Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...  (Read 6140 times)

Offline whitejc

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Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« on: August 05, 2011, 07:06:56 AM »
 
Fulham through to Europa League after indifferent performance against RNK Split

Fulham 2 RNK Split 0 Europa League third qualifying round second leg

An Andrew Johnson header and a Danny Murphy penalty were enough for Fulham to beat RNK Split in their Europa League qualifier at Craven Cottage.

Martin Jol complained about his club’s lack of pre-season fixtures in the pre-match press conference, but the opening of this match certainly felt like one.

With the visitors continuing their deep 5-3-2 they employed in the first game Fulham struggled to find gaps in their back line.

Damien Duff had two early opportunities to give his side the advantage first after two minutes when he fired wide from a quick free and a minute later when he fired wide when well placed.

Johnson was the home side’s most impressive player and he gave the home side the lead after 19 minutes when he met a Duff corner at the near post to glance home.

The striker almost created a second after 28 minutes when he worked hard to win the ball by the goal line plays back to Dempsey curls just over.

Split nearly equalised three minutes into the second half when Ante Vitaic struck a swerving free kick crept just wide.

Johnson burst through the RNK defence once again after 56 minutes and was brought down by Velimir Vidic.

Murphy stepped up and sent goalkeeper Adrija Vukovic the wrong way to put his side two goals up.

Goran Milovic had an excellent change to reduce the arrears after 62 minutes, but his header from a free kick deflected off the bar with Scwarzer stranded.

The visitors continued to create chances and Duje Cop turned well and tested the Fulham stopper with a decent effort after 71 minutes.

Substitute Romano Obilinovi forced another good save from Scwarzer with 15 minutes remaining.

Predrag Simic was the next Split player to test Schwarzer as his dipping shot in the last five minutes had to be tipped over the bar.

Pajtim Kasami was brought in with minutes left and almost extended the host’s lead with a dipping free kick which ended up just over the bar.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Hangeland, Riise, Johnson, Murphy, Senderos, Duff (Kasami 89), Hughes, Etuhu, Dempsey (Briggs 81), Zamora (Dembele 76). Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Baird, Kasami, Gecov, Briggs,

RNK Split: RNK: Vukovic, Budisa, Vidic, Simic, Vitaic (Rasic 76), Baraban (Obilinovic 61), Milovic, Erceg, Marcic, Krizanac, Cop (Jordan 83). Subs: Zagorac, Radnic, Rasic, Galovic, Barisisc

Attendance: 17.807



http://www.london24.com/sport/fulham/fulham_through_to_europa_league_after_indifferent_performance_against_rnk_split_1_985118?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2011, 07:08:05 AM »
 
Johnson too hot for RNK

Fulham 2 RNK Split 0 (Fulham win 2-0 on aggregate)

Andrew Johnson inspired Fulham to a victory that took them into the Europa League qualifying play-off stage.

Johnson scored their all-important first goal and won a second-half penalty, which Danny Murphy converted to see off an RNK Split side that caused the Whites plenty of problems in last week’s goalless first leg.

Fulham endured a nervy beginning to that encounter in Croatia, but this time were on top from the start and took only 18 minutes to score the opener.

It came when Johnson, who has been linked with a move to West Ham, met Damien Duff’s right-wing corner with a glancing header into the net.

Duff had gone close to scoring himself when he steered Murphy’s early free-kick wide of the near post.

Johnson’s tidy finish came as no surprise as it had seemed only a matter of time before Fulham found the target. And shortly after they did, Clint Dempsey almost marked his return with their second goal.

The American, making his first start of the campaign, weaved his way past two defenders on the edge of the penalty area before steering a right-footed effort narrowly wide.

But there was no escape for RNK 11 minutes into the second half, when Fulham were awarded a penalty after Johnson cut in from the right and was tripped by defender Velimir Vidic.

Murphy made no mistake from the spot, calmly sending goalkeeper Andrija Vukovic the wrong way to put Martin Jol’s men firmly in command.

Fulham then switched off at a set-piece, allowing Goran Milovic space to try his luck with a left-footed effort which struck the post.

That seemed to galvanise the visitors and Fulham were forced to withstand a spell of pressure.

Right-back Flip Marcic sprinted down the flank and picked out Duje Cop, whose first-time effort was comfortably saved by Mark Schwarzer.

Fulham’s keeper was tested again moments later and again did his job, scrambling to his right to keep out Romano Obilinovic’s shot.

Schwarzer produced his best save of the night with three minutes remaining, when he pushed away Predrag Simoc’s 25-yard curler.



http://www.westlondonsport.com/fulham/johnson-too-hot-for-rnk/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 07:12:40 AM »
 
Fulham 2 RNK Split 0 (agg 2-0): Johnson and Murphy secure safe passage into final qualifying round

Fulham's season is already in its second month, but Martin Jol's side ploughed on to the play-off round of Europa League qualification. Just 16 more games and they will reach the final in Bucharest in May.   

It's six competitive games down already for the west London club, who still face a two-legged tie on August 18 and 25 to reach the group stage.

Jol joked he would have preferred to take his players to Dubai rather than the Faroe Islands, Northern Ireland and Croatia, but the first 'must-win' match of his Craven Cottage career was negotiated with consummate ease.   
 

Head first: Fulham's Andrew Johnson scores the opening goal against RNK Split

An Andrew Johnson strike after 19 minutes settled any nerves and captain Danny Murphy completed the run-out with a 56th minute penalty. But we will wait and see whether this most unorthodox of pre-seasons has any impact on Fulham's Barclays Premier League campaign, which begins with the visit of Aston Villa on August 13. 
 
