moments later Benjani tested the keeper from inside the area. Not the start Fulham were looking for.

57 min Sven made the first change of the game, replacing goalscorer Ireland with Geovanni in central midfield. As the hour mark approached Fulham's chances were few and far between. With Birmingham beating Liverpool and Reading holding Wigan, Fulham needed a miracle with 30 minutes remaining. 

65 min Jimmy Bullard came within inches of pulling one back from a fine set piece. After Simon Davies was bundled over on the edge of City's area, Bullard stepped up and sent his curling effort skimming over the bar.

67 min Fulham needed fresh impetus and Roy Hodgson revised his attacking options. Diomansy Kamara came on for David Healy.

69 min Kamara's impact was immediate. The striker latched onto a though ball on the edge of the area and raced past City's backline. As the home side's defence recovered Kamara, with his back to goal, twisted and turned before sending a right footed drive past Hart from 8 yards. Kamara had given Fulham hope.

Manchester City 2-1 Fulham

70 min Roy Hodgson immediately replaced McBride with Nevland and moments later Bullard almost pulled Fulham level with another fine free-kick. This time Bullard went low to Hart's right but the keeper once again produced a magnificant save - his third top class piece of keeping of the afternoon.

80 min With only a goal seperating the tie Fulham kept at it. A cross from deep on the left from Konchesky headed towards the back post. Nevland was bundled over and Mike Dean pointed to the spot - penalty!! Danny Murphy stepped up and Hart guessed right but Murphy slammed in the rebound! Unbelievable - ten minutes earlier the game looked dead - what a turnaround.

Manchester City 2-2 Fulham

 

82 min Fulham had turned the game had turned on it's head - Fulham were all over City. The Whites desperately needed a winner and Bullard looked to have sealed it before his 30 yard drive lifted over the bar. Seconds later Hart produced a magnificant save to deny Dempsey's header from six yards.

90 min Fulham threw everything at City Benjani and Petrov both had chances to kill the game off. Three minutes of added time were indicated by the Fourth Official. It was now or never.

90 min With barely 10 seconds left on the clock Diomansy Kamara raced free of City’s defence. One on one with Hart - the defining moment of the season had arrived. Kamara was clinical – the net buldged and Fulham’s players and travelling army of fans went crazy. Quite the most incredible turnaround.

Manchester City 2-3 Fulham

90 min Mike Dean immediately blew time from the restart. Over a 1,000 Fulham fans had just witnessed a quite stunning victory – the dream was alive. Fulham are three points from safety with two games remaining. The scenes at the Cottage next Saturday when Fulham take on Birmningham cannot be missed. 

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 26 April 2008
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Attendance: 44,504

Referee: Mike Dean

Manchester City

Line-up: Hart; Jihai, Corluka, Fernandes, Ball; Petrov, Ireland (Geovanni 56'), Johnson, Elano; Benjani, Vassell (Caicedo 80')

Unused substitutes: Isaksson, Logan, Castillo

Fulham

Line-up: Keller; Stalteri, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Davies, Murphy, Bullard, Dempsey; Healy (Kamara 64'), McBride (Nevland 71')

Unused substitutes: Warner, Bocanegra, Andreasen

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 36 81
2 Chelsea 36 81
3 Arsenal 35 74
4 Liverpool 36 70
5 Everton 35 61
6 Aston Villa 35 58
7 Portsmouth 35 57
8 Manchester City 36 55
9 Blackburn Rovers 35 52
10 West Ham United 36 48
11 Tottenham Hotspur 36 43
12 Newcastle United 36 43
13 Sunderland 36 39
14 Wigan Athletic 36 37
15 Middlesbrough 36 36
16 Bolton Wanderers 36 33
17 Reading 36 33
18 Birmingham City 36 32
19 Fulham 36 30
20 Derby County 35 11
Manchester City (4-4-2)
  • 1Joe Hart
  • 17Sun Jihai
  • 5Vedran Corluka
  • 19Gelson Fernandes
  • 3Michael Ball
  • 17Martin Petrov
  • 7Stephen Ireland
  • 46Michael Johnson
  • 11Elano
  • 27Benjani
  • 12Darius Vassell
Substitutes
  • 1Andreas Isaksson
  • 30Shaleum Logan
  • 8Geovanni
  • 20Felipe Caicedo
  • 25Nery Castillo
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Kasey Keller
  • 17Paul Stalteri
  • 32Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 4Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 27Danny Murphy
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 31David Healy
  • 20Brian McBride
Substitutes
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 26Leon Andreasen
  • 11Diomansy Kamara
  • 15Erik Nevland