Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)  (Read 11937 times)

Offline whitejc

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Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« on: February 19, 2010, 08:27:17 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3227685,00.html
Fulham celebrate Shakhtar win
Striker's goal keeps European dream alive for Hodgson's charges
Bobby Zamora's screamer helped Fulham secure a 2-1 win over Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in their Europa League round of 32 first-leg tie at Craven Cottage.

The Cottagers made a dream start after three minutes when Zoltan Gera converted Danny Murphy's incisive pass, controlling the ball before firing it under the body of Shakhtar keeper Andrei Pyatov.

Donetsk had the better of the first half thereafter and bossed possession, pulling level with 33 minutes gone when Luis Adriano showed a clean pair of heels to sidestep Mark Schwarzer and slot into the net.

Fulham then pieced together a delightful passing move on 63 minutes, Murphy and Gera setting up Zamora to smash an unstoppable 20-yard drive into the top corner for his fifth goal of the Europa League campaign.

Gera was denied by Pyatov and Zamora should have headed another for his side as the hosts pressed for more goals, although Roy Hodgson's men held on to leave next week's second leg tie at the Donbass Arena evenly poised.

Raced out of the blocks
Zamora's 14th goal of the season gives Fulham hope of progressing in the competition, although big-spending Shakhtar will console themselves with an away goal ahead of next Thursday's second leg.

Fulham raced out of the blocks and would have taken the lead after just 50 seconds but Pyatov reacted swiftly to save Brede Hangeland's header at the far post.

The Shakhtar keeper was culpable when Fulham powered ahead in the third minute, however, after sharp passing from Murphy and Zamora split open the visiting defence.

Zamora laid on a brilliant chance for Gera and although the Hungarian's shot lacked menace, it still slipped beneath Pyatov who got a despairing hand to the ball.

Stunned into action, the strike provoked a flurry of activity from Shakhtar aided by Hangeland losing the ball too easily and keeper Schwarzer producing a dismal goal-kick that fell straight to the dangerous Fernandinho.

Jadson saw a shot blocked by the busy Hangeland before captain Darijo Srna fired wide from 25 yards out.

Fulham were buckling as they struggled to contain the speed and movement of their opponent's Brazilian contingent.

In the 32nd minute they cracked, Ilsinho slipping a beautifully weighted pass between Aaron Hughes and Kelly to his fellow Brazilian Luiz Adriano who easily beat Schwarzer.

Shakhtar cranked up the pressure but had Srna booked on one attack after the right-back made a meal of a challenge by Kelly.


Nervy finish
Shakhtar displayed their counter-attacking skills when Zamora was caught dithering on the edge of the area, stripping him of the ball and then breaking clear through William.

The only way of halting the jet-heeled midfielder was for Murphy to nudge him over and the Fulham skipper was booked as a result.

The Cottagers were beginning to look more threatening with Zamora holding the ball up well and Damien Duff proving a handful down the left flank.

Shakhtar occasionally looked suspect at the back and in the 63rd minute they were undone by a pile-driver from Zamora.

The ball was quickly played out of defence by Hangeland to Gera, who spotted an unmarked Zamora and the Fulham marksman pulled the trigger on a 20-yard shot that struck the underside of the crossbar before crashing home.

Gera and Zamora then had chances to produce a third, but both players directed their headers at Pyatov.

Shakhtar had lost momentum and their forays forward lacked the conviction of earlier, although some hesitancy in Fulham's defence ensured home fans were subjected to a nervy finish.

The real heart-stopping moment came when Schwarzer produced a magnificent save from Fernandinho deep into injury time.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 08:29:25 AM »
http://fourfourtwo.com/blogs/talentspotter/archive/2010/02/18/scouting-report-shakhtar-could-prove-too-much-for-fulham.aspx
Scouting report: Shakhtar could prove too much for Fulham

Thursday 18 February 2010 16:00

Fulham's reward for progressing beyond the new-fangled Europa League group stage is a mouth-watering tie with last season’s UEFA Cup winners, Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine.

One of the most improved sides in Europe over the past decade, Donetsk have played in the Champions League group stages in three of the last six seasons.

Last season they recorded a famous 3-2 victory away to eventual European champions Barcelona, before dropping into the UEFA Cup.

If last season’s successful campaign is anything to go by, Shakhtar will be looking to keep things tight in the away leg and get the job done back at the new 51,000 capacity Donbass Arena.

If the Cottagers are to make progress to the next round, they’ll need to be at their best over the two legs, and will probably need to take some kind of advantage with them into next week’s return leg.

Roy Hodgson has, of course, instilled a very high work rate into his players at Craven Cottage, but Shakthar have a very technically gifted team, and will be more than capable of keeping them at arms length by retaining possesion, if they’re on form.

This time last year, the Ukrainians were also in London, facing Tottenham. Spurs rested many of their key players over that two-legged encounter with one eye on the upcoming Carling Cup final and another on their battle with relegation from the Premier League (yes, that is both eyes...)

Despite Spurs being considerably under strength, Shakthar needed defensive errors to score two late goals to win the home leg 2-0, before scrapping to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.

While Fulham will be taking this tie more seriously, they will still be without the likes of Clint Dempsey, Andrew Johnson and John Paintsil through injury.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 08:37:37 AM »
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1252090/Fulham-2-Shakhtar-Donetsk-1-Bobby-Zamora-fires-dazzler-stun-holders.html
Fulham 2 Shakhtar Donetsk 1: Bobby Zamora fires a dazzler to stun holders
By Laura Williamson Last updated at 1:20 AM on 19th February 2010

Bobby Zamora gave Fulham the advantage in their last-32 tie with a sensational 25-yard strike at Craven Cottage.
His first-time shot on the turn with his right foot - not usually his weapon of choice - after a pass from Zoltan Gera fired Fulham into the lead from after 63 minutes.


