Author Topic: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)  (Read 8060 times)

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Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« on: February 21, 2010, 07:40:55 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_5968012,00.html

Hodgson hails super Zamora


Cottagers chief happy with turnaround


By Danny Wright   


Last updated: 21st February 2010   
 

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson was delighted with Bobby Zamora's dramatic last minute winner that handed his side a 2-1 triumph over Birmingham at Craven Cottage.

Hodgson paid tribute to the striker's 15th goal of the season - a superb free-kick that found the top corner of the net - and heaped praise on the player's contribution to the Fulham cause this season.

Zamora netted just two goals last season but he has been revitalised under Hodgson's stewardship.

The goal capped off a remarkable week for the 29-year-old, who was also on target to bag the winner in Thursday's win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League.

Responsibility

That strike led to team mate Danny Murphy backing the former West Ham man to earn an England call-up, and he added momentum to those calls with another fine all-round display.

Hodgson told Sky Sports: "He's always been a great target player and when he was younger he scored all the goals for Brighton and I think that's why he got signed by the bigger clubs Tottenham and West Ham.

"Last year he did a fantastic job for us alongside Andy Johnson and Andy was the one who was getting more of the goals

"This year he's taken on the responsibility of being more than a target player and also been one of the main providers. I think he's also top of our assists lists and he's also taken on the role of goalscorer responsibility as well.

"You won't see two better goals at Craven Cottage this year than the two that got us this victory today."

The win moved Fulham above Birmingham into ninth in the Premier League - three points shy of the 40 earmarked for top flight survival.

But Fulham will have their sights set higher after a good run of form that has seen them go four unbeaten, a sequence which has lifted them into contention for a spot in next season's Europa League.

The return date with Ukrainian side Donetsk awaits later this week, and Hodgson added that he was happy to take a win off a side that has also enjoyed good form.

Hodgson's side made a disastrous start when defender Chris Baird inexplicably headed into his own-net on three minutes, but Damien Duff's superb solo effort and Zamora's 20-yard curler reversed the tide.

Truly delighted

The performance delighted the 62-year-old, who went on: "We got off to the worst possible start with the own goal but I thought after that the team rallied well and we played some really good football in the first half.

"Birmingham were well organised and resolute, we were unable to break them down and I was concerned as the game went on the fatigue factor would set in more and more and we'd feel the repercussions from Thursday night more and more.

"So I was truly delighted when first Damien scored his wonder goal and Bobby managed to get another wonder goal - that's two fantastic strikes in one week - and win us the game.

"I thought we were good value for the victory, during the 90 minutes we had the better of the play and the more opportunities.

"I've got great respect for Birmingham - they're a very good football team and it was a great victory against them."

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 07:43:54 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3230222,00.html

Zamora stunner sinks Blues


Second screamer of the week from striker hands Cottagers victory


By Danny Wright   


Last updated: 21st February 2010   
 


Man of the match: Bobby Zamora cleans up here. Great, all-round display from the once-maligned striker. Superb work rate and an even better winner to boot.

Goal of the match: Had to be Zamora's last-gasp free-kick. Hart got a hand to it, but it was another great hit from the front man - his second stunner of the week.

Moment of the match: Zamora, again, for his dramatic winner. The goal was reward for his display.

Talking points: Can Zamora finally get that England call? 15 goals this season now, should Fabio Capello be taking a look at the former West Ham man? As for Birmingham, were they too negative? And have the wheels come off their superb run of form?
 
Bobby Zamora's last minute free-kick earned Fulham a 2-1 win over Birmingham in an entertaining game at Craven Cottage.

The striker curled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box just before the final whistle to earn his side a dramatic victory, punishing Stephen Carr's foul on Zoltan Gera as the game looked to be heading for a draw.

Earlier, Chris Baird headed past his own goalkeeper in the third minute to hand Birmingham an early lead, with James McFadden hitting the underside of the bar for the Blues via the fingertips of Mark Schwarzer.

Damien Duff levelled the scores after the interval with a superb solo strike, before Zamora stepped up his bid to earn a call-up to the England squad with his 15th goal of the season.

Just four days earlier, Zamora snared the vital goal in the Europa League win over Shakhtar, hitting a 25-yard thunderbolt to earn his side the advantage going into the second leg.

And the 29-year-old was lethal from similar distance as Birmingham undid all the hard work which had got them in a position to take home a well-deserved point.

Terrible blunder

With both clubs in mid-table and closing in on the critical 40-point mark, Sunday's contest was about little more than having a say in who would get there first.

It looked like Birmingham would have that honour when Baird handed them the lead in the third minute after his embarrassing own goal.

The Northern Ireland defender tried making amends by setting up a good chance for Simon Davies only for keeper Joe Hart to come to Birmingham's rescue.

Gera almost connected with a hanging cross from Duff and was then blocked by Carr as Fulham pressed for an equaliser.

Danny Murphy expertly weaved his way into the area but was brought to an abrupt stop by Scott Dann and shortly after Davies nodded a superb cross from Gera straight at Hart.

Birmingham were content to hit Fulham on the counter, a tactic that was yielding some success.

Sebastian Larsson had a shot blocked by Dickson Etuhu but more action was taking place at the other end with Zamora hurling himself at two crosses.

Davies failed to connect cleanly with a clever pass from Murphy, giving Hart time to react.

Dazzling

Zamora was applauded for a dazzling piece of skill that saw him expertly control the ball, which he then slipped between his legs before pirouetting away from Bowyer.

The former West Ham marksman fired a well-struck shot from long range but it just lacked the power to really trouble Hart.

Cameron Jerome scuffed a half-chance straight to Schwarzer and in the 57th minute Birmingham were lucky to escape a penalty after Dann clearly handled the ball.

But the equaliser eventually arrived in the 60th minute with Duff driving home a brilliant goal that came just moments after he had been hacked down twice by clumsy challenges.

