Saturday 20 December 2008, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
3
Bullard 41'; Murphy (pen) 54'; Dempsey 59'
Middlesbrough
0
Fulham thrash Middlesbrough 3-0 at Craven Cottage, with the result and three points never in doubt.

41' Goal

Jimmy Bullard

54' Penalty

Danny Murphy

59' Goal

Clint Dempsey

31' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Bobby Zamora
Off:Zoltán Gera

79' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dickson Etuhu
Off:Danny Murphy

38' Yellow Card

Julio Arca Card was given for a foul

54' Yellow Card

Andrew Taylor Card was given for a foul

46' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Mido
Off:Julio Arca

80' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Marvin Emnes
Off:Adam Johnson

85' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Andrew Taylor
Off:Robert Huth

0
15
30
45
60
75
90

Fulham got Saturday's Barclays Premier League fixture against Middlesbrough underway inside a packed out Craven Cottage. Roy Hodgson retained the same eleven that earned a point against Stoke last weekend with Clint Dempsey partnering Andy Johnson in attack.

The first shot on goal came from Boro after five minutes of play. It was Tuncay Sanli, playing behind Aliadiere in attack, who found space behind Fulham's midfield to collect the ball and charge towards goal. On reaching the 18-yard line Sanli unleashed a right-footed shot. Despite a deflection on route Schwarzer was well positioned to collect with ease.

Following Sanli's effort Fulham took control of the game and began to dominate possession. However during the early stages of the game the Whites failed to find find a killer pass in the final third and the first clear cut chance that fell Fulham's way came after 19 minutes of play. Andy Johnson earned the Whites a corner after his right-footed shot on goal was deflected wide and from Konchesky's corner Pantsil, unmarked on the far post, missed a glorious chance to head home.

Pantsil almost made ammends on the half hour mark. The defender skipped past two Boro players in the middle of the park before threading the ball through to Dempsey on the edge of the area. Dempsey stepped aside for Johnson to race through for a one-on-one with Turnbull. The striker attempted to lift the ball over the keeper but Turnbull spread himself to deny Johnson.

Immediately following Johnson's effort Gera was replaced by Bobby Zamora after the Hungarian international appeared to pick up an injury. After 36 minutes Julio Arca was fortunate to remain on the field of play after a dangerous tackle on Andy Johnson. Arca was booked and Johnson was lucky to emerge unscathed considering the severity of the challenge.

Fulham took the lead through Jimmy Bullard after 38 minutes of play following another fine run down the wing by Pantsil. The defender's cross from the right found Zamora in the area. The striker's shot was blocked by Turnbull but Bullard was first to the rebound and smashed the ball home from eight yards. The Whites went into the break with a one-nil lead and Zamora's introduction played a telling role during the final fifteen minutes of the first half.

Gareth Southgate introduced Mido for Arca for the second half and Boro switched to a 4-4-2 formation. It was attacking; end-to-end football at the start of the second half and with Boro in search of an equaliser Fulham looked a constant threat on the counter attack.

Bobby Zamora almost broke free for a one-on-one with Turnbull after latching onto Jimmy Bullard's perfectly weighted through ball. The striker raced clear of Boro's defence but the linesman's flag was raised much to the displeasure of the home crowd.

The Whites effectively killed the game off with two goals before the hour mark. After 51 minutes of play Murphy was handed the chance to put Fulham two goals to the good from the penalty spot after McMahon's handball in the area. The defender made contact on Bobby Zamora's flick from the by-line and Murphy kept his composure to send a sublime right-footed penalty into the far corner of the net.

Eight minutes later Clint Dempsey's cool finish earned Fulham a three-nil lead. Fulham's build up play came down the left flank and Danny Murphy picked out an unmarked Dempsey on the right hand side of the area with an inch perfect pass. The American looked up and slotted the ball past Turnbull into the far corner of the net.

Fulham's defence kept Aliadiere and company restricted to long-range shots and it was Downing who came closest for the visitors in the second half with a superb strike from distance. The ball whistled past Schwarzer's post and another clean sheet looked secure. 

On 78 minutes Dickson Etuhu made his debut for Fulham, replacing Danny Murphy in central midfield. Gareth Southgate followed suit, bringing on Marvin Emnes for Johnson.

Andy Johnson almost made it four ten minutes from time but once again the striker was denied by Turnbull. Goal scorer Jimmy Bullard made way for Leon Andreasen and for Boro Huth was replaced by Andrew Taylor.

Late on chances were few and far between and the Whites cruised home to record a comfortable three-nil win over Middlesbrough on Saturday. Next up Roy Hodgson's side travel to White Hart Lane on Boxing Day before the West London derby at the Cottage on the 28 December.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 20 December 2008
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 23,722

Referee: Keith Stroud

Fulham

Line-up: Schwarzer; Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Davies, Murphy (Etuhu 79'), Bullard, Gera (Zamora 31'); Dempsey, Johnson

Unused substitutes: Zuberbühler, Stoor, Kallio, Seol Ki-Hyeon, Nevland

Middlesbrough

Line-up: Turnbull; McMahon, Riggott, Huth (Taylor 85'), Pogatetz; Adam Johnson (Emnes 80'), Shawky, Arca (Mido 46'), Downing; Tuncay; Aliadière

Unused substitutes: Jones, Wheater, Walker, Afonso Alves

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Liverpool 17 38
2 Chelsea 17 37
3 Manchester United 16 32
4 Aston Villa 17 31
5 Arsenal 17 30
6 Hull City 18 27
7 Everton 17 25
8 Fulham 17 24
9 Bolton Wanderers 18 23
10 Portsmouth 18 23
11 Wigan Athletic 17 22
12 Sunderland 18 21
13 Middlesbrough 18 20
14 Stoke City 18 20
15 Newcastle United 17 19
16 Tottenham Hotspur 17 19
17 West Ham United 17 19
18 Manchester City 17 18
19 Blackburn Rovers 18 16
20 West Bromwich Albion 17 12
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Mark Schwarzer
  • 4John Pantsil
  • 18Aaron Hughes
  • 5Brede Hangeland
  • 3Paul Konchesky
  • 25Simon Davies
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 21Jimmy Bullard
  • 11Zoltán Gera
  • 23Clint Dempsey
  • 8Andrew Johnson
Substitutes
  • 19Pascal Zuberbühler
  • 22Fredrik Stoor
  • 33Toni Kallio
  • 7Seol Ki-Hyeon
  • 20Dickson Etuhu
  • 9Bobby Zamora
  • 10Erik Nevland
Middlesbrough (4-4-1-1)
  • 21Ross Turnbull
  • 29Anthony McMahon
  • 5Chris Riggott
  • 14Robert Huth
  • 6Emanuel Pogatetz
  • 18Adam Johnson
  • 15Mohamed Shawky
  • 20Julio Arca
  • 19Stewart Downing
  • 17Tuncay
  • 10Jérémie Aliadière
Substitutes
  • 1Bradley Jones
  • 5David Wheater
  • 26Andrew Taylor
  • Josh Walker
  • 10Marvin Emnes
  • 11Mido
  • 12Afonso Alves