: Bobby Zamora celebrates after his long-range effort

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson said: ‘It was a wonder goal, a strike of real quality. He’s a great two-footed player and can score goals with both feet.
‘We’re talking about a striker who has scored 14 goals this season in his 31 games. I hope he can get over the 20-goal barrier.’
Fulham had taken the lead after just 130 seconds when Danny Murphy threaded a ball to Zamora, who set Gera free in the left channel. Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov will not have enjoyed the replay as he was beaten easily at his near post by Gera’s left-foot finish.
But Shakhtar soon began to show the form that led to them winning the UEFA Cup last season as their five-strong Brazilian spearhead embarked on an exhibition of intricate attacking football. It soon became apparent why 19-year-old Douglas Costa, scouted by Manchester United before his £5million move from Gremio last month, started on the bench.


Netbuster: Fulham's Bobby Zamora scores against Shakhtar Donetsk
At first the visitors’ play was easy on the eye without penetrating Fulham’s defence, but Shakhtar’s dominance of possession eventually paid off.
Ilsinho threaded a beautifully-weighted ball through to Luiz Adriano, who made a clever run to dart past Aaron Hughes and level the score after 32 minutes. It was the first goal Fulham had conceded in February but no less than Shakhtar deserved.
The Barclays Premier League side then spent the rest of the half pinned in their penalty area as the attacking midfield trio of Ilsinho, Jadson and Willian gave Craven Cottage a taste of Brazilian magic.
Fernandinho nearly nicked a second away goal at the death, forcing a fine save from Mark Schwarzer with a curling right-foot effort from just outside the box.
Shakhtar watched Fulham’s FA Cup win over Notts County on Sunday and indulged in a spot of shopping on Monday. The team were deemed too scruffy to enter luxury department store Harrods, owned by Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed, in their tracksuits, but there was nothing casual about their play last night.


Level pegging: Luiz Adriano beats Mark Schwarzer to make it one apiece

Hodgson would have been a relieved man to reach half-time on level terms, but his side showed Shakhtar much less respect in the second half.

Gera headed Damien Duff’s cross over after 65 minutes with Zamora lurking, unmarked, a metre behind him. The striker, so often regarded as lacking the necessary selfish streak, looked even less impressed a minute later when he guided a header wide from a Murphy free-kick.


Mircea Lucescu’s side are unbeaten at home this season, so the pressure was on Fulham to put down a marker ahead of their 1500-mile trip to the Ukraine next week.
Premier League matches and their FA Cup quarter-final may be Fulham’s priority, but Hodgson fielded a full-strength side in front of a packed Craven Cottage last night.
The match was, after all, something of a historic occasion, as the last 32 of the Europa League is the furthest Fulham have gone in European competition. It was a testimony to the team’s progress in the two years since Hodgson took over.
The Fulham boss said: ‘If you’d have told me two years ago that we’d be beating Shakhtar Donetsk, I’d have thought you were taking the mickey.
‘I’m happy to have got a victory against such a good team. I thought it was an exciting Cup tie, played in the right spirit between two sides who try to pass the ball.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1252090/Fulham-2-Shakhtar-Donetsk-1-Bobby-Zamora-fires-dazzler-stun-holders.html#ixzz0fy9CtLZr


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 08:39:23 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5407
Still in with a Shout
by lydia on February 18, 2010

With the final whistle having just blown down at the Cottage, I sit here, in my living room as a pretty happy Fulham fan.

The first 3 minutes were all Fulhams however, dispite scoring in these early stages, the next 42mins +injury time belonged to Shakhtar. Their passing was memorising at times and the Fulham players often found themselves chasing shadows. Their play finally got them a deserved equaliser.

The second half was adifferent story. Hodgson must have said to the boys in that dressing room,”Anything they can do, we can to!” After some quality passing, Fulham began to create more chances. The delivery from Duff in particular was superb and it was just a matter of trying to get somebody on the end of the crosses.

Then the 63minute produced a moment of brilliance. The combination of BZ to Gera for the first goal was reversed and a sweet pass from Gera was thumped by Zamora off the bottom of the crossbar and into the goal. I’m not even sure the Shakhtar keeper saw it coming. Soon after Zamora had a chance to double his tally but he headed the ball just wide.

A final piece of fine passing from Shakhtar nearly give them another equaliser but Schwarzer was equal to it.

Now we have set ourselves up nicely for a Ukranian showdown next Thursday night. We should be aiming to get an early away goal and keep a clean sheet.

We are still in with a shout!


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2010, 08:40:55 AM »
http://www.eecho.ie/news/index.aspx?c=sport&jp=eyeygbidaumh
Zamora strike does it for Fulham



Fulham 2 Shakhtar Donetsk 1

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora struck a brilliant winner to round off a miserable trip to London for Europa League champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

Just two days after the squad was denied entrance into Harrods – owned by Cottagers chairman Mohamed Al Fayed – for looking scruffy, Shakhtar lost a match they looked destined to win comfortably.

Zoltan Gera marked his recovery from a knee injury by firing the opener with just two minutes on the clock, although Shakhtar will be unhappy with keeper Andriy Pyatov’s role in the goal.

But then it was one-way traffic as the Ukrainians, inspired by their five-strong Brazilian contingent, outclassed Fulham who clung onto their precious lead until the half hour mark.

Luiz Adriano pounced for the equaliser and a second seemed imminent but Fulham survived until half-time and then clawed back some of the initiative.

Zamora struck the decisive blow in the 63rd minute, unleashing a thunderous 20-yard shot that rattled the crossbar and crashed home for his 14th goal of the season.