He weaved his way infield and linked with Gera before taking the return pass and pulling the trigger on a shot that struck the left post and cannoned in.

Only the fingertips of Schwarzer prevented Birmingham from retaking the lead as the Fulham keeper tipped a blistering shot from McFadden onto the underside of the crossbar with the ball then bouncing down and out.

The game was growing increasingly ragged with Zamora breaking free but taking the wrong option - before completing a dramatic finale.

Gera was felled by an outrageous bodycheck from Carr and Zamora thumped home the free-kick in the 90th minute to clinch victory.


Fulham
Team Statistics
Birmingham City

2 Goals
1

0 1st Half Goals
1

6 Shots on Target
4

6 Shots off Target
2

1 Blocked Shots
4

3 Corners
1

10 Fouls
17

2 Offsides
0

1 Yellow Cards
1

0 Red Cards
0

72.6 Passing Success
59.4

17 Tackles
19

76.5 Tackles Success
89.5

56.9 Possession
43.1

43 Territorial Advantage
57

 




White Noise

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 07:46:41 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/football/user_ratings/0,19768,11065_3230222,00.html

Fulham Player ratings 


Player Our Rating Your Rating Rate player


 Mark Schwarzer
Vital save to deny McFadden  8 6.7  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Brede Hangeland
Rock steady  7 6.5  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Aaron Hughes
Solid at centre-half  7 6.4  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Nicky Shorey
Steady display in front of Capello  7 5.9  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Chris Baird
Horrow own-goal but recovered well  6 5.2  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Danny Murphy
Passing was exceptional  7 7.0  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Dickson Etuhu
Lost out to Bowyer in midfield battle  6 5.2  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Simon Davies
Full of industry  7 6.4  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Bobby Zamora
Another winning goal, superbly taken  9 8.8  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Damien Duff
Superb goal, thorn in City side  8 8.1  Rate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 
 Zoltan Gera
Guile offered Fulham an 


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 07:49:34 PM »
Hodgson's Birmingham Reaction

Sunday 21st February 2010


Fulham FC News


Speaking in the post-match press conference following the Birmingham game, Roy Hodgson gave his reaction to Fulham's dramatic win over Birmingham:

"We got off to the worst possible start with the own goal after three minutes," he said. "But to come in at half-time 1-0 down after the way we had played was harsh on the players.

"I knew it was going to be tough in the second-half, as we'd had a tough week and I was worried that we would not be able to keep it going.

"We were fortunate with the wonder strike from James McFadden that hit the underside of the crossbar but otherwise I thought we were really good value for our victory.

"We had more shots, more opportunities and more of the play - we had to dig deep and score two great goals to win it, but we got there in the end."

The Fulham Manager also praised Bobby Zamora's display, as the striker notched his 15th goal of the season.

"Zamora was very good throughout today," said Hodgson.

"He's performing like a true target playing centre forward who brings his team-mates into the game and holds the ball up very well. But because he's skilful he also scores goals.

"Last year he did all of the things we wanted him to do but wasn't lucky, but this year he's added the goals to his good play.

"That's fortunate because Andy Johnson has not been available. Last year when people were criticising Bobby for not scoring goals, I had to balance that out.

"I couldn't argue because he wasn't scoring enough goals, but he was doing a lot of other very good things that we needed him to do for the team."


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/February/BirminghamReaction.aspx#ixzz0gCZRhRGz

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 07:51:34 PM »
Fulham 2-1 Birmingham


Bobby Zamora's fine goalscoring form continued on Sunday when he slammed a late free-kick past Joe Hart to ensure all three point for the Whites.

The visitors were handed the lead somewhat fortuitously early on when Chris Baird headed past Mark Schwarzer. There was little in the way of goal scoring opportunities in the first-half – although Fulham were creating the better attacking situations. The equaliser came just before the hour mark when Damien Duff played a one-two with Zoltan Gera before hitting a left-footed shot past Hart. Bobby Zamora fired home a dramatic late free-kick from the edge of the area to give Fulham the win.

Following an uneventful opening few minutes, Birmingham took the lead in the most unusual of circumstances when Chris Baird, who was under little pressure, headed past Mark Schwarzer on three minutes after Lee Bowyer floated a cross to the back post. In an attempt to put the ball out for a corner, Fulham’s Northern Ireland international inadvertently powered the ball past Schwarzer.

Baird went some way to making amends moments later when he blocked a goal-bound effort from Keith Fahey eight yards out. The action immediately switched to the other end where Simon Davies showed exceptional skill to keep his eye on the ball as it dropped over his shoulder and volley a strong effort on goal, which was parried out by Hart.

The goal hardly seemed to change the run of play as Fulham pressed Birmingham, with Nicky Shorey, Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora seeing a lot of the ball in advanced positions.

There were loud penalty appeals from the Fulham faithful on 23 minutes when Brede Hangeland was apparently held down as he attempted to get his head to Simon Davies’ outswinging corner.

It was certainly a case of defences on top as the first-half progressed, with nether side really able to get in behind their opponents. Fulham’s defence and midfield were doing a fine job of restricting Birmingham’s possession to non-threatening areas. In attack, Fulham were able to get into crossing positions with encouraging ease, but unfortunately the final ball was lacking.

Fulham continued to enjoy great success from wide areas and a cross from Zoltan Gera on 37 minutes found Zamora at the back post, who could only put the ball wide on the stretch.

The first-half shots on goal stats told a telling story with Birmingham registering two shots on target to Fulham’s eight.

With both teams playing a similar style, the second-half got off to a slow start. Fulham struggled to get their passing game going - largely due to the well-organised pressuring from the visitors. Lee Bowyer in particular was playing a key role in disrupting the Whites’ passing play as source.

A vocal appeal for handball in the area was ignored by the referee on 56 minutes. Danny Murphy jinked his way past two players before his attempted chip in the area struck Scott Dann on the hand.