Jol said: 'I'm satisfied with the result because we are through to the next round but not happy with the preparation because we have only played on a Thursday and you can't just focus on these matches the whole time. We have to work on conditioning as well so it's not easy.   

'I would love to send my players to Dubai and stay here myself but it's impossible. No, I'm joking.   


Nice one: Andrew Johnson (centre) celebrates his superb header

'We could organise another game for next Tuesday but I think that's a bad idea. We have played six games now. Maybe it would be good to play eight or nine. 

'A few players haven't played much so that's a disadvantage. We tired a bit in the last half hour, but not a lot.'   
Fulham did flag a little as the match wore on but, by then, their progress was all but assured. This performance was a vast improvement on the stifling stalemate in Split a week ago. With Clint Dempsey back on the left and making little runs inside to allow the excellent John Arne Riise to attack on the overlap, Fulham looked a completely different side. 

The introductions of Moussa Dembele and new signing Pajtim Kasami, who narrowly missed the target with a 25-yard left-foot free-kick, provided further positives for the 2010 Europa League finalists. 
 
RNK Split's unusual 3-4-3 formation worked to perfection in the first leg, but Fulham's movement – albeit on a superior pitch – was too much for the Croatians this time around. Their wing-backs struggled to make the impact of a week ago and they lost their composure and discipline, particularly in the latter stages.   

Split manager Ivan Katalinic, a former Southampton goalkeeper, said: 'We lost it our ground. We should have scored then. Fulham were far better tonight – they were very dominant'.   

Johnson, who is attracting interest from West Ham, broke the deadlock, jumping above Velimir Vidic to head Damien Duff's corner in at the near post. The striker then turned creator, running down a stray ball and pulling it back to Dempsey, who danced his way round Predrag Simic before curling a right-foot shot wide.   

Jol said: 'I can't ask for more. If Johnson stays fit he is a great player for us. People will always talk (about transfers) because we have got good players.' 


Bobby on the beat: Zamora challenges Ante Vitaic of RNK Split

Vidic was culpable for the second goal in the 56th minute, too. Johnson pushed the ball past the defender and then, rather cannily, fell to the ground and invited referee Duarte Gomes to point to the spot. Murphy duly converted the penalty, his right-foot effort finding the bottom left-hand corner. 

Johnson thought he had scored a second after 59 minutes, but had played on after being flagged offside and was instead booked by Gomes. 

Split came perilously close to an equaliser in the 62nd minute, when Goran Milovic found the crossbar with the outside of his right boot after a Ante Vitaic free-kick, and again with five minutes to go when Simic's right-foot shot was tipped over the bar by Mark Schwarzer.   


Close encounter: Fulham's Aaron Hughes (left) takes on Duje Cop (right)

But Fulham were queuing up to increase their advantage, with Dickson Etuhu miskicking the ball at the edge of the box and Damien Duff firing wide after 72 minutes. 

The win leaves Fulham as one of 128 teams, including Birmingham City, Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur, still in with a chance to lift the Europa League trophy. The draw takes place at 12.30pm on Friday.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/08/04/article-2022536-0D4D120B00000578-57_634x419.jpg
Up for it: Igor Budisa of RNK Split clases with Fulham's Pajtim Kasami Right)


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2022536/Fulham-2-RNK-Split-0-agg-2-0--Andy-Johnson-Danny-Murphy-secure-safe-passage.html#ixzz1U8Fn20Gz


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2011, 07:14:11 AM »
 
Fulham battle past Split
Johnson and Murphy goals send Jol's men onwards

Fulham advanced to the Europa League play-off stage following a 2-0 success over RNK Split at Craven Cottage.

Martin Jol's side drew 0-0 in Croatia a week ago and scored a goal in each half in the return to join Premier League rivals Stoke City in progressing to the next round.

Striker Andrew Johnson set the Cottagers on their way to victory in the 19th minute and captain Danny Murphy put the seal on the win with a 57th minute penalty.

Goran Milovic, Ante Vitaic and Roman Oblinovic all came close to pulling one back for the visitors in the second period, although Fulham'sdefence remained resolute to the delight of the vast majority the 17,087 crowd.

After last week's first leg, Jol admitted that the Cottagers struggled to cope with the Croatian side's formation and especially use of wing-backs.

Split started with similar tactics again but Fulham began brightly and almost scored within two minutes when Murphy's low free-kick was met by Damien Duff.

Fulham's dominance of the opening exchanges continued as they searched for the opener, with the returning Clint Dempsey looking particularly dangerous.

It did not take long for the home side's pressure to pay dividend as Johnson lost his marker to head home Duff's inswinging corner in the 19th minute.

Disheartened

Split looked notably disheartened after falling behind and losing a couple of calls to Jol's side, who continued to pen the visitors in their own half.

The pressure almost forced a second goal as Johnson turned provider for Dempsey in the 28th minute.

The 30-year-old striker chased down a seemingly lost ball and cut back for the American, who jinked past a couple of defenders before curling a shot just wide from the edge of the box.

Fulham continued to press and Johnson saw an effort blocked a couple of minutes later, before Murphy burst through and unleashed a low shot that forced goalkeeper Andrija Vukovic into a good save.

After the break, Split looked rejuvenated and came close to equalising through Vitaic's stunning 30-yard free-kick, which dipped over the wall and just wide.

Ivan Katalinic's side continued to press forward in numbers in search of an all-important away goal but a rash challenge by Velimir Vidic seemingly ended the tie.

The Bosnian defender scythed down Johnson as he cut into the box and skipper Murphy tucked away the resulting penalty in the 57th minute.

Johnson thought he had extended the Cottagers' lead further a minute later after rounding keeper Vukovic to net - but the striker was adjudged offside and then received a yellow card for his remonstrations.