It was a magnificent strike that gives Fulham hope of progressing in the competition, although big-spending Shakhtar will console themselves with an away goal ahead of next Thursday’s second leg.

Fulham raced out of the blocks and would have taken the lead after just 50 seconds but Pyatov reacted swiftly to save Brede Hangeland’s header at the far post.

The Shakhtar keeper was culpable when Fulham powered ahead in the third minute, however, after sharp passing from Danny Murphy and Zamora split open the visiting defence.

Zamora laid on a brilliant chance for Gera and although the Hungarian’s shot lacked menace, it still slipped beneath Pyatov who got a despairing hand to the ball.

Stunned into action, the strike provoked a flurry of activity from Shakhtar aided by Hangeland losing the ball too easily and keeper Mark Schwarzer producing a dismal goal-kick that fell straight to the dangerous Fernandinho.


Fulham were buckling as they struggled to contain the speed and movement of their opponent’s Brazilian contingent.

In the 32nd minute they cracked, Ilsinho slipping a beautifully weighted pass between Aaron Hughes and Kelly to his fellow Brazilian Luiz Adriano who easily beat Schwarzer.

Shakhtar cranked up the pressure but had Srna booked on one attack after the right-back made a meal of a challenge by Kelly.

Shakhtar displayed their counter-attacking skills when Zamora was caught dithering on the edge of the area, stripping him of the ball and then breaking clear through William.

The only way of halting the jet-heeled midfielder was for Murphy to nudge him over and the Fulham skipper was booked as a result.

The Cottagers were beginning to look more threatening with Zamora holding the ball up well and Damien Duff proving a handful down the left flank.

Shakhtar occasionally looked suspect at the back and in the 63rd minute they were undone by a pile-driver from Zamora.

The ball was quickly played out of defence by Hangeland to Gera, who spotted an unmarked Zamora and the Fulham marksman pulled the trigger on a 20-yard shot that struck the underside of the crossbar before crashing home.

Gera and Zamora then had chances to produce a third, but both players directed their headers at Pyatov.

Shakhtar had lost momentum and their forays forward lacked the conviction of earlier, although some hesitancy in Fulham’s defence ensured home fans were subjected to a nervy finish.

The real heart-stopping moment came when Schwarzer produced a magnificent save from Fernandinho deep into injury time.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 08:42:17 AM »
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/matches/season=2010/round=2000038/match=2000914/postmatch/report/index.html
Zamora thunderbolt shakes Shakhtar
Fulham FC 2-1 FC Shakhtar Donetsk
A startling strike from the Cottagers' burly front-man Bobby Zamora handed the 2008/09 UEFA Cup winners a narrow defeat on the banks of the Thames.
Fulham FC extended their unbeaten run at home in European ties to 13 against the winners of the last edition of the UEFA Cup, FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

Zoltán Gera's early goal gave the hosts the perfect start before Luiz Adriano equalised, but Bobby Zamora's second-half rocket ensured Roy Hodgson's men take a slender lead into next Thursday's UEFA Europa League round of 32 return leg in Ukraine.

The Londoners opened with confidence befitting a side that had never lost at home in Europe, and Andriy Pyatov was forced to tip over Brede Hangeland's header from Danny Murphy's delivery in the first 30 seconds. Murphy again had a key role as the hosts took a third-minute lead, with his incisive through ball finding Zamora, whose lay-off played in Gera. The Hungarian's shot squirmed under Pyatov and in.

Murphy went close in the 23rd minute when his free-kick sailed just wide of Pyatov's left-hand post, but Mircea Lucescu's side recovered from their tough opening and began to pass the ball smoothly. After 31 minutes, Darijo Srna's cross-shot fizzed just wide after Răzvan Raţ's centre from the left had not cleared. Fulham's reprieve was brief: one minute later, Ilsinho sent Luiz Adriano clear and the Brazilian beat Mark Schwarzer courtesy of a sidestep and composed finish.

With few second-half chances, it took a moment of brilliance for Hodgson's side to retake the lead on 63 minutes. This time Gera set up Zamora, his delightful back-heel being smashed into the top corner by the powerful striker via the underside of the bar. Zamora almost added to his haul moments later but headed wide while unmarked. Fernandinho's late goal had rescued a draw on Shakhtar's last visit to London, against Tottenham Hotspur FC at the same stage last season, and he almost repeated the trick in added time, only for Schwarzer to parry his lofted chip and ensure Fulham held on.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 08:45:00 AM »
http://www.rs.goal.com/en/news/166/europa-league/2010/02/18/1797090/fulham-2-1-shakhtar-donetsk-bobby-zamora-beats-ukrainian
Fulham 2-1 Shakhtar Donetsk: Bobby Zamora Beats Ukrainian Giants
Whites beat defending champs thanks to Zamora wondergoal
Fulham produced a fighting display to beat reigning champions Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 thanks to goals from Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera.

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson made two changes from the side that dumped Notts County out of the FA Cup, with Stephen Kelly in for the ineligible Nicky Shorey and Gera returning at the expense of David Elm.

Holders Shakhtar Donetsk lined up without experienced forward Julius Aghahowa, but influential Brazilians Fernandinho, Willian and Jadson all started.

The hosts made an excellent start to the match and nearly took the lead in the very first minute. A Danny Murphy free kick found Brede Hangelend unmarked at the far post but he could only power his header straight at Andriy Pyatov

With just two minutes played Fulham took the lead through the Hungarian Gera. Danny Murphy played a low through ball into Zamora; the striker laid the ball off to Gera who fired his left foot shot under Pyatov. The Ukrainian goalkeeper should have done better but it was an excellent move from Fulham and gave them a deserved early lead.

Fulham’s goal sparked the defending champions into life with midfielder Ilsinho the creative force, but despite holding onto possession they were unable to find a way through Fulham’s well organised defence.