The Fulham crowd soon kicked into life and the players responded seconds later with an equaliser. Damien Duff continued his rich vein of form when he fired Fulham’s equaliser past Hart on 59 minutes. The Republic of Ireland winger collected the ball from Chris Baird and advanced deep into the Birmingham half, he exchanged passes with Gera on the edge of the area before skipping a couple of challenges and rifling a left footed shot in off the post.

A thunderous effort form James McFadden on 69 minutes produced a world-class save from Mark Schwarzer. The 25-yard effort from the former Everton man look destined to find the back of the net but Schwarzer trust out a hand and diverted the ball on to the bar. Aaron Hughes duly headed the rebound out of danger.

Birmingham were given fresh impetus following the chance and Fulham had to be at their best defensively as they weathered an intense spell of pressure. As the second-half went on, it became clear that Lee Bowyer’s primary objective was to stop Danny Murphy having time and space on the ball.

Simon Davies’ involvement ended on 82 minutes when he was replaced by Bjorn Helge Riise.

The winner came late on after Stephen Carr body-checked Zoltan Gera on the edge of the area on 89 minutes, handing Fulham a free-kick. Bobby Zamora stepped up and hammered an unstoppable effort past Joe Hart - sending the Craven Cottage crowd wild. 

The referee played an additional four minutes of added time, but Fulham were able to hold out for another three points at the Cottage.


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/MatchAndTeam/MatchCentre/Matches/0910/Premiership/BirminghamHome.aspx#ixzz0gCZqiEHh


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 07:52:44 PM »
From the Other Side
 
Sunday 21st February 2010


Fulham FC News

 
Speaking after Sunday afternoon's game at Craven Cottage, visiting manager Alex McLeish was gracious in defeat:

"We lost because of two pieces of inspiration from Fulham, the finishes were brilliant," he said. "That is the difference in quality that we have to aspire to.

"I didn't feel there was any real rhythm from either team and I felt it was a nothing game until Damien Duff took a hand in proceedings.

"And Bobby Zamora was the big difference. Today, my players had a hard game against one of the best strikers in the league.

"If they are going to step up to the next level, they have to overcome players like him.

"If Fabio Capello is looking for a certain type of forward then Zamora is as good as anyone I've seen at keeping that ball up.

"Like Emile Heskey he's guy who can bring other players into play and help other people prosper without maybe being prolific."


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/February/AlexMcLeishReaction.aspx#ixzz0gCaFYgYt


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 07:54:22 PM »
Season Tickets 2010/11 on sale now


It’s been an unforgettable season so far, with the side already recording eight league victories at Craven Cottage, including memorable victories over Liverpool and Manchester United.

And with the Whites just one game away from a Wembley Semi-Final and place in the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League, this campaign looks set to be as memorable as last year’s highest ever league finish.

With the ever-increasing stature of the Club under Roy Hodgson, we have launched 2010/11 Season Tickets earlier than ever to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the action at Craven Cottage next season!

Season Tickets at Fulham are accessible to all real football fans – and just as importantly these days, it’s a genuinely affordable way to catch all 19 of Fulham’s Barclays Premier League home games!

New Season Ticket Applications are now being accepted. Adult and Concession Season Tickets for the 2010/11 season start at just £285 , and Junior Season Tickets from just £95 – that’s only £15 and £5 per game respectively! We even have a limited number of FREE Season Tickets for Under 8s if requested at the same time as a full Adult Season Ticket*.

Don’t worry if you are a Season Ticket Holder looking to renew , your seat is being held until the 19th April .

*Note: these must be requested at the same time as purchase of the accompanying adult ticket.   Not available to buy online. Printable renewal and application forms will be available mid-March.

Buy your Season Ticket Now|


Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Tickets/SeasonTickets201011.aspx#ixzz0gCaaeSIW

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2010, 07:56:40 PM »
http://fulham.theoffside.com/team-news/duff-shows-hes-mvp-material.html

Duff shows he’s MVP material


By: timmyg | February 21st, 2010


That has to be on the shortlist for an upcoming top 5 matches of the season post.

The match started off rather bizarrely, with Chris Baird knocking in an own goal before I even had a chance to dial up a feed. Then for the remainder of the half the run of play seemed like it was an endless loop: Marky Mark throws it to Hangs or Hughes; they pass it up to Etuhu or Murphy who can’t penetrate Birmingham City’s solid lines and pass it wide to Duff on the right; Duff can’t break through either and passes it back it Baird; Baird crosses it into the box and it’s either intercepted or just misses Davies, Gera, or Zamora; Brum then clear it back to Marky Mark.

Rinse and repeat.

But things changed entirely in the second half. Duff broke the loop and showed some creativity in creating space to fire a shot low and away. This in turn prompted Birmingham, who had before seemed perfectly content with just playing defense and resting on their lucky laurel, to throw more than 2 men forward. Craig Gardner was brought on and threatened our back line. James McFadden’s scorcher donked the post. Birmingham kept huffing and puffing but it seemed like they could not blow the house down and we were headed to a well earned draw.

That is until the final moments of regulation time Bobby Zamora scored a goal that should be on the shortlist for an upcoming top 5 goals of the season post. Much like Duff’s goal earlier, Zamora curled it low and away, sending a message to Capello and us fans into a frenzy.

Today did prove that we need to seriously consider Damien Duff as the team’s MVP. Why? Of his 6 league goals, four have come from when Fulham were losing. And all four have resulted in a combined 8 points. Here’s the breakdown:

Everton (81) tied 1-1
Manchester City (62) down 2-0
Bolton (75), down 1-0
Manchester United (75), up 2-0
Stoke City (61), down 3-0
Birmingham City (59), down 1-0

If we were to take away even half of his production, we would not be where we are in the table. He’s quite possibly the most clutch player we have.

