Saturday 23 August 2008, 5:30pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
1
Hangeland 21'
Arsenal
Arsenal
0
Brede Hangeland’s first goal for Fulham earned the Whites a wonderful win over Arsenal in front of a packed Craven Cottage.

21' Goal

Brede Hangeland

71' Yellow Card

Danny Murphy Card was given for a foul

88' Yellow Card

Andranik Teymourian Card was given for a foul

74' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Chris Baird
Off:Toni Kallio

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Clint Dempsey
Off:Seol Ki-Hyeon

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Andranik Teymourian
Off:Danny Murphy

65' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Nicklas Bendtner
Off:Theo Walcott

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alexandre Song
Off:Kolo Touré

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Toni Kallio was handed his Fulham debut as he stepped in for the injured Paul Konchesky on the left side of the Fulham back line. Seol Ki-Hyeon retained his place in the attacking line-up following his goal-scoring exploits against Hull City at the KC Stadium.

Robin Van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor formed the attacking partnership for Arsenal, with Van Persie often dropping off in an attempt to lure Fulham’s defenders out of position.

The Whites created the first opening of the match when Zoltan Gera threaded a delightful chipped pass into the path of Bobby Zamora who advance from the inside left position only to fire his shot over Almunia’s bar. Just minutes later Zamora was again making a nuisance of himself when he held off William Gallas in the area and laid a pass off to Simon Davies who failed to make clean contact with his shot.

Danny Murphy tested his shooting boots in the 14th minute when he rounded off a fine piece of play with a shot which flew just over the bar. Fulham were certainly looking a far more solid unit in and out of possession in comparison to the previous week’s encounter against Hull. Kallio and Gera demonstrated a good awareness of each other’s positioning down the left, with Gera impressing on the ball and in his defensive work.

Fulham took the lead in the 21st minute when Jimmy Bullard whipped in a fearsome cross which was slammed into the net by the sliding Brede Hangeland for his first goal in a White shirt. Bobby Zamora’s part in the goal should not be underestimated as it was his turn which outfoxed Gallas in the box, forcing the corner.

Denilson soon incurred the wrath of the Fulham faithful when, after Toni Kallio had put the ball out to allow Sanga treatment, the Arsenal midfielder rolled the ball in to touch for a Fulham throw-in almost by the Whites’ own corner flag before beckoning his team-mates forward to pressurise the throw.

It was becoming a bruising encounter for Seol when, for the second time in the game, he went down heavily. The South Korean took a heavy fall trying to get on the end of a Simon Davies cross on 34 minutes.

The first half closed out at a frantic pace but to their credit, Fulham maintained their composure and often passed their way out of trouble and maintained possession long enough to see out any danger of a quick Arsenal counter-attack.

Fulham started the second half in much the same way as they finished the first, by maintaining a good level of pressure on Arsenal and attacking well. However, Arsenal were looking more dangerous than in the first-half and it required a world-class tackle from John Pantsil in the area to deny Eboue an excellent crossing position.

But just as Arsenal looked like upping their game, Fulham responded, not with a flurry of attacks but with well-crafted spells of possession football which did more to deaden a dangerous Arsenal line-up.

Fulham produced a wonderful piece of attacking football in the 59th minute to create a good opportunity down the left flank. Working the ball out from defence and from right to left, the ball eventually found its way to Seol who crossed low for Zamora to side foot his effort over from a narrow angle. Arsenal continued knocking at the door but they were having a tough time breaking through the centre of Fulham’s midfield.

Arsene Wenger replaced Theo Walcott with Nicklas Bendtner as he looked to give his side more forward impetus. The change saw Van Persie drop into the gap just behind the new strike force and often advance, making a three-man front line. The move was clearly designed to put Danny Murphy and Jimmy Bullard under more pressure in their defensive duties.

Arsenal had Fulham’s back line creaking when Eboue almost ran clean through on 70 minutes – Danny Murphy’s attempt to win possession back saw him bring down Eboue and earn himself a yellow card. Toni Kallio was replaced with Chris Baird soon after.

Seol was replaced by Clint Dempsey on the 77 minute mark; the South Korean international went off to a rousing round of applause. Fulham’s third and final substitution of the afternoon saw Danny Murphy make way for Andranik.

As the final whistle drew ever closer Arsenal’s attack grew more frenzied. Fulham were unable to kill off the pressure as they did in the first half but their defence was still working hard to limit any opportunities.

Nonetheless, the Whites managed to ride out a frantic ending phase to earn a memorable win.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 23 August 2008
Kick-off: 5:30pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 25,276

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Kallio (Baird 74'); Davies, Murphy (Teymourian 81'), Bullard, Gera; Zamora, Seol Ki-Hyeon (Dempsey 77')

Unused substitutes: Stockdale, Stoor, Milsom, Nevland

Arsenal

Line-up: Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Touré (Song 77'), Clichy; Nasri, Denilson, Wilshere; Walcott (Bendtner 65'), Adebayor, van Persie

Unused substitutes: Fabianski, Djourou, Gibbs, Ramsey, Eboué

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Liverpool 2 6
2 Blackburn Rovers 2 4
3 Hull City 2 4
4 Newcastle United 2 4
5 Chelsea 1 3
6 Aston Villa 2 3
7 Bolton Wanderers 2 3
8 West Ham United 1 3
9 Everton 2 3
10 Middlesbrough 2 3
11 Fulham 2 3
12 Sunderland 2 3
13 Arsenal 2 3
14 Stoke City 2 3
15 Manchester United 1 1
16 Wigan Athletic 1 0
17 Manchester City 1 0
18 Tottenham Hotspur 2 0
19 West Bromwich Albion 2 0
20 Portsmouth 1 0
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 33Toni Kallio
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 9Bobby Zamora
  • 7Seol Ki-Hyeon
Substitutes
  • 12David Stockdale
  • 22Fredrik Stoor
  • 34Chris Baird
  • 6Andranik Teymourian
  • 24Robert Milsom
  • 10Erik Nevland
  • 23Clint Dempsey
Arsenal (4-3-3)
  • 1Manuel Almunia
  • 3Bacary Sagna
  • 10William Gallas
  • 5Kolo Touré
  • 22Gaël Clichy
  • 8Samir Nasri
  • 15Denilson
  • 10Jack Wilshere
  • 14Theo Walcott
  • 25Emmanuel Adebayor
  • 10Robin van Persie
Substitutes
  • 21Lukasz Fabianski
  • 20Johan Djourou
  • 28Kieran Gibbs
  • 16Aaron Ramsey
  • 17Alexandre Song
  • 27Emmanuel Eboué
  • 52Nicklas Bendtner