In the 21st minute the home side had a chance to double their lead; a foul by Yaroslav Rakitskiy on Zamora 25 yards out from goal gave Fulham a free kick in a promising position. Experienced midfielder Danny Murphy struck the free kick; his shot curled around the wall but didn’t do enough to creep past Pyatov.

Three minutes later Mark Schwarzer had his first shot to save. Shakhtar worked the ball from right to left which found Willian with a chance to run at Chris Baird. The attacking midfielder found himself a shooting opportunity but his shot deflected off Baird and was easy for Schwarzer to save.

The Ukrainians were slowly finding their feet and beginning to find gaps in the Fulham defence. A patient build up from the defending champions created an opportunity for Darijo Srna to fire a long range shot which curled away from Schwarzer.

One minute later Shakhtar were back in the game thanks to a calm Luiz Adriano goal following a wonderfully crafted passing move. Ilsinho delivered a defence splitting pass to find Luiz Adriano racing through on goal, the Brazilian striker took the ball around Schwarzer and fired a low shot into the back of the net to level the scores and give the visitors a vital away goal.

Roy Hodgson’s half time team talk clearly had an effect as the opening stages of the second half began very evenly and saw much better build up play by Fulham who were also not giving Shakhtar as much time in possession

In the 62nd minute Fulham took the lead against the run of play thanks to an outstanding strike from Zamora. Gera flicked Murphy’s pass into the path of the striker and he fired his 20 yard shot off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net giving Pyatov no chance.

Five minutes later Fulham nearly extended their lead as the home side began to fight their way back into the match. A neat move down the right hand side released Damien Duff, his cross was met by the leaping Gera but he was unable to get enough power to beat Pyatov who made an easy save.

The home side’s dominance continued and in the 69th minute Zamora should have made it 3-1. A free kick from Danny Murphy found Zamora unmarked at the back post but he put his header wide with the Pyatov nowhere.

Shakhtar’s mid season break in league competition appeared to be catching up with them as they struggled to find the form they showed at the end of the first half. Coach Mircea Lucescu attempted to freshen things up with 15 minutes to go as new signing Douglas Costa replaced Jadson.

As the visitors searched for a second equaliser the game became scrappy and chances were at a premium. With nine minutes to play Willian worked a nice move with Ilsinho but his shot went harmlessly wide of Schwarzer’s goal.

In injury time Schwarzer made a match winning save from Fernandinho, the Brazilian jinked his way into the box and fired goal wards but the Australian goalkeeper made a diving save to secure Fulham’s victory.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 08:47:04 AM »
http://blogs.soccernet.com/fulham/archives/2010/02/fulham_on_track_in_europa_leag.php
Fulham on Track in Europa League, FA Cup and Premier League
Posted by Tom Wille 10 hours, 51 minutes ago
Just three weeks ago I was concerned about Fulham's lackluster form in league play. The Cottagers had injuries mounting and were winless in league play in January and only defeated some lower league minnow in the FA Cup. However, things have turned around in a hurry as Roy Hodgson's side have returned to form in time to stay in the top ten of the Premier League, advance to the final eight of the FA Cup and on Thursday, the Whites defeated defending UEFA Cup champions Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their Europa League tie at Craven Cottage.


While the FA Cup win over the weekend over lower league Notts County was expected, Fulham made quick work of them in a 4-0 thrashing at the Cottage. The Cottagers advance to take on the winner of Tottenham and Bolton for a chance to play in the semifinals and perhaps ultimately the final for the first time since 1975 where Fulham lost 2-1 to West Ham at Wembley.

The win over Shakhtar on Thursday was fantastic. While the tie is far from settled, the 2-1 win puts Fulham in a strong position heading to Ukraine for next week's decisive match between the two sides.

Fulham was definitely the better team on Thursday. Zoltan Gera opened up the scoring in the third minute to give the home supporters something to cheer about.

Despite Shakhtar pulling even later in the first half, it was Fulham that came out the stronger of the two teams in the second half. Fulham's player of the year, Bobby Zamora continued his scinitilating form scoring one of the goals of the season to give the Cottagers a lead in which they would not relinquish.

Mark Schwarzer once again played a great game in goal. He thwarted the Shakhtar attack on countless occasions to keep Fulham in front and in charge throughout the match. He has been one of the unheralded players throughout the season for the Cottagers.

So, here we are in the middle of February and we are still alive in three strong competitions. The Premier League is not going to yield Fulham any silverware, but to finish inside the top ten for the second consecutive season would be a nice accomplishment for the team. With some winnable matches ahead against Birmingham City and Sunderland, the Cottagers could cement themselves inside the top ten with two months to play in the season.

The FA Cup is quite intriguing. With big guns like Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool out of the mix, as well as Chelsea and Manchester City squaring off in a 6th round match, the field is thin. Obviously I would rather see the Cottagers play Bolton than Tottenham but the fact that the match is being played at Craven Cottage bodes well for Fulham. I really feel this could be the season Fulham gets back to Wembley and plays for an FA Cup final.

In terms of the Europa League, the Cottagers still have a big job ahead of them heading to Ukraine next week to think about the next round. One thing that Fulham does have in their favor is that Shakhtar is out of season. In fact, Thursday's match was their first in 2010. Next week's tie will only be their second. While that did not prove to be a problem for them last season, it could this year. Fulham has a lot of veterans on their team that will not allow the rest of the squad to let up in Ukraine. It will not be easy for the Cottagers next week, but I like their chances of getting through.

If Fulham does get through it will be Juventus or Ajax waiting in the round of sixteen. Juventus has a 2-1 lead over Ajax and is in pole position to advance. The thought of a European tie with Juve is mouth watering. Let's hope Fulham can get by next week in Ukraine.