Today’s result also means that we are still in the running for the Battle for Eighth with Brum and Everton. Had we lost, Brum would have been 6 points and Everton 4 points ahead — both with a game in hand. And instead of battling those two quality teams, we’d be worrying about Stoke and Blackburn. Yikes.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2010, 07:58:16 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5530


Roy raves over brilliant Bobby

by Dan on February 21, 2010

Roy Hodgson heaped praise on Fulham’s matchwinner Bobby Zamora after he curled home a last-gasp free-kick to break Birmingham hearts at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

The clamour for Zamora, who has now scored 15 goals in 32 starts this season, to gain an England call-up is growing but Hodgson’s delighted with the performances of a player who endured a testing first season at Fulham last year.

He’s always been a great target player and when he was younger he scored all the goals for Brighton and I think that’s why he got signed by the bigger clubs Tottenham and West Ham. “Last year he did a fantastic job for us alongside Andy Johnson and Andy was the one who was getting more of the goals.

This year he’s taken on the responsibility of being more than a target player and also been one of the main providers. I think he’s also top of our assists lists and he’s also taken on the role of goalscorer responsibility as well. You won’t see two better goals at Craven Cottage this year than the two that got us this victory today.

Hodgson said he was ‘truly delighted’ with Fulham’s application and their spirit to bounce back from the early setback of Chris Baird’s own goal after three minutes.

We got off to the worst possible start with the own goal but I thought after that the team rallied well and we played some really good football in the first half. Birmingham were well organised and resolute, we were unable to break them down and I was concerned as the game went on the fatigue factor would set in more and more and we’d feel the repercussions from Thursday night more and more.

So I was truly delighted when first Damien scored his wonder goal and Bobby managed to get another wonder goal – that’s two fantastic strikes in one week – and win us the game. I thought we were good value for the victory, during the 90 minutes we had the better of the play and the more opportunities.

I’ve got great respect for Birmingham – they’re a very good football team and it was a great victory against them.


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2010, 07:59:59 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5528

Hodgson: ‘We had to dig deep’

by Dan on February 21, 2010

Roy Hodgson felt Fulham were good value for their late win over Birmingham this afternoon but admitted his side had to ‘dig deep’.

Fulham were well below their best in a disappointing first half and might have been more than a goal down at half time. The Whites were somewhat fortunate only to trail to Chris Baird’s early own goal. Hodgson’s team talk roused the home side and Damien Duff and Bobby Zamora scored the goals that earned the three points.

We got off to the worst possible start with the own goal aftrr three minutes. But to come in at half-time 1-0 down after the way we had played was harsh on the players.

I knew it was going to be tough in the second half, as we’d had a tough week and I was worried that we would not be able to keep it going. We were fortunate with the wonder strike from James McFadden that hit the underside of the crossbar but otherwise I thought we were really good value for our victory.

We had more shots, more opportunities and more of the play – we had to dig deep and score two great goals to win it, but we got there in the end.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2010, 08:01:29 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=5521

Zamora steals the points

by Dan on February 21, 2010



You can’t keep Bobby Zamora out of the headlines these days. Having secured Fulham a slender Europa League advantage with a stunning winner over Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday, he curled home an exquisite 90th minute free-kick to pinch a precious victory over an impressive Birmingham side this afternoon. His 15th goal of the season would have given a timely nudge to Fabio Capello with England’s next friendly against Egypt around the corner.

Alec McLeish’s team looked set to end a miserable run away from home after an own goal from Chris Baird gave them early lead. Birmingham had plenty of chances to increase their advantage with Baird blocking brilliantly from the recalled Keith Fahey and Sebastian Larsson, so often the scourge of Fulham in recent years, had a shot stopped at source by an otherwise off-colour Dickson Etuhu.

Perhaps jaded from their European exploits, Fulham failed to find their usual fluency and only really built up a head of steam in the second half. In a dreary first period, passes often went astray and the lively James McFadden was allowed to wander dangerously through a meek Fulham midfield too many times for comfort. Having coughed up such a disastrous goal after Birmingham began brightly, Roy Hodgson would have been to be delivering his team-talk with the deficit only at 1-0.

Blues looked to heading for the crucial safety mark of 40 when Baird, who has been outstanding all season either in midfield or his historically more challenging position of right back, sent an unstoppable header past Mark Schwarzer and into the top corner after Larsson had hooked a cross towards the back post following a mistake from Brede Hangeland. He was in the right place to stop a Fahey shot a couple of minutes later as things threatened to go from bad to worse for Fulham.

The Northern Ireland international immediately attempted to right his wrong by burrowing deep into the Birmingham half and teeing up Simon Davies but the Welshman’s shot was well gathered by Joe Hart. Down the other end, Damien Duff scampered to the byline and hung over a cross for Zoltan Gera to attack but the Hungarian couldn’t climb high enough to make a connection and then saw a shot blocked by Stephen Carr.

That prompted a spell of pressure for Fulham which saw Scott Dann halt a threatening Danny Murphy run and Simon Davies head straight at Hart after Gera had worked some space to send over a cross. Birmingham were still playing the neater football, with Lee Bowyer, who had settled the corresponding fixture at St. Andrew’s in November, to the fore. Larsson had a shot blocked and Cameron Jerome’s clever runs were posing problems for the Fulham defence. The striker had earlier almost made it 2-0 with a curling shot that drifted just wide.

Just as in midweek, Fulham emerged for the second half with much more attacking intent. A midfield that had been sitting far too deep now began to take the game to Birmingham. Zamora’s clever touches suddenly seemed to be that little bit more threatening, particularly when did brilliantly to create some space for himself with his back to goal 20 yards out, but a repeat of his Shakhtar blockbuster didn’t have the necessary power to beat Hart.