Dangerous
While Fulham looked dangerous on the attack, Split were still looking to net at the other end and Goran Milovic was unfortunate to see a close-range shot ricochet off the bar after connecting Ante Erceg's free-kick.

Shortly after Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer was forced to save low to his right after Oblinovic struck a 25-yard drive that threaten to bobble in.

Jol brought on Matthew Briggs and Moussa Dembele in a bid to freshen things up, but Predrag Simic soon found space to turn and launch a shot that Schwarzer did well to palm away.

Substitute Marko Jordan put a header wide in the closing stages, which was punctuated by bad challenges.

Fulham duo Murphy and Briggs received yellow cards in quick succession, before Split's Damir Rasic was handed the same punishment.

The game ended on a lighter note, though, as new boy Pajtim Kasami came close to netting on his home debut with a lovely curling free-kick, which arced just wide just a minute after coming on.



http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3430912,00.html?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2011, 07:15:17 AM »
 
Andrew Johnson and Danny Murphy put Fulham in Europa League play-offs
• Fulham 2 RNK Split 0
• Johnson 19, Murphy 56pen

Martin Jol said Andrew Johnson was beginning to show his class once more and brushed off speculation linking the striker with a £2m move to West Ham United.

The 30-year-old's header helped secure a 2-0 home win against RNK Split to put Fulham into the Europa League play-offs and his return to form is a welcome boost. "Sharp and in good form," Jol said. "He is a very good player, lively and can play the ball too. If he stays fit then he is a great player for us."

When asked about West Ham's interest, Jol said: "It's always the same, there's always interest in five or six players. People will always talk because we have got good players."

Johnson's header proved the only goal of a first half dominated by Fulham, leaving Danny Murphy to put the tie beyond doubt from the penalty spot in a challenging second half.

Clint Dempsey was given his first start of the season against the Croatian side and Mousa Dembélé began on the bench after recovering from a knee injury.

Fulham almost scored within 72 seconds when Murphy's low free-kick was met by Damien Duff, who fired just wide. The breakthrough came when Johnson lost his marker to head home Duff's inswinging corner in the 19th minute.

Shortly before the half-hour Dempsey jinked past a couple of defenders before curling a shot just wide from the edge of the box and Johnson then saw an effort blocked before Murphy burst through and unleased a low shot that forced Andrija Vukovic into a good save.

After the interval RNK looked rejuvenated and came close to equalising through Ante Vitaic's stunning 30-yard free-kick, which dipped over the wall and just wide. They continued to press until a rash challenge by Velimir Vidic stopped their momentum, the Bosnian defender bringing down Johnson as the striker cut into the box, allowing Murphy to tuck away a penalty. Johnson thought he had extended Fulham's lead a minute later after rounding Vukovic but he was adjudged offside and received a yellow card for his remonstrations.

Shortly after Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer was forced to save low to his right after Roman Oblinovic struck a 25-yard drive that threaten to bobble in.

Jol brought on Matthew Briggs and Dembélé but Predrag Simic soon found space to turn and launch a shot that Schwarzer did well to palm away.

The closing stages where punctuated by bad challenges. Murphy and Matthew Briggs received yellow cards in quick succession, before Split's Damir Rasic was handed the same punishment.

The game ended on a lighter note as Pajtim Kasami came close to netting on his home debut with a lovely curling free-kick, which arced just wide.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/aug/04/fulham-rnk-split-europa-league?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2011, 07:16:39 AM »
 
Andy Johnson fires Fulham past Split

ANDY Johnson scored one and made another as Fulham booked their place in the next round with victory over RNK Split.

The former England frontman scored his third goal in six Europa League games to give Martin Jol's men a first-half lead at Craven Cottage, before winning the penalty for Danny Murphy to wrap up victory after the break.

The hosts made the breakthrough on 18 minutes when Johnson rose highest in the box to glance home Damien Duff's corner.

Clint Dempsey – making his first start of the season – almost made it two just before the half-hour mark, but his effort wetn the wrong side of the post after a weaving run in the Split box, while Murphy forced a good save out of Andrija Vukovic.

The visitors were inches away from levelling the scores minutes after the intevral when Ante Vitaic's long-range free-kick flashed past the post.

But it was Fulham who were handed the chance to add to their lead when Johnson was upended in the box, with Murphy sending the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards.

AJ thought he had scored his second and the hosts' third moments later when he rounded Vuvkovic to score, only to get booked for kicking the ball away after the referee blew for offside.

Goran Milovic came within a lick of paint of halving Fulham's advantage when his effort came back off the bar, while Romano Obilinovic forced a save out of Mark Schwarzer.

But Fulham's defence stood firm as they ran out deserved winners.

FULHAM: Schwarzer, Hughes, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise, Duff (Kasami 89), Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey (Briggs 81), Johnson, Zamora (Dembele 76).

Subs (not used): Etheridge, Kelly, Baird, Gecov.



Read More http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/london-sport/fulham-fc/2011/08/04/andy-johnson-fires-fulham-past-split-64767-29180531/?#ixzz1U8HWXcPl


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2011, 07:18:04 AM »
 
Fulham 2-0 RNK Split: Cottagers ease into next round



Fulham made it through to the final round of qualifying for the group stage of the Europa League with a 2-0 win over Croatian outfit RNK Split.

The Cottagers drew 0-0 in the first leg of the tie in Croatia but it was far from a tight defensive performance at Craven Cottage for the reverse fixture.

Seconds into the match Damien Duff almost converted a Danny Murphy free-kick and after some good build up play the home side finally got an all important opening goal after 20 minutes.

It was Duff the provider this time as his corner was glanced home by Andrew Johnson to give Fulham lead.