It is quite amazing to me that Fulham has turned what looked to be a horrible run of form in January into what today looks like a minor blip this season. Roy Hodgson has to take a lot of the credit there as he never panicked and bought a load of new players and kept believing in his team. His presence alone in the manager's role is worth more than he will ever get paid. I have said this before and I will say many times in the future, but Roy Hodgson is a Fulham legend. If his fantastic work continues, perhaps a statue will be erected of this guy at Craven Cottage.

Up next for Fulham is Birmingham City at the Cottage on Sunday. The Cottagers will go into the match on short rest because of the Europa League match and while Birmingham City is ahead of Fulham in the league table, the Cottagers are playing at the Cottage and City is not playing as well as it was in December and January. Thus, I think Sunday's match is there for Fulham to take all three points.

Craven Cottage has been a fortress of late for Fulham. Despite their blip of form in January, the Cottagers have played exceptionally well at home. They have played well at home in the league, the FA Cup and the Europa League. The atmosphere sounds great on tv and the home supporters have given Fulham a twelfth man with their never ending support of the team. I commend the Fulham supporters for their effort this season in cheering on the boys. It's been fantastic. I wish I could say I was a part of some of those crowds at the Cottage. But, my TV does me fine back here in Chicago.

So how do all of you feel Fulham will fare in the second leg against Shakhtar? Do you agree with me that Fulham was the better side on Thursday? What about the FA Cup? Would you rather see Bolton or Spurs in the next round? And in league play, what are your predictions for the Birmingham City and Sunderland matches? I would love to read your thoughts.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 08:49:01 AM »
http://www.teamtalk.com/football/story/0,16368,1775_5958513,00.html
Murphy backs Zamora for England
Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy tipped team-mate Bobby Zamora for an England call-up after the hitman fired the winner against Shakhtar Donetsk.


The Ukrainian side, who won the 2009 UEFA Cup, now have a deficit to make up in the home leg of this last 32 Europa League tie.

Zoltan Gera gave the Cottagers an early lead but Luiz Adriano equalised on 32 minutes. However, Zamora showed he is full of confidence by lashing in his side's second in the 63rd minute.

Murphy told ITV4: "You can see his confidence is sky-high, he has got better each month with his goalscoring, confidence and all-round game.

"If he carries on the way he is, he's got to have a shout at the England squad."

Asked for his thoughts on the game, the former Liverpool midfielder added: "I thought we started brightly and got the goal, but we got a bit nervy after that. They settled down and passed the ball well and got a deserved equaliser.

"We got to grips with them a bit better in the second half and pushed them into a few errors. It was a great goal from Bobby which took the pressure off us defensively.

"We have got something to fight for now, it will be a great game over there."

Cottagers boss Roy Hodgson added: "Shakhtar were exceptional in the first half and maybe we got a bit scared in that situation and weren't prepared to get on the ball as much as we normally do.

"But we pulled ourselves together in the second half. We don't come up against sides like this week in and week out, and we had to really dig deep to get there."


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2010, 08:50:10 AM »
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/18022010/63/brilliant-bobby-strikes.html
Brilliant Bobby strikes again
Bobby Zamora fired a brilliant winner as Fulham edged Europa League holders Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in an entertaining Round of 32 clash at Craven Cottage.

Zoltan Gera marked his recovery from a knee injury by firing the opener with just two minutes on the clock, although Shakhtar will be unhappy with keeper Andriy Pyatov's role in the goal.

Luiz Adriano pounced for the equaliser on the half hour mark before Zamora smashed home in the 63rd minute to settle the first leg.

The Shakhtar keeper was culpable when Fulham powered ahead, after sharp passing from Danny Murphy and Zamora split open the visiting defence. Zamora laid on a brilliant chance for Gera and although the Hungarian's shot lacked menace, it still slipped beneath Pyatov who got a despairing hand to the ball.

In the 32nd minute, after some heavy pressure, Fulham cracked, Junior Ilsinho slipping a beautifully weighted pass between Aaron Hughes and Stephen Kelly to his fellow South American Luiz Adriano, who easily beat Mark Schwarzer.

Shakhtar occasionally looked suspect at the back and in the 63rd minute they were undone by a piledriver from Zamora. The ball was quickly played out of defence by Brede Hangeland to Gera, who spotted an unmarked Zamora and the Fulham marksman pulled the trigger on a 20-yard shot that struck the underside of the crossbar before crashing home.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 08:51:51 AM »
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/18022010/58/europa-league-zamora-stunner-gives-fulham-edge.html
Europa League - Zamora stunner gives Fulham edge
A fantastic strike from Bobby Zamora gave Fulham a slight advantage over holders Shakhtar Donetsk after an entertaining 2-1 win at Craven Cottage for the Whites in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 clash.
Zamora smashed an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box that crashed against the bar and bounced over the line, adding to Zoltan Gera's goalkeeper-aided early goal.

Luiz Adriano had equalised for the visitors, who at times over-ran Fulham but rarely found the finish to match their delicate passing moves.

Fulham had keeper Mark Schwarzer to thank for the win on the night as, despite rarely being tested in the match, he pulled off a superb save in injury-time to deny Fernandinho an equaliser.

Shakhtar started like a team in the middle of pre-season and the West Londoners exploited it as Brede Hangeland went close with two early headers before Gera struck a fortuitous opener.

At the start of the third minute, Oleksandr Kucher slid wildly to clear Danny Murphy's through ball, missing it completely and allowing the Hungarian midfielder to drill a low shot that Andriy Pyatov should have stopped but allowed to squirm through his body.

The reigning champions woke up soon afterwards though and switched into the passing dominance that one expects from a starting XI containing five Brazilians.