Jerome was still a real menace at the other end and made have done better than making a hash of a half chance, before Phil Dowd turned down a decent penalty shout against Dann for handball. The equaliser Fulham craved arrived on the hour mark with Duff demonstrating his quality in front of the Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni. The former Newcastle winger cut in from the right, worked a neat one-two with Gera, and then fired a shot past Hart with the aid of the far post.

Fulham then pressed for a second, but it was Birmingham who came closest to retaking the lead. McFadden weaved his way past two Fulham tacklers and was only denied a majestic winner by a fine save from Schwarzer, who turned his long-distance drive onto the crossbar. Even then, the ball bounced down onto the goalline and away to safety.

A frenzied, open finale looked destined to end in stalemate until Stephen Carr blocked off Zoltan Gera in a central position just outside the box. Zamora, who stroked home a free-kick from similar range against Burnley a couple of weeks ago, was always favourite to take it. Hart seemed to have read the script, positioning himself closer to his far post to cover the danger. But Zamora got enough height and bend to beat the on-loan goalkeeper’s despairing dive and take Fulham above Birmingham in the table. The watching Capello could have only been impressed.

FULHAM (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Baird, Shorey, Hughes, Hangeland; Etuhu, Murphy (Smalling 90), Duff, Davies (Riise 83); Gera; Zamora. Subs (not used): Zuberbuhler, Kelly, Greening, Okaka, Elm.

BOOKED: Duff.

GOALS: Duff (60), Zamora (90).

BIRMINGHAM CITY (4-4-2): Hart; Carr, Ridgewell, R. Johnson, Dann; Ferguson (Michel 90), Bowyer, Larsson (Gardner 68), Fahey; Jerome (Phillips 77), McFadden. Subs (not used): Taylor, Parnaby, Vignal, Benitez.

BOOKED: McFadden.

GOAL: Baird (o.g. 3)

REFEREE: Phil Dowd (Stoke on Trent)

ATTENDANCE: 21,758

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2010, 08:07:05 PM »
http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_5968047,00.html


McLeish backs costly Carr


Blues manager upset at manner of "terrible" defeat


By Danny Wright   Last updated: 21st February 2010   
 

Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish backed defender Stephen Carr to bounce back from his error that led to Fulham snatching a 2-1 win in Sunday's game at Craven Cottage.

Carr bundled over Zoltan Gera on the edge of the box in the last minute of the match, with Bobby Zamora on hand to curl home the dramatic winner that dashed the visitor's hopes of taking a deserved point.

The Blues had taken a third minute lead when Chris Baird headed into his own net, before Damien Duff levelled in the second period after his run and shot flew past Joe Hart.

James McFadden was denied by a tremendous finger-tip save from Mark Schwarzer, but Carr's clumsy challenge gave Fulham the chance to snatch all three points.

McLeish refused to criticise the 33-year-old right-back, but admitted he was disappointed to have last the game in such a fashion.

He told Sky Sports: "It's terrible to lose the way we did in the last minute with a free kick on the edge of your box - you're asking for trouble committing free-kicks there.

"Stevie Carr was fully committed and Stevie's cringing in the dressing room - he's upset, he's very disappointed.

"But you know he doesn't make many mistakes over the course of a whole season and I'm sure Stevie Carr will want to bounce back next week."


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2010, 08:09:32 PM »
http://fulham.theoffside.com/team-news/praise-for-our-defense.html

Praise for our defense


By: timmyg | February 21st, 2010

Both the commentators and those in the FUSA chatroom lauded Birmingham City’s defense. And they’re not wrong in doing that.

But how about some praise for our defense? Just look at the following chalkboard:




Barely a 50-percent completion rate, little presence outside the box and none inside — Alex McLeish will not be pleased.

Our passing proves what I wrote earlier about our offense as the passes form a giant ‘L’.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2010, 08:13:58 PM »
http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/brilliant-bobby-seals-fulham-comeback-match-review


Fulham 2 - 1 Birmingham


Bobby Zamora fired a dramatic late winner as Fulham came from behind to edge a scrappy Barclays Premier League clash 2-1 with Birmingham.

Watching England boss Fabio Capello had left before Zamora struck a magnificent free-kick in the 90th minute to claim his 15th goal in 32 starts, provoking chants of "Bobby for England" - but the Italian will have been impressed by his display.

Momentum has gathered behind calls for Zamora to be selected by England and today's strike will have improved his chances.

The Blues raced ahead in the third minute thanks to an inexplicable own goal from Chris Baird who, despite being under little pressure, headed home a Lee Bowyer cross.

It was a terrible blunder that will surely cause some sleepless nights but it was also harsh on Baird, who otherwise performed well despite being played out of position at right-back.

Fulham controlled much of the match but had to wait until the hour mark for their equaliser when Damien Duff powered home his ninth goal of the season.

Riled by two clumsy tackles moments earlier, the Republic of Ireland winger took revenge by dashing infield, combining with Zoltan Gera before driving home from the edge of the area.

With both clubs imbedded in mid-table and closing in on the critical 40-point mark, today's contest was about little more than having a say in who would get there first.

It looked like Birmingham would have that honour when Baird handed them the lead in the third minute with an embarrassing own goal.

Bowyer sent in a cross to the far post where Baird directed an unstoppable header past Schwarzer into his own net.

The Northern Ireland defender tried making amends by setting up a good chance for Simon Davies only for keeper Joe Hart to come to Birmingham's rescue.

Gera almost connected with a hanging cross from Duff and was then blocked by Stephen Carr as Fulham pressed for an equaliser.

Danny Murphy expertly weaved his way into the area but was brought to an abrupt stop by Scott Dann and shortly after Davies nodded a superb cross from Gera straight at Hart.

Birmingham were content to hit Fulham on the counter, a tactic that was yielding some success.

Sebastian Larsson had a shot blocked by Dickson Etuhu but more action was taking place at the other end with Zamora hurling himself at two crosses.

