Saturday 3 May 2008, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
2
McBride 52'; Nevland 87'
Birmingham City
0
Goals from Brian McBride and Erik Nevland saw Fulham claim a crucial 2-0 victory against relegation rivals Birmingham City, and find themselves out of the relegation zone for the first time since December. Crucially the Whites now have their fate in their own hands going into the final game of the season at Portsmouth next week.

52' Goal

Brian McBride

87' Goal

Erik Nevland

45'+25 Yellow Card

Paul Stalteri Card was given for a foul

70' Yellow Card

Simon Davies Card was given for a foul

67' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Erik Nevland
Off:Diomansy Kamara

88' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Leon Andreasen
Off:Jimmy Bullard

90' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:David Healy
Off:Clint Dempsey

49' Yellow Card

Fabrice Muamba Card was given for a foul

86' Yellow Card

Franck Queudrue Card was given for a foul

88' Yellow Card

Cameron Jerome Card was given for a foul

90' Yellow Card

James McFadden Card was given for a foul

90' Yellow Card

Radhi Jaidi Card was given for a foul

46' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Franck Queudrue
Off:Liam Ridgewell

58' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Mauro Zárate
Off:Olivier Kapo

74' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Cameron Jerome
Off:Mikael Forssell

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

First Half Action

1 min
Following his two-goal haul at Eastland, Diomansy Kamara was given a place in the starting line-up in place of David Healy.

5 mins
Fulham’s first attack, a wonderful move down the right culminated in the ball finding its way to the left wing and Paul Konchesky sweeping a deep cross to the back post. Brian McBride managed to delay his run and met the ball with a diving header which skimmed the crossbar. However, the linesman had long since raised his flag.

7 mins
Maik Taylor needed to be at his best on the seven minute mark when he denied a smart free kick routine from Fulham. The Whites were awarded the set piece on the right flank. Jimmy Bullard stood over the ball and, with the Birmingham defence expecting a delivery in the air, Bullard rolled a sly pass to Simon Davies. The Welsh winger met the ball with a crisp side footed effort, but Taylor was quickly down to his left to palm the ball round the post.

17 mins
Fulham’s play through midfield was being broken down, mainly by the work of Fabrice Muamba, who was enjoying an influential spell in the game.

22 mins
The pace of Kamara caught out Damien Johnson as the Birmingham full back was attempting to clear. The ball deflected into no-man’s-land but no Fulham player was immediately on hand to take advantage. Play was soon tidied up.

25 mins
A spell of Birmingham pressure following a corner had Fulham carrying out a rearguard action. Once again, Brede Hangeland, who already had a number of impressive interventions to his name, cleared the danger.

33 mins
Jimmy Bullard lost his footing and Birmingham counter attacked with numbers down the left flank. The move was looking full of threat before Hangeland again swept across and carried the ball safely away from the danger zone.

40 mins
A lengthy piece of Fulham possession was ended when the influential Muamba stole the ball away from Bullard and played a forward pass into the run of McFadden. The Scottish international controlled the ball well and tried to play a low pass across the face of goal to Mikael Forssell. Fortunately the ball was tapped away from the forward by Hughes.

45 mins
With only seconds of injury time remaining Diomansy Kamara saw his goal bound effort blocked by Radhi Jaidi.

Second Half Action

50 mins
The second half got off to a fairly innocuous start with only Brian McBride testing Maik Taylor with a straightforward shot from 20 yards.

51 mins – GOAL FULHAM – Brian McBride
Brian McBride gave Fulham the lead on the 51 minute mark to send Craven Cottage wild. The goal came via a free kick which was dangerously whipped in by Jimmy Bullard. McBride managed to find himself some space and swooped in with a diving header which Taylor could do nothing about.

54 mins
Spurred on by a vocal Cottage crowd, Diomansy Kamara weaved his magic in the Birmingham penalty area, beating three players in tight confines. With only the keeper left to beat, albeit from a narrow angle, Kamara’s shot was hit with a little too much force and flew over.