Just after half-time Ante Vitaic’s free-kick went close for the Croatian side but the Cottagers were able to double their lead 10 minutes after the restart.

A clumsy challenge in the penalty area from Velimir Vidic gave captain Danny Murphy the chance to slot home from the spot, which he gladly took.

Andrew Johnson thought he’d made Fulham’s progression certain when he netted again but his effort was ruled out for offside.

Fulham now await Friday’s draw for the final qualifying round of the Europa League.



http://www.talksport.co.uk/sports-news/football/europa-league/9544/3/fulham-2-0-rnk-split-cottagers-ease-next-round?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2011, 07:19:33 AM »
 
Fulham Split RNK in two

Fulham 2 RNK Split 0

Fulham secured safe passage to the Europa League play-off stage this evening after overcoming plucky RNK Split at Craven Cottage.

The west Londoners endured a frustrating night in Croatia last week as they struggled to a goalless draw in the third qualifying round first leg but managed to see off the Reds on home soil.

Andrew Johnson’s header proved the only goal of a first half in which the hosts dominated, before skipper Danny Murphy put the tie beyond doubt from the spot in a challenging second half.

Goran Milovic, Ante Vitaic and Roman Oblinovic all came close to pulling one back for the visitors in the second period, although Fulham’s defence remained resolute to the delight of the vast majority the 17,087 crowd.

After last week’s first leg, Jol admitted that the Cottagers struggled to cope with the Croatian side’s formation and especially use of wing-backs.

Split started with similar tactics again but Fulham began brightly and almost scored within two minutes when Murphy’s low free-kick was met by Damien Duff.

Fulham’s dominance of the opening exchanges continued as they searched for the opener, with the returning Clint Dempsey looking particularly dangerous.

It did not take long for the home side’s pressure to pay dividend as Johnson lost his marker to head home Duff’s inswinging corner in the 19th minute.

Split looked notably disheartened after falling behind and losing a couple of calls to Jol’s side, who continued to pen the visitors in their own half.

The pressure almost forced a second goal as Johnson turned provider for Dempsey in the 28th minute.

The 30-year-old striker chased down a seemingly lost ball and cut back for the American, who jinked past a couple of defenders before curling a shot just wide from the edge of the box.

Fulham continued to press and Johnson saw an effort blocked a couple of minutes later, before Murphy burst through and unleashed a low shot that forced goalkeeper Andrija Vukovic into a good save.

After the break, Split looked rejuvenated and came close to equalising through Vitaic’s stunning 30-yard free-kick, which dipped over the wall and just wide.

Ivan Katalinic’s side continued to press forward in numbers in search of an all-important away goal but a rash challenge by Velimir Vidic seemingly ended the tie.

The Bosnian defender scythed down Johnson as he cut into the box and skipper Murphy tucked away the resulting penalty in the 57th minute.

Johnson thought he had extended the Cottagers’ further a minute later after rounding keeper Vukovic to net – but the striker was adjudged offside and then received a yellow card for his remonstrations.

While Fulham looked dangerous on the attack, Split were still looking to net at the other end and Goran Milovic was unfortunate to see a close-range shot ricochet off the bar after connecting Ante Erceg’s free-kick.

Shortly after Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer was forced to save low to his right after Oblinovic struck a 25-yard drive that threaten to bobble in.

Jol brought on Matthew Briggs and Mousa Dembele in a bid to freshen things up, but Predrag Simic soon found space to turn and launch a shot that Schwarzer did well to palm away.

Substitute Marko Jordan put a header wide in the closing stages, which was punctuated by bad challenges.

Fulham duo Murphy and Briggs received yellow cards in quick succession, before Split’s Damir Rasic was handed the same punishment.

The game ended on a lighter note, though, as newboy Pajtim Kasami came close to netting on his home debut with a lovely curling free-kick, which arced just wide just a minute after coming on.



http://www.eecho.ie/news/sport/fulham-split-rnk-in-two-515447.html?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2011, 07:21:40 AM »
 
Fulham 2 RNK Split 0; agg 2-0: match report
Read a full match report of the Europa League third round second-leg game between Fulham and RNK Split at Craven Cottage on Thursday Aug 4 2011.


Andy Johnson had put Fulham ahead in their second leg at Craven Cottage

Six matches down, 17 to go. Having begun their Europa League campaign back in June while the rest of the Premier League were still on holiday, Fulham now find themselves in the last 128 of this most arduous – and faintly ludicrous – of competitions. They will at least be joined by some rather more familiar names, including Tottenham Hotspur, in the draw today for what is the final play-off round before the group stages of the tournament finally start.

In beating opposition from the Faroe Islands and Northern Ireland in their previous two qualifying rounds, Fulham were only really required to turn up and go through the motions. Last night, against RNK Split, a performance of genuine competence was both required and produced.

A crowd of 17,807 also demonstrated that, after their appearance in the 2010 final, the Europa League is a competition that the Fulham supporters treat very seriously.

Having been under significant pressure during a goalless draw in Croatia last week, Fulham began last night in the knowledge that conceding an away goal could be terminal to their chances of progress. Yet there were only positive thoughts in manager Martin Jol’s team selection, with Bobby Zamora, who was forced to wear a protective cast in his fractured elbow, partnered in attack by Andy Johnson.

Injuries prevented this partnership from really flourishing last season, but there were clear signs last night that they will make an effective combination, particularly with Clint Dempsey and Damien Duff both cutting in from the wings.

It took just 19 minutes for Johnson to settle any nerves around Craven Cottage. Duff had delivered an in-swinging corner to the near-post and, with Split defender Velimir Vidic losing his concentration, Johnson darted into space and cleverly guided his glancing header past goalkeeper Andrija Vukovic.