Davies failed to connect cleanly with a clever pass from Murphy, giving Hart time to react.

Zamora was applauded for a dazzling piece of skill that saw him expertly control the ball, which he then slipped between his legs before pirouetting away from Bowyer.

The former West Ham marksman fired a well-struck shot from long range but it just lacked the power to really trouble Hart.

Cameron Jerome scuffed a half-chance straight to Schwarzer and in the 57th minute Birmingham were lucky to escape a penalty after Dann clearly handled the ball.

But the equaliser eventually arrived in the 60th minute with Duff driving home a brilliant goal that came just moments after he had been hacked down twice by clumsy challenges.

He weaved his way infield and linked with Gera before taking the return pass and pulling the trigger on a shot that struck the left post and cannoned in.

Only the fingertips of Schwarzer prevented Birmingham from retaking the lead as the Fulham keeper tipped a blistering shot from James McFadden onto the underside of the crossbar with the ball then bouncing down and out.

The game was growing increasingly ragged with Zamora breaking free but taking the wrong option - before completing a dramatic finale.

Gera was felled by an outrageous bodycheck from Carr and Zamora thumped home the free-kick in the 90th minute to clinch victory.

Click here to vote Zamora or any other Fulham player for the PFA Fans' Player of the Month Award.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2010, 08:16:32 PM »
http://www.birminghamcity-mad.co.uk/rprt/mtch/fulham_2_birmingham_city_1_498668/index.shtml

Fulham 2 Birmingham City 1

by Footymad
 

Bobby Zamora again showed why he is being touted as a potential England World Cup player with the matchwinning goal in Fulham's 2-1 victory over Blues at Craven Cottage.

After his superb midweek winner against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League, Zamora produced another outstanding effort, his 15th goal of the season in all competitions, to consign the Blues to a third successive away league defeat.

Watched by England coach Fabio Capello, the forward worked hard throughout, but had to wait until stoppage time for his opportunity to shine.

With the sides locked at 1-1 Stephen Carr fouled Zoltan Gera on the edge of the Birmingham area and Zamora stepped up to plant a curling left-foot shot into the top left-hand corner, beyond Joe Hart's despairing dive.

The Cottagers' stirring finish was in stark contrast to the opening moments of the game, in which Birmingham went ahead with barely three minutes on the clock.

The Blues were quickest out of the blocks and when the ball broke to Lee Bowyer on the edge of the Fulham box, the midfielder's dinked cross to the edge of the six-yard area was met by Chris Baird, who in attempting to clear succeeded only in heading into the top right-hand corner of the goal.

Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was left rooted to the spot, while Baird could only shake his head in disbelief.

That goal ended the home side's run of clean sheets stretching back over five hours of Premier League football and Fulham struggled to regain parity for the rest of the first half.

Birmingham's midfield pairing of Barry Ferguson and Bowyer caught the eye, breaking up play and pressing Fulham's creative players, particularly Danny Murphy and Zoltan Gera, into mistakes.

After half-time, however, the home side began to find their rhythm. First Zamora hooked in a 25-yard half-volley on the turn which Hart saved comfortably.

Then Fulham had a penalty shout turned down when Gera's attempted flick appeared to strike Scott Dann on the arm.

Then in the 60th minute Fulham were level after a moment of quality from winger Damien Duff. The Irishman cut inside from the right wing, played a one-two with Gera and speared a drive low past Hart from the edge of the box.

Birmingham had an opportunity to go in front again ten minutes later, when James McFadden's drive from outside the box was touched on to the bar by Schwarzer.

But it was Zamora who was to have the final say, the home side leapfrogging Birmingham into ninth place in the table, having now lost just once in their last 11 matches at Craven Cottage.


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2010, 08:19:28 PM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/feb/21/fulham-birmingham-city-premier-league


Bobby Zamora's last-minute blast sees Fulham leapfrog Birmingham City


Fulham 2 Duff 59, Zamora 90 
Birmingham City 1 Baird (og) 3 

Paul Doyle at Craven Cottage guardian.co.uk,

Sunday 21 February 2010 17.24 GMT

Bobby Zamora scored a last-minute winner to give Fulham victory over Birmingham City at Craven Cottage. The visitors had taken the lead in the third minute when Chris Baird headed into his own goal, but Damien Duff fired a spectacular equaliser in the second half before Zamora secured maximum points for the home side with a curling free-kick from the edge of the area. The result sees Fulham overtake Birmingham on goal difference and up to ninth in the Premier League.

Fulham had lost only two of the nine league matches they have played following European ties this season but today they started if still jaded from their victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday night. James McFadden, revolving impishly around the Birmingham target man Cameron Jerome, forced a save from Mark Schwarzer in the first minute.

Fulham continued to doze and moments later Baird suffered his nightmare. McFadden collected a Jerome knock-down and fed it wide to Lee Bowyer, who clipped a cross towards the back post. Baird attempted to divert it wide but instead powered an unstoppable header into his own net.

Conceding a Premier League goal for the first time in more than five hours of Premier League action woke Fulham. Baird, in search of salvation, almost created an equaliser in the 10th minute when he chipped a pass over the Birmingham defence. Simon Davies surged from deep to meet it on the volley but Joe Hart, seeking to endear himself to the watching Fabio Capello, batted it away. Duff then sent a long-range shot just wide and Brede Hangeland headed over from a corner.

Birmingham defended with diligence and discipline, especially through the middle where Bowyer and Barry Ferguson formed a dynamic barrier in front of the centre-backs. On the wings Fulham did occasionally find gaps, especially down the right where Duff was dangerous, but Scott Dann and Roger Johnson constantly repelled the crosses.

Zamora's hopes of earning an improbable call-up from Capello were being thwarted and it was not difficult to see why Birmingham had gone into this game having dropped only four points from matches in which they had taken the lead this season, a record surpassed only by Manchester United.