Initially they lacked a cutting edge, with 22-year-old striker Luiz Adriano often outmuscled by Hangeland and Aaron Hughes.

But they passed Fulham into a daze and just after the half hour Croatia wide-man Darijo Srna fired a low drive wide after one such spell of possession saw Fulham camped in their box for a full minute.

The warning sign was not heeded when, a minute later, Shakhtar sliced through Fulham in a split second, with Ilsinho sliding Luiz Adriano through to finish low past Schwarzer.

The Ukraine-based side dominated possession for the rest of the half - at one point Fulham did not get a touch for nearly two minutes - but they did lack a cutting edge and Fulham almost made it 2-1 on the break when Simon Davies flicked Damien Duff's cross wide.

Fulham were brighter in the second half as the sides exchanged attacks and counters without either keeper being tested.

Gera went down easily in the box under a challenge from Srna and, while there was the slightest contact, it was not a push and referee Serge Gumienny correctly waved his appeals away.

The direct attacking approach yielded results for the Cottagers thanks to a moment of magic from Zamora.

A quick break saw Gera release the striker with a super flick but, on the edge of the box and with defenders in his way, he had it all to do.

Zamora elected to shoot first-time and hammered a thundering drive in off the crossbar as Pyatov stood and watched - assuming he even saw it.

Having scored arguably the finest goal of his career and his 14th of the season, Zamora proceeded to bully the visiting defence as Shakhtar - while still passing well - lost their drive, seemingly stunned by the strike.

Gera could have made it three after rising highest to meet Damien Duff's cross, but he headed straight at Pyatov: Zamora should have made it three minutes later but headed wide when Murphy's free-kick found him unmarked.

The introduction of another Brazilian, winger-playmaker Douglas Costa, gave the visitors some renewed vigour as they put Fulham under a spell of sustained pressure.

But for all their nice passing they seemed to lack the belief to shoot and Schwarzer looked on as his defence dealt with the threat.

The last few minutes saw Fulham on the back foot as Shakhtar moved the ball with ease, Costa and Fernandinho pulling the strings.

And, in the first minute of injury time, Australia's Schwarzer showed why a team can only be as good as its keeper when he clawed away a Fernandinho strike that was destined for the top right after Shakhtar pounded the Whites' box with their scintillating one and two-touch play.

Fulham held on and take a slender lead to the second leg in Ukraine next week.

Reda Maher / Eurosport

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 08:53:55 AM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11681_5958524,00.html
Murphy - Zamora for England
Skipper hails match winners' "all-round game"


Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy called for team-mate Bobby Zamora to be handed an England call-up after the striker fired his side to a 2-1 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League.

Zamora blasted home a superb 20-yard winner an hour into his side's first leg clash with the 2009 Uefa Cup winners, his 14th of the season and fifth in the Europa campaign.

Earlier, Zoltan Gera had put the Cottagers into an early land but Donetsk hit back in an entertaining encounter at Craven Cottage.

But Zamora handed Fulham a vital advantage ahead of next week's return leg in the Ukraine with a fine strike.

The goal led former Liverpool star Murphy to hail the contribution of the 29-year-old to the Londoners' season, backing the once-maligned front man to be given a chance by Three Lions boss Fabio Capello.

He said: "You can see his confidence is sky-high, he has got better each month with his goal scoring, confidence and all-round game.

"If he carries on the way he is, he's got to have a shout at the England squad."

Murphy played a part in both of Fulham's goals, laying on the pass for Gera to turn and beat Shakhtar keeper Andrei Pyatov at his near post, before linking up with the Hungarian to set up Zamora's unstoppable strike.

The club captain praised his team's performance, and said they would take heart from a display that keeps them in the hunt for a place in the last 16.

"I thought we started brightly and got the goal, but we got a bit nervy after that," added Murphy. "They settled down and passed the ball well and got a deserved equaliser.

"We got to grips with them a bit better in the second half and pushed them into a few errors. It was a great goal from Bobby which took the pressure off us defensively.

"We have got something to fight for now, it will be a great game over there."

Boss Roy Hodgson was also in an upbeat mood after the win, although he admitted his side had been naïve in stages against the experienced European campaigners.

Shakhtar looked threatening on the break and came within inches of grabbing another vital away goal, only for keeper Mark Schwarzer to deny Luis Fernandinho with a tremendous one-handed save.

Hodgson said his side must keep possession better at the Donbass Arena, but he too was happy with the spirit that earned his men a win.

He added: "Shakhtar were exceptional in the first half and maybe we got a bit scared in that situation and weren't prepared to get on the ball as much as we normally do.

"But we pulled ourselves together in the second half. We don't come up against sides like this week in and week out, and we had to really dig deep to get there."


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2010, 08:55:02 AM »
http://www.irishtimes.com/sports/soccer/2010/0218/1224264797996.html
Zamora fires Fulham winner
Fulham 2 Shakhtar Donetsk 1: Bobby Zamora fired a brilliant winner as Fulham beat Europa League holders Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in an entertaining third round clash at Craven Cottage.

Zoltan Gera marked his recovery from a knee injury by firing the opener with just two minutes on the clock, although Shakhtar will be unhappy with keeper Andriy Pyatov's role in the goal.

Luiz Adriano pounced for the equaliser on the half hour mark before Zamora smashed home in the 63rd minute to settle the first leg.

Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy is predicting a great second leg in Ukraine next week.

He told ITV4 : "I thought we started brightly and got the goal, but we got a bit nervy after that. They settled down and passed the ball well and got a deserved equaliser.

"We got to grips with them a bit better in the second half and pushed them into a few errors. It was a great goal from Bobby which took the pressure off us defensively.

"We have got something to fight for now, it will be a great game over there."