Dempsey also curled a first-half shot narrowly wide then Danny Murphy forced a good save from Vukovic.

With Fulham dominant, the match was effectively finished in the 56th minute when Vidic, once again culpable, upended Johnson in the penalty area. Murphy duly sent Vukovic the wrong way with his spot-kick.

There was only one brief scare for Fulham when Goran Milovic volleyed against the underside of the crossbar, although the main blot on a satisfactory evening was three second-half bookings.

Johnson was unfortunate to receive a yellow card when he advertently continued playing after being ruled offside, but Murphy did then lose his discipline with a cynical tackle that was clearly meant as pay-back for a flurry of dangerous challenges from frustrated Split players.

With the rest of the Premier League now only just starting to think about playing competitive matches, Fulham will be a team to avoid in the opening month of the season. Come May, when they could theoretically be approaching 80 matches for the season, it might be a rather different story.



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/fulham/8681982/Fulham-2-RNK-Split-0-agg-2-0-match-report.html?


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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2011, 07:23:48 AM »
 
Fulham 2-0 RNK Split (Agg 2-0)


Fulham secured safe passage to the Europa League play-off stage after overcoming plucky RNK Split at Craven Cottage.

The west Londoners endured a frustrating night in Croatia last week as they struggled to a goalless draw in the third qualifying round first leg but managed to see off the Reds on home soil.

Andrew Johnson's header proved the only goal of a first half in which the hosts dominated, before skipper Danny Murphy put the tie beyond doubt from the spot in a challenging second half.

Goran Milovic, Ante Vitaic and Roman Oblinovic all came close to pulling one back for the visitors in the second period, although Fulham's defence remained resolute to the delight of the vast majority the 17,087 crowd.

After last week's first leg, Jol admitted that the Cottagers struggled to cope with the Croatian side's formation and especially use of wing-backs.

Split started with similar tactics again but Fulham began brightly and almost scored within two minutes when Murphy's low free-kick was met by Damien Duff.

Fulham's dominance of the opening exchanges continued as they searched for the opener, with the returning Clint Dempsey looking particularly dangerous.

It did not take long for the home side's pressure to pay dividend as Johnson lost his marker to head home Duff's inswinging corner in the 19th minute.

Split looked notably disheartened after falling behind and losing a couple of calls to Jol's side, who continued to pen the visitors in their own half.

The pressure almost forced a second goal as Johnson turned provider for Dempsey in the 28th minute.

The 30-year-old striker chased down a seemingly lost ball and cut back for the American, who jinked past a couple of defenders before curling a shot just wide from the edge of the box.

Fulham continued to press and Johnson saw an effort blocked a couple of minutes later, before Murphy burst through and unleashed a low shot that forced goalkeeper Andrija Vukovic into a good save.

After the break, Split looked rejuvenated and came close to equalising through Vitaic's stunning 30-yard free-kick, which dipped over the wall and just wide.

Ivan Katalinic's side continued to press forward in numbers in search of an all-important away goal but a rash challenge by Velimir Vidic seemingly ended the tie.

The Bosnian defender scythed down Johnson as he cut into the box and skipper Murphy tucked away the resulting penalty in the 57th minute.

Johnson thought he had extended the Cottagers' further a minute later after rounding keeper Vukovic to net - but the striker was adjudged offside and then received a yellow card for his remonstrations.

While Fulham looked dangerous on the attack, Split were still looking to net at the other end and Goran Milovic was unfortunate to see a close-range shot ricochet off the bar after connecting Ante Erceg's free-kick.

Shortly after Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer was forced to save low to his right after Oblinovic struck a 25-yard drive that threaten to bobble in.

Jol brought on Matthew Briggs and Mousa Dembele in a bid to freshen things up, but Predrag Simic soon found space to turn and launch a shot that Schwarzer did well to palm away.

Substitute Marko Jordan put a header wide in the closing stages, which was punctuated by bad challenges.

Fulham duo Murphy and Briggs received yellow cards in quick succession, before Split's Damir Rasic was handed the same punishment.

The game ended on a lighter note, though, as newboy Pajtim Kasami came close to netting on his home debut with a lovely curling free-kick, which arced just wide just a minute after coming on.



http://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2011/0804/fulham_rnksplit.html?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2011, 07:24:50 AM »
 
Fulham 2-0 RNK Split

Well who knows? Did we do well to see off a lively side, or struggle to beat an average one?

Without really working the RNK keeper, Fulham were in the ascendency early on. The returning Clint Dempsey looked quite sprightly, and was combining nicely with John Arne Riise on the left. Zamora and Johnson were buzzing around. It always felt as if perhaps something was about to happen.

When the breakthrough came, it was in a surprising way. A right wing corner from Damien Duff was headed home by Johnson at the near post. Strange, but another goal for the man of the moment. We fans may not quite know what to make of him, but all Johnson can do is play well and score goals, and that he’s certainly doing at the moment. It could very well be that with a full pre-season and a clean bill of health we’ll see the Andy Johnson we all want. Or he might be sold to West Ham. But the latter looks unlikely given current form.

The football was sometimes really good. One move towards the end of the half was almost Brazil 1970 in style and execution, except the final pass to the inside channel found Damien Duff not Jairzinho, and Duff had men on him so had to check back. Shame, could’ve been special.  We also saw Brede Hangeland charge off on a moses run in which everything before him parted to facilitate his progress, but that didn’t come to anything either.

Second half was a bit hairy at times, as RNK went for it a bit more. Fulham scored again when Johnson (that man!) won a penalty and Danny Murphy did his thing and made it two. Then RNK really had a go, hitting the bar at one point, scorching a free-kick just wide, and not quite getting the right connection on a couple of good opportunities, allowing Schwarzer to save.  Fulham will say that they were comfortable, but it didn’t really feel that way.