As the first half progressed, Birmingham looked ever more comfortable despite being entrenched in their own half. A weak header by Davies and another Duff effort from distance were all Fulham could muster before the break. Neither offered Hart further opportunity to demonstrate his shot-stopping ability.

The goalkeeper was required in the 53rd minute, however, when Zamora loped on to a Davies through-ball and struck a crisp shot from 20 yards. Hart caught it comfortably. But five minutes later he was beaten by another player eager to impress his national team manager. With the Republic of Ireland's Giovanni Trapattoni sitting alongside Capello, Duff collected the ball on the right-hand side, swapped passes with Zoltan Gera and fired a ferocious shot past Hart from the edge of the area.

Fulham seemed in the ascendancy but Birmingham soon re-emerged as an attacking unit. Schwarzer saved from McFadden in the 65th minute but was beaten four minutes later and was relieved to see the Scotsman's drive bounce just in front of the goalline after cannoning down off the crossbar.

Fulham quickly regained control and were given the platform for their winner when Stephen Carr took down Gera at the edge of the box. Hart got a hand to Zamora's sweetly-struck shot but could not keep it out. Cue renewed cries of "Bobby for England" from the Craven Cottage faithful.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2010, 08:22:42 PM »
http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/match/1351043

Fulham v Birmingham City

 Match facts

Sunday 21 February 2010 15.00

  Score line 
Final score  Fulham  2 – 1
(HT 0 – 1)
  Birmingham City 
Duff 59
Zamora 90
  Baird (og) 3
 
Bookings Duff 63
  McFadden 66
 
 Fulham's Percentage Birmingham City's Percentage
Corners 3 75%  1 25% 
On target 6 54%  5 46% 
Fouls 10 37%  17 63% 
Offside 2 100%  0 0% 
Fulham Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Chris Baird, Nicky Shorey, Aaron Hughes, Zoltan Gera, Danny Murphy (Chris Smalling, 90), Damien Duff, Dickson Etuhu, Simon Davies (Bjorn Helge Riise, 83), Bobby Zamora 
Birmingham City Joe Hart, Stephen Carr, Liam Ridgewell, Roger Johnson, Scott Dann, Lee Bowyer, Sebastian Larsson (Craig Gardner, 68), Barry Ferguson (Miguel Marcos Michel, 90), Keith Fahey, Cameron Jerome (Kevin Phillips, 77), James McFadden 
Referee Dowd, P
Venue Craven Cottage
Attendance 21,758

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2010, 08:25:23 PM »
http://fulhampatsfan.blogspot.com/2010/02/bobby-zamora-does-it-again-fulham-win-2.html

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Bobby Zamora does it again! Fulham win 2 -1

Bobby Zamora does it again with a late goal in the 90th minute. He hit a screaming shot that went past Joe Hart in the top of the net. Fulham get a dramatic victory over Birmingham City 2 -1. With the win Fulham are now at 37 points. That is the same total that Birmingham City currently have as well.

The game today did not start off very well for Fulham. In the 3rd minute Chris Baird heads the ball into Fulham's net past Mark Schwarzer. Birmingham take an early lead of 1 - 0. To be honest this was the only pressure Mark Schwarzer was under in the first half. Obviously the early goal started the tempo in Birmingham's favor.

Shortly after the own goal by Baird, Fulham started to control the game with some nice passing. However a pattern was showing itself during the first half. The defense of Birmingham City was impressive. They kept moving Fulham back farther.

In the 17th minute Brede Hangeland headed a ball over the net off of a corner kick. Shortly after that try Damien Duff took a long strike again that goes over the net. There is no question that Fulham were controlling the play but they could not get past the defense of Birmingham City. There always seemed to be a blue shirt defending in passing lanes. Scott Dan and Stephen Carr did a very nice job defending.

Later in the half Zoltan Gera made a couple of nice moves. He flicked a ball right to Simon Davies who's header could not get past Joe Hart. Also, Gera had a good run that sent a pass to Bobby Zamora in the box. Unfortunately for Fulham, Zamora couldn't quite get to the pass. This was a frustrating half of football to watch. Even though Fulham had the majority of the ball they trailed 1 - 0 at the half.

The second half began with Fulham trailing 1 - 0. Fulham started to increase the pressure and had a few chances in the beginning of the second half. Bobby Zamora has a left footed strike in the 53rd minute that went right to the goalkeeper. In the 57 minute Damien Duff's cross is again handled by Joe Hart.

Duff would make up for the last opportunity. In the 59th minute Damien Duff scores a goal right off the inside post and the game is tied 1-1. At this point with the game tied the pace changed as both teams had a chance to win.

Birmingham City increased their pressure and started to control more of the ball. James McFadden in the 64th minute had a strike that went right to Schwarzer. His next chance almost put Birmingham City ahead. McFadden had a beautiful strike that hit the crossbar. Mark Schwarzer might have tipped the ball to save it.

The game looked like it would end in a tie. As mentioned prior off of a free kick Bobby Zamora gave Fulham the victory. This was a pretty even game. I came away impressed by Birmingham City. They were excellent on defense and were always around a Fulham attacker.
Fulham should be very happy with this win. No one should be happier than Chris Baird who gave up the own goal in the 3rd minute of the match. Bobby Zamora completely bailed him out. If I was the England Coach I would put Bobby Zamora on my squad. He is playing with tremendous confidence.

Now it is on to the Ukraine. I wonder if Shakhtar Donetsk's manager was watching this match? I would think he must have seen it. Fulham should come into this match with confidence after this late victory. It should be a great game Thursday night.

Posted by Fulham-Pats Fan at 10:49 AM 


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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2010, 08:47:24 PM »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/fulham/7285650/Fulham-2-Birmingham-1-match-report.html

Fulham 2 Birmingham 1: match report

Read a full match report of the Premier League game between Fulham and Birmingham from Craven Cottage on Sunday Feb 21, 2010.
 
