Recent Videos

  • Fulham 1-1 Birmingham: Dempsey savior-header

    Premier League draw specialists Fulham ground out another point at Craven Cottage after a well contested 1-1 battle against Birmingham on Saturday 27/11/2010.
    Mark Hughes’ team have now drawn eight games in the league, which leaves them hovering above the relegation zone.

    Birmingham have a little breathing space in 14th, but only three points separate them and the bottom three.

    The Cottagers will feel they deserved to win the game after dominating proceedings, but they were caught on the break by the visitors in the first half, with Sebastian Larsson finishing a lethal counterattack.

    The home side lacked imagination in the final third and their search for an equaliser looked like a thankless task, until Clint Dempsey scored a crucial leveller in the second period.

    A first half full of endeavour, but low on quality, was dominated by Fulham. But for all their possession the home side created very little in the way of goal scoring chances.

    Their best opportunity arrived in the opening five minutes when Aaron Hughes turned a header from Brede Hangeland goalwards and had it not been for Larsson policing the back post, Hughes’ men would have been in front.

    The west Londoners’ leading marksman Dempsey also came close to give Fulham the lead. Some neat approach play from Diomansy Kamara set-up the American on the edge of the box, but after he did well to shift the ball onto his favoured right foot he would only bend a shot wide of Ben Foster’s goal. The England goalkeeper turned to stone as the ball swirled past his right hand post.

    Alex McLeish’s men were coiled, ready to spring an assault on the counterattack and it worked to great effective in the 20th minute.

    Up until this point a wayward shot from Lee Bowyer was all the Blues had offered going forward. Then the hosts conceded possession cheaply from an attacking throw-in and Birmingham broke at breakneck speed, with Alexander Hleb leading the charge.

    The ball followed the former Arsenal midfielder like an obedient dog being taken for a walk by his owner.

    The visiting defenders could only look on as he stroked the ball to Larsson arriving at the back post and he slotted the ball past Mark Schwarzer with a calm finish.

    McLeish’s troops looked comfortable as they remorselessly defended their territory. Boos of discontent rang around Craven Cottage at half-time as Fulham headed into the changing rooms a goal behind.

    Propelled by a half-time rocket from Hughes the hosts set about levelling the scores and they got their just rewards.

    Their goal characterised their play – bereft of finesse, but full for heart. A lofted corner from Simon Davies was headed back across goal by Zoltan Gera, where there was only going to be one winner.

    Dempsey leaped above his marker and powered a downward header past Ben Foster in the Birmingham goal.

    The Cottagers looked to capitalise on their momentum, but McLeish’s side were resolute and reduced Fulham to limited openings.

    A fierce drive from Dempsey was beaten out by Foster. The England goalkeeper then denied substitute Eddie Johnson with his legs.

    Sandwiched in between these two saves, the guests almost stole in front. A devilish corner from Larsson was met up the bulldozing run of Scott Dann's and he thumped a powerful header against the bar.

    It was at the other end where the defender excelled as he a Roger Johnson breathed defiance at the heart of the Birmingham defence to keep Fulham at bay and help earn the Midlanders a draw in west London.
    Ben Welch / Eurosport

    Team Line-up:

    Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hangeland, Hughes, Salcido, Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey, Gera, Kamara. Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Pantsil, Duff, Eddie Johnson, Dikgacoi, Greening.
    Birmingham: Foster, Carr, Johnson, Ridgewell, Dann, Larsson, Fahey, Bowyer, Ferguson, Hleb, Jerome. Subs: Doyle, Murphy, Phillips, Michel, Zigic, Parnaby, Beausejour.


Leave a Reply