Not much to take away then. Hughes at right back is perhaps worthy of discussion – does Jol want to get his four best defenders on the field, even if it means splitting up a great partnership? Everything else seems fairly set, although we don’t yet know who’ll play with Murphy when everyone’s available.

On we go.



http://cravencottagenewsround.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/fulham-2-0-rnk-split/?

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2011, 07:26:09 AM »
 
Cottagers move into Europa play-off stage

Fulham secured safe passage to the Europa League play-off stage after overcoming plucky RNK Split 2-0 at Craven Cottage.

The west Londoners endured a frustrating night in Croatia last week as they struggled to a goalless draw in the third qualifying round first leg but managed to see off the Reds on home soil.

Andrew Johnson's header proved the only goal of a first half in which the hosts dominated, before skipper Danny Murphy put the tie beyond doubt from the spot in a challenging second half.

Goran Milovic, Ante Vitaic and Roman Oblinovic all came close to pulling one back for the visitors in the second period, although Fulham's defence remained resolute to the delight of the vast majority the 17,087 crowd.

After last week's first leg, Jol admitted that the Cottagers struggled to cope with the Croatian side's formation and especially use of wing-backs.

Split started with similar tactics again but Fulham began brightly and almost scored within two minutes when Murphy's low free-kick was met by Damien Duff.

Fulham's dominance of the opening exchanges continued as they searched for the opener, with the returning Clint Dempsey looking particularly dangerous.

It did not take long for the home side's pressure to pay dividend as Johnson lost his marker to head home Duff's inswinging corner in the 19th minute.

Split looked notably disheartened after falling behind and losing a couple of calls to Jol's side, who continued to pen the visitors in their own half.

The pressure almost forced a second goal as Johnson turned provider for Dempsey in the 28th minute.

The 30-year-old striker chased down a seemingly lost ball and cut back for the American, who jinked past a couple of defenders before curling a shot just wide from the edge of the box.

Fulham continued to press and Johnson saw an effort blocked a couple of minutes later, before Murphy burst through and unleashed a low shot that forced goalkeeper Andrija Vukovic into a good save.

After the break, Split looked rejuvenated and came close to equalising through Vitaic's stunning 30-yard free-kick, which dipped over the wall and just wide.

Ivan Katalinic's side continued to press forward in numbers in search of an all-important away goal but a rash challenge by Velimir Vidic seemingly ended the tie.

The Bosnian defender scythed down Johnson as he cut into the box and skipper Murphy tucked away the resulting penalty in the 57th minute.

Johnson thought he had extended the Cottagers' further a minute later after rounding keeper Vukovic to net - but the striker was adjudged offside and then received a yellow card for his remonstrations.

While Fulham looked dangerous on the attack, Split were still looking to net at the other end and Goran Milovic was unfortunate to see a close-range shot ricochet off the bar after connecting Ante Erceg's free-kick.

Shortly after Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer was forced to save low to his right after Oblinovic struck a 25-yard drive that threaten to bobble in.

Jol brought on Matthew Briggs and Mousa Dembele in a bid to freshen things up, but Predrag Simic soon found space to turn and launch a shot that Schwarzer did well to palm away.

Substitute Marko Jordan put a header wide in the closing stages, which was punctuated by bad challenges.

Fulham duo Murphy and Briggs received yellow cards in quick succession, before Split's Damir Rasic was handed the same punishment.

The game ended on a lighter note, though, as newboy Pajtim Kasami came close to netting on his home debut with a lovely curling free-kick, which arced just wide just a minute after coming on.



http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report/_/id/326682?&cc=5739


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2011, 07:28:49 AM »
 
Fulham, Thun secure play-off progression


Stoke City and Fulham marched into the UEFA Europa League play-offs, where they were joined by Hearts who brought some relief to Scottish football after Rangers' disappointing midweek UEFA Champions League exit.

Ryan Shotton scored Stoke's only goal in injury time to beat Hajduk Split 1-0 for a 2-0 aggregate win over the Croatian side. Stoke had already marked their first European tie in 37 years last week with a 1-0 win at the Britannia Stadium in the first leg.

Fulham, the 2010 runners-up, saw off RNK Split of Croatia 2-0 at Craven Cottage after a 0-0 stalemate in the first leg. Andrew Johnson's header was the only goal of the first half before captain Danny Murphy added the second from the penalty spot after the interval.

New Hearts manager Paulo Sergio, who replaced Jim Jefferies two days ago, oversaw a 4-1 win over Hungary's Paks at Tynecastle for a 5-2 aggregate. Ryan Stevenson scored twice in 12 minutes before Andrew Driver added the third after 50 minutes with Rudi Skacel putting away the fourth.

Elsewhere, Italy's Palermo drew 1-1 at Swiss side Thun, but went out on the away goals rule after last week's 2-2 draw. Pablo Gonzalez gave the Italians a 49th minute lead, but Dario Lezcano levelled 15 minutes later to put the Swiss through to the play-offs. The draw for the play-offs will take place on Friday at UEFA headquarters in Nyon.

Atletico Madrid, the Europa League champions in 2010, took a 2-1 lead to Norway's Stromsgodset and secured a 2-0 second-leg win with Adrian Lopez and Jose Antonio Reyes both on target.

In Romania, Jordanian-born Taher Bawab scored for the second successive leg as his Gaz Metan Medias side drew 1-1 with Germany's Mainz before he scored again in the penalty shoot-out after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate.



http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=1486865.html?cid=rssfeed&att=

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2011, 07:30:27 AM »
 
Jol boosted by Johnson's form
Martin Jol believes Andrew Johnson is beginning to show his true class once more after seeing him score in Fulham's 2-0 win over RNK Split.