Cottagers boss Roy Hodgson added: "Shakhtar were exceptional in the first half and maybe we got a bit scared in that situation and weren't prepared to get on the ball as much as we normally do.

"But we pulled ourselves together in the second half. We don't come up against sides like this week in and week out, and we had to really dig deep to get there."

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2010, 08:56:41 AM »
http://fourfourtwo.com/news/restofeurope/48397/default.aspx
Zamora scorcher sinks Shakhtar
LONDON - A stunning Bobby Zamora goal gave Fulham a 2-1 victory at home to Shakhtar Donetsk, winners of the last edition of the UEFA Cup, while five-times European champions Liverpool struggled to a 1-0 win over Romania's Unirea Urziceni at Anfield
AS Roma missed a chance to set a club record of 21 games without defeat in all competitions when they lost 3-2 at Panathinaikos after leading with less than 10 minutes to go.

While Amauri scored in each half to give Juventus a 2-1 win at Ajax as two former European champions met in the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday.

Ajax and Juventus, who met in the 1973 European Cup final and the 1996 Champions League final, this time crossed swords in less glamorous circumstances.

The Dutch side, no longer a major force in European club soccer, went ahead in the 17th minute when Miralem Sulejmani raced clear to score.

Juve, one of eight teams for whom the Europa League is a consolation after finishing third in the Champions League groups, levelled before halftime with an Amauri header.

Alessandro del Piero, in inspirational form for the Italians, provided the cross for Amauri to score the winner with another header just before the hour.

Fulham took the lead after only three minutes when Zoltan Gera squeezed a shot home under the body of goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov who watched in anguish as the ball squirmed through and trickled over his goalline.

The holders began to take control as the first half developed and were well worth their 32nd-minute equaliser, superbly executed by Brazilian Luiz Adriano who timed his angled run to perfection to beat the offside trap before firing past Mark Schwarzer.

The initiative swung back Fulham's way after 63 minutes when Zamora scored with an unstoppable right-foot shot from 20 metres out.

"We proved that even against the very best European teams we can get a result," said Fulham manager Roy Hodgson.


BREAK DEADLOCK

In a meeting of two teams who dropped down from the Champions League, Liverpool took 80 minutes to break the deadlock against Unirea.

The only goal of the game was fashioned by substitutes with Daniel Pacheco heading Ryan Babel's cross to David Ngog who headed in from close range.

"We had to be patient, they were very difficult to break down," said Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard.

"This is a tough competition with good teams in it like Ajax, Juventus and the rest and it won't be easy to win it."

Austrian champions Salzburg, the only team to complete the group phase with a 100 percent record, squandered a 2-0 lead as they lost 3-2 at Champions League drop-outs Standard Liege.

Marc Janko scored twice as the visitors took control in the first half.

Axel Witsel pulled one back with a penalty, Igor de Camargo levelled in the 80th minute with a 30-metre shot and Witsel popped up to head the winner two minutes later.

Roma appeared set to extend their unbeaten run when Chile midfielder David Pizarro converted a penalty nine minutes from time against Panathinaikos.

Instead, Lazaros Hristodoulopoulos equalised in the 84th minute and Djibril Cisse snatched the winner.

Mirko Vucinic had put Roma ahead in the first half with Dimitris Salpingidis making it 1-1 midway through the second half.

Brazilian striker Grafite scored twice for VfL Wolfsburg away to Villarreal but it was not enough for the German champions to end a 12-match winless run in all competitions as Marco Ruben snatched an 85th minute equaliser for the Spaniards.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2010, 08:58:00 AM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/we-had-dig-deep-win-%E2%80%93-fulham%E2%80%99s-hodgson-651971
We had to dig deep for win – Fulham’s Hodgson
19.02.10 | Andrew Slevison
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson was clearly proud of his players after they managed to overhaul Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in the Europa League on Thursday.

The Cottagers hit the lead through Zoltan Gera in just the 3rd minute before Shakhtar equalised just after the half-hour mark thanks to a Luiz Adriano goal.

But the West Londoners again took the lead when Bobby Zamora netted in the 63rd minute and although Hodgson admits his players weren’t at their best early, praised them for fighting hard and recording a character-building victory.

"Shakhtar were exceptional in the first half and maybe we got a bit scared in that situation and weren't prepared to get on the ball as much as we normally do,” Hodgson said.

"But we pulled ourselves together in the second half. We don't come up against sides like this week in and week out, and we had to really dig deep to get there."


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2010, 08:59:05 AM »
http://www.tribalfootball.com/fulham-skipper-murphy-lauds-zamora-after-europa-win-651981
Fulham skipper Murphy lauds Zamora after Europa win
19.02.10 | Andrew Slevison
Fulham captain Danny Murphy has heaped praise on Bobby Zamora after the striker put in another superb performance.

Zamora fired the winner as the Cottagers edged past reigning UEFA Cup champions Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in the Europa League on Thursday night and Murphy believes the hitman should be highly considered for the England World Cup squad.

"You can see his confidence is sky-high, he has got better each month with his goalscoring, confidence and all-round game,” Murphy told ITV4.

"If he carries on the way he is, he's got to have a shout at the England squad."

Murphy added that he believed Fulham played well but conceded Shakhtar deserved their equaliser whilst once again naming Zamora as the key to the victory.

"I thought we started brightly and got the goal, but we got a bit nervy after that. They settled down and passed the ball well and got a deserved equaliser,” he added.

"We got to grips with them a bit better in the second half and pushed them into a few errors. It was a great goal from Bobby which took the pressure off us defensively.

