Saturday 21 March 2009, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
2
Murphy (pen) 18'; Gera 87'
Manchester United
Manchester United
0
Fulham produced an accomplished display to record a remarkable victory over title-chasing Manchester United. The Whites totally dominated the first-half and were deservedly in front when Danny Murphy scored from the penalty spot after Paul Scholes was red carded for handball in the area. An acrobatic finish from Zoltan Gera in the second-half ensured a memorable win.

18' Penalty

Danny Murphy

87' Goal

Zoltán Gera
Assist by Andrew Johnson

43' Yellow Card

John Pantsil Card was given for a foul

71' Yellow Card

Clint Dempsey Card was given for a foul

67' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Olivier Dacourt
Off:Danny Murphy

77' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Diomansy Kamara
Off:Bobby Zamora

81' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Zoltán Gera
Off:Clint Dempsey

18' Red Card

Paul Scholes Card was given for a handball

28' Yellow Card

Jonny Evans Card was given for dissent

45' Yellow Card

Patrice Evra Card was given for dissent

55' Yellow Card

Cristiano Ronaldo Card was given for a foul

81' Yellow Card

Wayne Rooney Card was given for dissent

88' 2nd Yellow Card

Wayne Rooney Card was given for dissent

46' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Wayne Rooney
Off:Dimitar Berbatov

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Carlos Tévez
Off:John O'Shea

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Fulham produced an accomplished display to record a remarkable victory over title-chasing Manchester United. The Whites totally dominated the first-half and were deservedly in front when Danny Murphy scored from the penalty spot after Paul Scholes was red carded for handball in the area. 

Fulham lived dangerously in the second-half but jangling nerves were calmed when Zoltan Gera acrobatically netted the killer goal. 

Roy Hodgson kept faith with the same starting line-up that performed so well against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium last weekend as United returned to Craven Cottage for their second visit in two weeks. 

The tone for the match was set as early as the first minute when Paul Scholes clattered into Clint Dempsey – narrowly avoiding the referee’s book. However, the American international showed few lingering side-effects and was able to get two early speculative efforts on Edwin van der Sar’s goal.

 In comparison to the FA Cup clash a fortnight prior to Saturday’s encounter, Fulham started the match playing further up the pitch, looking to frustrate the visitors at source. Indeed, Fulham showed a lot more endeavour than United in their early attacking play – whilst being mindful of maintaining their shape.

 The game sparked into life in the 16th minute when Paul Scholes blocked Bobby Zamora’s close range header with both hands. Referee Dowd was left with little option but to show the United midfield man a straight red card before pointing to the spot.

 Danny Murphy stepped up and calmly side-footed the spot kick past van der Sar to hand Fulham the lead. United struggled to deal with the loss of Scholes as the chances began to come for Fulham. Zamora and Johnson both found themselves in good positions but were unable to beat van der Sar – who twice denied Zamora.

 Van der Sar was again called upon to palm away a stinging drive from Simon Davies as Fulham turned up the heat on the Champions midway through the first-half.

 Marshalled expertly by both Danny Murphy and the impressive Dickson Etuhu, Fulham’s midfield was totally dominant in the opening 45 minutes. However, the Whites’ command of proceedings needed an extra goal to really put the cat amongst the pigeons.

 The lively Bobby Zamora produced another good stop from van der Sar in the 33rd minute with a powerful low drive which the Dutchman did well to smother. 

United’s frustrations were close to boiling over as the first half drew to a close, with Cristiano Ronaldo in particular making his feelings clear to all.

 Sir Alex Ferguson sent his team out early ahead of the resumption with Wayne Rooney replacing Dimitar Berbatov as a half-time substitute. Clearly Sir Alex was intent of maintaining his side’s attacking threat and forcing his way back into the game with a 4-2-3 formation. 

The undoubtedly stern words issued by Sir Alex during the interval seemed to have an effect as United set about their task with a renewed sense of urgency.

 Fulham were still able to make their superior numbers count and a finely crafted opportunity by Simon Davies resulted in a dangerous cross floating tantalisingly across the face of goal. However, such moments of attacking play were far more limited in the second-half as United, admittedly hampered, clicked into gear with some intricate play just outside Fulham’s penalty area.

 Rooney and Ronaldo led the charge and Mark Schwarzer was called into action as Rooney crossed for Ronaldo, whose powerful header was grabbed thankfully by the Fulham goalkeeper.

 Schwarzer then produced three saves in quick succession to deny a certain goal scoring opportunity for Rooney as United started really turning the screw. The introduction of Olivier Dacourt for the injured Murphy allowed Fulham to regain some stability.

 For the visitors, John O’Shea made way for Carlos Tevez, a move which gave United a trio of lively front men as Fulham, despite their numerical advantage, continued to live dangerously. The possession figures told a telling tale in the second-half with the Whites nervously moving the ball about.

 Roy Hodgson took off the hard working Bobby Zamora and gave Diomansy Kamara an opportunity to build on his performance last week at the Reebok Stadium as the match entered the closing stages. Fulham’s final change of the match saw Zoltan Gera come on for the tiring Clint Dempsey on 81 minutes.

 Fulham needed to call upon every ounce of resolve and patience as the urge to play the ball forward quickly sometimes became to tempting to resist in the closing minutes.

 Zoltan Gera doubled Fulham’s lead on 86 minutes with an acrobatic finish to a swift counter-attacking move. The Hungarian got the move started and fed a pass to Johnson on the right, the striker advanced a few yards before crossing low to Gera who took a touch and volleyed past van der Sar.

Wayne Rooney was shown his second yellow card shortly after the restart for throwing the ball away.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 21 March 2009
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 25,652

Referee: Phil Dowd

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky; Davies, Etuhu, Murphy (Dacourt 67'), Dempsey (Gera 81'); Johnson, Zamora (Kamara 77')

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Stoor, Kallio, Nevland

Manchester United

Line-up: Van der Sar; O'Shea (Tévez 70'), Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Park Ji-Sung, Fletcher, Scholes; Ronaldo, Berbatov (Rooney 46'), Giggs

Unused substitutes: Foster, Neville, Fabio, Anderson, Carrick

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 29 65
2 Chelsea 30 61
3 Liverpool 29 61
4 Arsenal 29 52
5 Aston Villa 29 52
6 Everton 30 48
7 West Ham United 30 41
8 Fulham 30 40
9 Tottenham Hotspur 30 38
10 Wigan Athletic 29 38
11 Manchester City 29 35
12 Bolton Wanderers 30 34
13 Hull City 29 33
14 Sunderland 29 32
15 Portsmouth 29 32
16 Stoke City 30 32
17 Blackburn Rovers 30 31
18 Newcastle United 29 29
19 Middlesbrough 30 27
20 West Bromwich Albion 30 24
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 8Andrew Johnson
  • 9Bobby Zamora
Substitutes
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 22Fredrik Stoor
  • 33Toni Kallio
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 16Olivier Dacourt
  • 10Erik Nevland
  • 15Diomansy Kamara
Manchester United (4-3-3)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 22John O'Shea
  • 6Jonny Evans
  • 5Rio Ferdinand
  • 3Patrice Evra
  • 13Park Ji-Sung
  • 24Darren Fletcher
  • 22Paul Scholes
  • 7Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 9Dimitar Berbatov
  • 11Ryan Giggs
Substitutes
  • 12Ben Foster
  • 2Gary Neville
  • 20Fabio
  • 8Anderson
  • 16Michael Carrick
  • 10Wayne Rooney
  • 32Carlos Tévez