By John Ley


Published: 5:10PM GMT 21 Feb 2010


Bobby Zamora gave England manager Fabio Capello something to consider when he earned Fulham three points with a spectacular last minute free kick.

Capello was at Craven Cottage to see Fulham to recover from an inauspicious start to claim a win after Damien Duff had cancelled out Chris Baird’s early own goal.

After James McFadden had seen Mark Schwarzer save an early effort, an innocuous cross from Lee Bowyer was headed beyond the Australian by team-mate Baird, with just two minutes and 11 seconds played.

It was the first goal Fulham had conceded in five hours and 19 minutes of Premier League action. Fulham responded soon afterwards when Baird when some to making amends for his early effort with a delightfully struck pass which fell invitingly to Simon Davies, whose volley was perfectly struck but met by an equally impressive save by Joe Hart, the Birmingham goalkeeper.

Birmingham, who went into the game with just two defeats in 16 previous Premier League games, went close to a second when Cameron Jerome’s right-foot volley flew only narrowly wide.

The game fluctuated from end to end; next to force an attempt was Fulham defender Brede Hangeland, from Davies’s corner, but the Norwegian’s effort was high.

And from another corner, Hangeland appeared to have his short pulled but referee Phil Dowd was adamant there was no infringement.

Damien Duff sent another attempt high as Fulham continued to dominate the first half. A Davies header, from Zoltan Gera’s pass, was held comfortably by the stretching Hart, before the interval, Bobby Zamora stretched to meet Gera’s cross but sent the ball wide.

The second half produced an early chance for Capello to gauge two potential England players, with Zamora testing Hart with a left-foot volley from 20 yards.

Birmingham survived another appeal for a penalty in the 57th minute when the ball hit Scott Dann on the arm, but again Dowd rejected appeals for a spot-kick.

And Fulham finally got the goal they deserved, just before the hour mark, and watching Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni will have been satisfied after witnessing Duff bringing his side back on level terms.

The Irishmen fed Gera, collected the return pass then dispatched a left foot drive that beat Hart off the inside of the left post.

McFadden was denied a winner for Birmingham when, in the 70th minute, his half volley was touched onto the cross bar by Schwarzer and bounced on the goal-line before being cleared.

And in the final minute, Stephen Carr blocked Gera’s run a yard outside the area, from where Zamora claimed his 15th goal of the season.

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Re: Monday Fulham Stuff (22.02.10)
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2010, 08:49:51 PM »
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/matches/season=2010/round=2000038/match=2000930/prematch/background/index.html

Fulham need to dig deep against Miners

Fulham FC may have won their opening round of 32 encounter with FC Shakhtar Donetsk, but the home side will hope to use their excellent home record to turn the tables in the return.
 
A thunderous strike from Bobby Zamora handed Fulham FC a 2-1 first-leg lead against FC Shakhtar Donetsk, but the 2008/09 UEFA Cup winners have the odds in their favour as the focus shifts to Ukraine.

• Zoltán Gera's third-minute opener caught Shakhtar cold in London, but they were on top by the time Luiz Adriano responded (32) only for Zamora's tremendous first-time effort (63) to give Fulham victory.

Previous meetings
• Shakhtar have now played five games against English opponents, and have the record W2 D1 L2. They have hosted Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC in previous European fixtures, winning both games without conceding a goal.

• The first leg was Fulham's first meeting with Ukrainian opposition, while this will be their first competitive game in Ukraine.

Match background
• This will be Fulham's 26th game since their European debut in the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup, and the second leg of their first post-Christmas UEFA club competition fixture.

• Fulham's record in 12 European away games is a healthy W5 D4 L3. They have never conceded more than two goals in a European fixture.

• Winners of the final edition of the UEFA Cup in May 2009, Shakhtar featured among the last 32 in four of the last five UEFA Cup campaigns, winning three ties (against FC Schalke 04 in 2004/05, AS Nancy-Lorraine in 2007/08 and Tottenham in 2008/09) and losing to LOSC Lille Métropole in 2005/06.

• Shakhtar are unbeaten in ten European home games since a 1-0 loss to Sporting Clube de Portugal in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage, recording eight wins and two draws.

Team facts
• The first leg was the first time that experienced Fulham manager Roy Hodgson had come up against Ukrainian opposition.

• Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu has now been involved in 12 games against English teams – one as a player, two as an international coach and nine more leading club sides. His record in those matches reads W2 D7 L3 (W2 D4 L0 as home coach).

• Both Hodgson and Lucescu are former FC Internazionale Milano coaches. Hodgson was in charge of the Nerazzurri from 1995 to 1997, Lucescu from 1998 to 1999. Hodgson's Inter side lost the 1996/97 UEFA Cup final on penalties to Schalke.

• Fulham defender Chris Smalling has agreed to join Manchester United FC in the summer.

• The winners in this tie will face the victors of the tie between AFC Ajax and Juventus in the round of 16 on 11 and 18 March, playing the second leg at home.

Penalties
• Shakhtar lost 4-1 in their only previous European penalty shoot-out at Club Brugge KV following a 2-2 aggregate draw in a 2002/03 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie.

• Fulham have never been involved in a European penalty shoot-out.

Fulham
Suspended: none
Misses next match if booked: Jonathan Greening
Players added to squad: Pascal Zuberbühler, Kagisho Dikgacoi, David Elm
Players removed from squad: Diomansy Kamara, David Stockdale, Andrew Johnson, Joe Anderson, Marcus Bettinelli, Neil Etheridge, Adam Watts

Shakhtar
Suspended: none
Misses next match if booked: Luiz Adriano, Răzvan Raţ, Darijo Srna
Players added to squad: Douglas, Ruslan Fomin, Artem Tetenko
Players removed from squad: Julius Aghahowa, Oleksiy Polyanskiy