Fulham sat 22 places above QPR the last time we played a Championship – or Division One as it was then – match at Loftus Road, with Jean Tigana’s men enjoying a fine campaign atop the table, while our local rivals were just one point off the bottom.
The best part of 4,000 Whites supporters made the Wednesday night trip to W12 at the end of January 2001, and they almost saw their side lead as early as the fourth minute. Bjarne Goldbaek’s shot was parried by former West Ham United goalkeeper Ludek Miklosko, who got up quickly to smother the follow-up from Goldbaek’s compatriot Peter Møller.
The on-loan Møller wasn’t to be denied, though, and scored his first and only goal for the Club in first-half stoppage time. A surging Louis Saha run ended with him poking the ball to his strike partner who let fly from just inside the box. Miklosko seemed to have it covered at his near post but the effort had too much venom and squirmed beyond the keeper and over the line.
“I shot at goal, but I don’t know what the keeper was doing,” Møller said afterwards. “But a goal’s a goal.”
Miklosko redeemed himself early on in the second period when he twice thwarted Fabrice Fernandes, before Rangers squandered their best chance of the game when Chris Kiwomya headed wide following a flick-on from a 20-year-old Peter Crouch.
Karl-Heinz Riedle replaced Møller in the 70th minute and needed next to no time at all to double his side’s lead. Fernandes sent over an inviting inswinging corner and the World Cup winner demonstrated his dominance in the air by perfectly meeting the ball and directing it in from six-yards out.
Kiwomya threatened once more with an ambitious overhead kick but Fulham held on to secure a comfortable victory, their first at Loftus Road in more than 70 years.
The Whites, of course, went on to claim the Division One title with some aplomb, while our West London neighbours dropped into the third tier after picking up just seven wins all season.
Tickets are still available for Saturday's meeting with QPR at Loftus Road, so pick up yours today as the Whites look to secure the double over our local rivals following our 4-0 win earlier in the season!