The 30-year-old missed large chunks of the previous two campaigns with injuries and netted just three goals for the club last season.

Johnson has already equalled that tally this season, scoring against NSI Runavik, Crusaders and on Thursday night against RNK Split in the Europa League third qualifying round.

The ex-Everton man's header helped secure a 2-0 win on the night and on aggregate, and Fulham's progression to Friday's play-off round draw, and Jol admits his return to form is a welcome boost.

"Sharp and in good form - that is the way I always saw him when I was working in England," he said after the match.

"He is a very good player, lively and he can play the ball too.

"He can also do something in an individual way like he did with (winning) the penalty kick so I can't ask for more.

"If he stays fit then he is a great player for us."

Reports emanated on Thursday that West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was lining up a £2million bid for the striker, whose contract runs out at the end of the season.

When asked about the Hammers' interest, Jol retorted: "It's always the same, there's always interest in five or six players.

"Maybe you don't know about that but now you do you start talking about it.

"People will always talk because we have got good players."

Johnson's first-half effort set the west Londoners' on their way to victory in their third round qualifier at Craven Cottage.

Fulham endured a frustrating night in Croatia last week as they struggled to a goalless draw against Split, but they managed to see off the Reds on home soil.

Johnson's header proved the only goal of a first half in which the west Londoners dominated, before skipper Danny Murphy put the tie beyond doubt from the spot in a challenging second half.

Fulham will find out their next opponents in Friday afternoon's draw and Jol will now prepare his troops for the opening match of the Barclays Premier League a week on Saturday.

Aston Villa are the opponents and the Dutchman admits preparations have been far from ideal due to their Europa League commitments.

"We could organise another game for next Tuesday but I think that's a bad idea," he added.

"We have played six games now. Maybe you would prefer to play eight or nine games in the pre-season as some other players didn't play a lot so that is probably a disadvantage, but I am satisfied with the results because we got through to the next round.

"But I cannot be satisfied with the preparation because we only played on a Thursday and you can't just focus on these matches the whole time.

"You have to work on conditioning as well so it's not easy."



http://www.football365.com/news/21554/7081072/?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2011, 07:32:12 AM »
 
American Dempsey, Fulham advance in Europa League

American Clint Dempsey made his 2011-12 debut with Fulham on Thursday, helping the Cottagers to a 2-0 win over visiting RNK Split in a UEFA Europa League qualifier. Dempsey played 81 minutes and nearly scored in the 27th, evading two defenders at the top of the penalty area before sending his shot just wide of the right post.

But goals from Andy Johnson and Danny Murphy were enough to lift the London club to the victory and a 2-0 aggregate win.

Fulham will enter Friday’s draw for the competition’s final qualifying round. It’s already 4-0-2 in the tournament and now is two games away from the group stage. Dempsey, who was allowed to rest following the CONCACAF Gold Cup, and Fulham will begin the English Premier League season Aug. 13 vs. Aston Villa.



Read more: http://aol.sportingnews.com/soccer/story/2011-08-04/american-dempsey-fulham-advance-in-europa-league?#ixzz1U8LNgCHa


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2011, 07:33:04 AM »
 
One Step Closer

Fulham moved another step closer to the Group Stage of the UEFA Europa League tonight with a performance that was praised by Bobby Zamora.

After a testing first leg in Croatia last week, the Whites saw off RNK Split following a comfortable 2-0 win.

"We did well tonight, it was a good win for us," Zamora told fulhamfc.com. "There were a few chances at either end, but fortunately we made ours count.

"AJ played really well tonight and took his goal well, as did Danny from the spot. Perhaps we could have had a few more, but we have to be happy with the performance."

Fulham now enter tomorrow's Play-Off draw, and now stand just two games away from qualifying for the UEFA Europa League Group Stage.

"We've put ourselves into the draw for the next round and we have a chance," he said. "We'll take one game at a time and see where that takes us.

"There's some decent teams in this competition so we'll see who we get."



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2011/August/ZamoraRNKHomeReaction.aspx?#ixzz1U8Lg5BdN

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2011, 07:35:25 AM »
 
Jol praises Johnson show
Fulham boss dismisses talk of West Ham move for striker


Johnson: Heads Fulham in front against Split and talk of a move to West Ham has been dismissed

Martin Jol brushed off speculation linking Andrew Johnson with a move to West Ham United after praising the Fulham striker's performance against RNK Split.

Fulham put their name in the hat for the Europa League play-off draw on Friday courtesy of a 2-0 home success over Split, with Johnson's header setting the Cottagers on their way.

The 30-year-old missed large chunks of the previous two campaigns with injuries and netted just three goals for the club last season.

Johnson has already equalled that tally this season during Fulham's European run and Jol admits his return to form is a welcome boost.

Great player

"Sharp and in good form - that is the way I always saw him when I was working in England," said Jol.

"He is a very good player, lively and he can play the ball too.

"He can also do something in an individual way like he did with (winning) the penalty kick so I can't ask for more. If he stays fit then he is a great player for us."

Reports emanated on Thursday that West Ham manager Sam Allardyce was lining up a £2million bid for the striker, whose contract runs out at the end of the season.

When asked about the Hammers' interest, Jol retorted: "It's always the same, there's always interest in five or six players.

"Maybe you don't know about that but now you do you start talking about it. People will always talk because we have got good players."

Disadvantage

Jol will now prepare his troops for the opening match of the Premier League season against Aston Villa a week on Saturday but admits preparations have been far from ideal due to their Europa League commitments.