"We have got something to fight for now, it will be a great game over there."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2010, 09:00:12 AM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5410
Bobby for England
by lydia on February 18, 2010

I’ve already heard that at least twice tonight and then I read it again on the completley non-biased BBC site

 Fulham goal: That is surely the best goal Bobby Zamora has ever scored. The soon-to-be England striker picks up the ball from Zoltan Gera and smashes a glorious right-foot shot into the top corner from 20 yards. His 14th goal of the season and an absolute cracker.
It’s a nice thought, isn’t it? Even from the perspective of a Northern Ireland supporter I quite like the idea of having a Fulham player on the England squad. I hope he gets his chance, especially ahead of the rather useless Heskey.


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2010, 09:01:17 AM »
http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_5958543,00.html
HODGSON HAILS `IMPORTANT SCALP`
Roy Hodgson claimed Fulham's 2-1 victory over Europa League champions Shakhtar Donetsk was evidence of how far the club have progressed.

Bobby Zamora struck a stunning 63rd-minute winner at Craven Cottage to give Fulham a strong chance of progressing in the competition when they travel to the Ukraine for next Thursday's second leg.

Big-spending Shakhtar threatened to cut loose after Luiz Adriano equalised Zoltan Gera's early opener, but Fulham rallied as Bobby Zamora grabbed the winner to leave Hodgson beaming with pride.

"We're very happy to get a victory against such a good team," he said.

"It was a very exciting cup tie played in the right spirit and it was very competitive. Both teams tried to pass the ball.

"I'm pleased to have taken such an important scalp. It's a big game for Fulham and we've come an awful long way.

"If someone had said to me during my first season here when we were battling to stay in the Premier League that we'd beat Shakhtar in a couple of years, I'd have thought they were taking the mickey.

"We've done it and are very proud of it. There's an awful lot left in this tie because we saw how skilful they are, but we still have a chance to make a name for ourselves.

"This was a very good victory - probably our best in Europe."


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2010, 09:03:01 AM »
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/February/GeraShakhtarReaction.aspx
Golden Gera Strikes Again
Thursday 18th February 2010


Zoltan Gera added to his tally of crucial European goals for Fulham on Thursday when he struck after just two minutes of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 First Leg against Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Hungarian schemer arguably bagged two of the most important strikes of the Whites’ European campaign when he headed in the only goal in the home win over CSKA Sofia, and then slotted home the important third that gave Fulham a two-goal cushion in the crunch group finale in Basel.

And on Thursday night he wasted no time in making it three in a row in European matches.

“I have been lucky, I have lots of good balls from my team-mates.” he said modestly after the game. “I love to play in Europe. I love to play against teams from other countries and the test that presents.”

However, it was anything but plain-sailing for Fulham on the night for, having gone one-nil up early on, Shakhtar fought back with a vengeance, dictating play for much of the first period, and equalising before half-time. Gera and his fellow forward players were forced to play a waiting game as they defended as a team in hope of a break.

“After the early goal, we didn’t get a lot of the ball,” he admitted. “Shakhtar Donetsk proved themselves to be a very, very good team with lots of skilful players who were confident with the ball and they put us under a lot of pressure. But in the second-half we started very well and it was much better for us.”

Fortunately, the interval worked in Fulham’s favour, breaking the visitors’ momentum and allowing Roy Hodgson’s side to get a foothold, and eventually impose themselves once more.

“The gaffer told us at half-time to keep doing exactly the same,” he explained. “To keep our shape and be patient, because if we go out of our positions Shakhtar are good enough to punish us. So we stuck to our plan and the result was a much better second-half performance.”

Indeed, it was the Whites that started the second period much the brighter, and Gera was involved in another defining moment after the hour as he deftly flicked the ball through for Bobby Zamora to unleash a rocket of a second goal.

“Bobby is playing with full confidence,” enthused Zolly. “He’s very strong and very quick and good with both feet. He’s proving very good for us and hopefully he will keep this form going for the rest of the season and beyond. We’re very happy with Bobby because he’s proving himself to be one of the best strikers in the Premier League.”

However, whilst Fulham fans will be celebrating another memorable European win tonight, Gera is keen to warn caution ahead of next week’s second leg in Ukraine, as at 2-1, the tie is far from over.

“This isn’t really a great result, because they scored a goal and away goals are very, very important. Now if they score just one at home we are out, so they are in a good position.

“But we never go out for a game just wanting to avoid defeat, we want to win every game. It will be difficult, but we will go out and play the same as today and see what happens.”

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/February/GeraShakhtarReaction.aspx#ixzz0fyFd9Ylr

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (19/02/10)
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2010, 09:04:11 AM »
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/February/HodgsonShakhtarReaction.aspx

Hodgson's Reaction
Thursday 18th February 2010

Speaking after Fulham's two-one win over Shakhtar Donetsk at Craven Cottage on Thursday evening, Roy Hodgson gave his post-match reaction.

"We're very happy to get a victory against such a good team," he said.

"It was a very exciting cup tie played in the right spirit and it was very competitive. Both teams tried to pass the ball.

"I'm pleased to have taken such an important scalp. It's a big game for Fulham and we've come an awful long way.

"If someone had said to me during my first season here when we were battling to stay in the Premier League that we'd beat Shakhtar in a couple of years, I'd have thought they were taking the mickey.

"We've done it and are very proud of it. There's an awful lot left in this tie because we saw how skilful they are, but we still have a chance to make a name for ourselves. This was a very good victory - probably our best in Europe."

Bobby Zamora capped off another fine performance with a quite spectacular second-half strike, and Hodgson was full of praise for the front man.

"It was a wonder strike. He's got two feet, I don't know which is his best and neither does he," Hodgson quipped.

"Apart from his accomplished display as a target man setting things up, working hard, his strike was of real quality.

"We're talking about a striker who has scored 14 goals in 31 starts. I hope he can get 20 goals to crown his season."
.

Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/February/HodgsonShakhtarReaction.aspx#ixzz0fyFrXYYy