Roy Hodgson made three changes to his starting eleven to face Manchester City on Sunday from the team that drew with one-all with AS Roma at The Cottage on Thursday night.
John Panstil took up his place at right back whilst Stephen Kelly switched to left back in place of Paul Konchesky in defence. Clint Dempsey and Damien Duff replaced Zoltan Gera and Bjorn Helge Riise on the left and right hand side of midfield respectively.
Eastlands has been a happy hunting ground for Hodgson’s side in recent seasons, with the Whites having won their previous two Barclays Premier League encounters against City in Manchester prior to Sunday’s 3pm kick-off.
In fact, Roy Hodgson’s side were the last team to win a league fixture at The City of Manchester Stadium, back in April 09, when a Clint Dempsey brace and Dickson Etuhu strike saw the Whites comfortably defeat Mark Hughes’ side towards the back end of the 08/09 season.
Fulham were up against a star-studded City eleven, featuring summer signings Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor in attack, who got Sunday’s encounter underway.
The Whites made a bright start to the game and the only black mark was a yellow card for Brede Hangeland after just two minutes of play. The Norwegian earned himself a booking after checking Tevez on the halfway line.
It was a quiet start to the game but after six minutes of play Bellamy attempted to liven proceedings up by attempting the spectacular. From a Petrov corner Bellamy volleyed the ball over Schwarzer’s crossbar from 25 yards.
Bellamy’s shot was the only true effort on goal in the first fifteen minutes of play. For Fulham, Bobby Zamora was enjoying some success dropping off the frontline. On occasions City’s back line looked particularly narrow when Fulham countered, offered Fulham’s front pairing plenty of encouragement to work the channels.
Despite City enjoying the numerical advantage in terms of chances during the first 45, there was no denying that Fulham produced the opportunity of the half in the 17th minute.
Kamara broke through City’s high defensive line to latch onto a perfectly weighted through ball by Chris Baird. Kamara raced free towards goal but a heavy touch on the edge of the area allowed Shay Given to smother the ball on the 18-yard line.
At the other end Schwarzer was required to pull off a superb instinctive fingertip save to deny City after 24 minutes. Two minutes later Fulham went close twice in the space of a minute. First Chris Baird’s 25 yard strike flew just wide of Given’s far post before Greening fired an effort wide from a similar position.
Five minutes before half-time City moved up a gear and went close on two occasions through Adebayor and Tevez, before Richards headed home from Petrov’s corner - fortunately for Fulham City’s goal was ruled out for an apparent infringement in the area.
At the start of the second half Bobby Zamora missed a great opportunity to put Fulham ahead.
The chance came after Kamara cut inside City’s defence down the left flank and pulled the ball back to Dempsey in a central position 12 yards from goal. Given could only parry the American’s shot into Zamora’s path but the striker fired his effort over the bar from close range.
In the space of seven second half minutes the home side looked to have killed the game off after scoring two goals. First Adebayor fired City ahead from close range after 53 minutes before Petrov scored with a left footed strike past Schwarzer on the hour mark.
All was not lost for Fulham and just two minutes after Petrov's strike Fulham reduced the deficit when Duff drilled the ball past Given from 16 yards - the game was back on. Duff’s strike changed the entire complexion of the game and five minutes later Clint Dempsey brought Fulham level, heading past Given from the centre of the area. Memories of Fulham's remarkable 'Great Escape' came flooding back as history looked to be repeating itself.
Two goals in the space of six minutes knocked City’s confidence severely whilst Fulham looked inspired. The Whites seemed destined to take all three points with their bright, incisive attacking play during the later stages of the match.
City were on the rack and 15 minutes from time Zamora almost made up for his earlier miss when he produced a superb turn and shot on the edge of the area. Given was left flat-footed but agonisingly for Fulham’s travelling supporters the ball skimmed just wide of goal.
Two minutes later Given produced another superb save to deny Hangeland from a Fulham corner. The towering Norwegian sent his effort to the bottom right hand corner but Given was well positioned to parry the ball to safety.
Against the run of play Barry headed just wide of Schwarzer’s far post from six yards following a fine delivery from Wright-Phillips down the right flank. It wasn’t long until normal service was resumed and Fulham were probing City’s defence for the winner.
After 84 minutes Dempsey headed just over the bar from a Duff corner and five minutes later Kamara tore down the left flank and sent his cross just wide of the far post. The Fourth Official indicated five minutes of added time and Hughes immediately replaced Toure with Kompany whilst Hodgson introduced Seol for Kamara.
Fulham thoroughly deserved a point from Sunday's fixture and can count themselves unfortunate not to have recorded their second Premier League victory in the space of a week following Monday's win over Hull City.
After three matches in just six days Hodgson’s side will have five full days to prepare for their next Barclays Premier League match, a testing encounter against Liverpool at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.