"We could organise another game for next Tuesday but I think that's a bad idea," he added.

"We have played six games now. Maybe you would prefer to play eight or nine games in the pre-season as some other players didn't play a lot so that is probably a disadvantage, but I am satisfied with the results because we got through to the next round.

"But I cannot be satisfied with the preparation because we only played on a Thursday and you can't just focus on these matches the whole time.

"You have to work on conditioning as well so it's not easy."



http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12876_7081088,00.html?

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2011, 07:36:32 AM »
 
Jol's Verdict

Fulham ensured their place in the draw for the Play-Off stage of the UEFA Europa League with a 2-0 win over RNK Split on Thursday evening.

Striker Andrew Johnson was in inspired form, netted Fulham’s opening goal in the first-half then winning a penalty after the interval, which Danny Murphy converted.

Speaking after the match, Manager Martin Jol was pleased to see Johnson back to his best.

"Sharp and in good form - that is the way I always saw him when I was working in England," said the Fulham Manager.

"He is a very good player, lively and he can play the ball too.

"He can also do something in an individual way like he did with the penalty kick so I can't ask for more. If he stays fit then he is a great player for us."

The Barclays Premier League season kicks-off next weekend and with Fulham’s pre-season consisting almost entirely of UEFA Europa League qualification matches, Jol assessed the pre-season period.

"We have played six games now,” he said. "Maybe you would prefer to play eight or nine games in the pre-season as some other players didn't play a lot so that is probably a disadvantage, but I am satisfied with the results because we got through to the next round.

"But I cannot be satisfied with the preparation because we only played on a Thursday and you can't just focus on these matches the whole time. You have to work on conditioning as well so it's not easy."



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2011/August/JolSplitReaction.aspx?#ixzz1U8MZ2A6o


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2011, 07:37:31 AM »
 
A step closer

Fulham have moved a step closer to a place in this seasons Europa League with a 2-0 aggregate win over RNK Split in the 3rd round qualifying.

After a 0-0 draw in Croatia a week ago a goal in each half was enough to secure the 2-0 win at Craven Cottage, to get that 2-0 aggregate win and put the club into the play-off stage.

A nervy night was made less so with Andy Johnson (19) opening the scoring around midway through the 1st half, heading home a Damien Duff corner.

The visitors had chances, then again so did Fulham with the victory secured when Danny Murphy (57) slotted home a second half penalty.



Read more: http://www.fulham.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=249641#ixzz1U8MmzzHt

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/08/11)...
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2011, 07:39:28 AM »
 
Cottagers move into Europa play-off stage

Fulham secured safe passage to the Europa League play-off stage after overcoming plucky RNK Split 2-0 at Craven Cottage.

The west Londoners endured a frustrating night in Croatia last week as they struggled to a goalless draw in the third qualifying round first leg but managed to see off the Reds on home soil.

Andrew Johnson's header proved the only goal of a first half in which the hosts dominated, before skipper Danny Murphy put the tie beyond doubt from the spot in a challenging second half.

Goran Milovic, Ante Vitaic and Roman Oblinovic all came close to pulling one back for the visitors in the second period, although Fulham's defence remained resolute to the delight of the vast majority the 17,087 crowd.

After last week's first leg, Jol admitted that the Cottagers struggled to cope with the Croatian side's formation and especially use of wing-backs.

Split started with similar tactics again but Fulham began brightly and almost scored within two minutes when Murphy's low free-kick was met by Damien Duff.

Fulham's dominance of the opening exchanges continued as they searched for the opener, with the returning Clint Dempsey looking particularly dangerous.

It did not take long for the home side's pressure to pay dividend as Johnson lost his marker to head home Duff's inswinging corner in the 19th minute.

Split looked notably disheartened after falling behind and losing a couple of calls to Jol's side, who continued to pen the visitors in their own half.

The pressure almost forced a second goal as Johnson turned provider for Dempsey in the 28th minute.

The 30-year-old striker chased down a seemingly lost ball and cut back for the American, who jinked past a couple of defenders before curling a shot just wide from the edge of the box.

Fulham continued to press and Johnson saw an effort blocked a couple of minutes later, before Murphy burst through and unleashed a low shot that forced goalkeeper Andrija Vukovic into a good save.

After the break, Split looked rejuvenated and came close to equalising through Vitaic's stunning 30-yard free-kick, which dipped over the wall and just wide.

Ivan Katalinic's side continued to press forward in numbers in search of an all-important away goal but a rash challenge by Velimir Vidic seemingly ended the tie.

The Bosnian defender scythed down Johnson as he cut into the box and skipper Murphy tucked away the resulting penalty in the 57th minute.

Johnson thought he had extended the Cottagers' further a minute later after rounding keeper Vukovic to net - but the striker was adjudged offside and then received a yellow card for his remonstrations.

While Fulham looked dangerous on the attack, Split were still looking to net at the other end and Goran Milovic was unfortunate to see a close-range shot ricochet off the bar after connecting Ante Erceg's free-kick.

Shortly after Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer was forced to save low to his right after Oblinovic struck a 25-yard drive that threaten to bobble in.

Jol brought on Matthew Briggs and Mousa Dembele in a bid to freshen things up, but Predrag Simic soon found space to turn and launch a shot that Schwarzer did well to palm away.

Substitute Marko Jordan put a header wide in the closing stages, which was punctuated by bad challenges.

Fulham duo Murphy and Briggs received yellow cards in quick succession, before Split's Damir Rasic was handed the same punishment.

The game ended on a lighter note, though, as newboy Pajtim Kasami came close to netting on his home debut with a lovely curling free-kick, which arced just wide just a minute after coming on.



http://soccernet.espn.go.com/report/_/id/326682?cc=5739