56 mins
The atmosphere at the Cottage is simply deafening as the crowd urge the player to score a second. The introduction of Mauro Zarate certainly gave the Whites something to think about as the tricky Argentinean was certainly looking a bag of tricks.

66 mins Fulham Substitution
Diomansy Kamara OFF Erik Nevland ON
Kamara, who seemed to have picked up a knock was soon replaced by Erik Nevland in a like-for-like substitution.

71 mins
The game entered a tense phase as the Whites were forced into some nervy clearances at the back. Nonetheless, the defence was still standing firm. In fact they could have taken the lead when a deep Paul Konchesky cross landed at the feet of Simon Davies. The Welsh winger whipped in a cross and Dempsey, who was arriving at pace, put a powerful header over.

78 mins
The gaps were starting to appear at the back of the Birmingham defence as they searched for an equaliser. Cameron Jerome, full of running, was ensuring the Whites would find no time on the ball along the back line. A well aimed throw from Kasey Keller set Simon Davies away down the right wing, but his cross was deflected out.

84 mins
Passing moves are now few and far between as the both side look uncomfortable taking risks. Nerves are set jangling at Craven Cottage when Radhi Jaidi’s header bounces just wide.

88 mins – GOAL FULHAM – Erik Nevland
Just as he did at the Madejski Stadium, Erik Nevland put Fulham two goals to the good when he was sent clear.  With Jaidi in close pursuit, the striker took one further touch before finishing clinically past Taylor. The Cottage erupted.

88 mins Fulham Substitution 
Jimmy Bullard OFF Leon Andreasen ON

90 mins
A Danny Murphy free kick from 25 yard was tipped just over by Taylor.

90 mins Fulham Substitution 
Clint Dempsey OFF David Healy ON 
   

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 3 May 2008
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 25,308

Referee: Chris Foy

Fulham

Line-up: Keller; Stalteri, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Davies, Murphy, Bullard (Andreasen 88'), Dempsey (Healy 90'); McBride, Kamara (Nevland 67')

Unused substitutes: Warner, Bocanegra

Birmingham City

Line-up: Taylor; Kelly, Ridgewell (Queudrue 46'), Jaidi, Murphy; Larsson, Kapo (Zárate 58'), Muamba, Johnson; Forssell (Jerome 74'), McFadden

Unused substitutes: Doyle, Parnaby

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 37 84
2 Chelsea 36 81
3 Arsenal 36 77
4 Liverpool 36 70
5 Everton 36 62
6 Aston Villa 37 59
7 Blackburn Rovers 37 58
8 Portsmouth 37 57
9 Manchester City 36 55
10 West Ham United 37 48
11 Tottenham Hotspur 37 46
12 Newcastle United 36 43
13 Wigan Athletic 37 40
14 Middlesbrough 37 39
15 Sunderland 36 39
16 Bolton Wanderers 36 33
17 Fulham 37 33
18 Reading 37 33
19 Birmingham City 37 32
20 Derby County 37 11
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Kasey Keller
  • 17Paul Stalteri
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 32Brede Hangeland
  • 4Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 27Danny Murphy
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 20Brian McBride
  • 11Diomansy Kamara
Substitutes
  • 12Tony Warner
  • 3Carlos Bocanegra
  • 26Leon Andreasen
  • 15Erik Nevland
  • 31David Healy
Birmingham City (4-4-2)
  • 1Maik Taylor
  • 2Stephen Kelly
  • 6Liam Ridgewell
  • 15Radhi Jaidi
  • 3David Murphy
  • 7Sebastian Larsson
  • 23Olivier Kapo
  • 26Fabrice Muamba
  • 22Damien Johnson
  • 9Mikael Forssell
  • 16James McFadden
Substitutes
  • 13Colin Doyle
  • 20Franck Queudrue
  • 21Stuart Parnaby
  • 10Cameron Jerome
  • 19Mauro Zárate