The victory today by Fulham is historic for the club. Fulham beat Juventus 4 - 1 at Craven Cottage. More important though they go ahead on in the Europa League. Fulham move on with a 5 - 4 aggregate advantage over Juventus. When the game started I hoped for a 2- 0 score in Fulham's favor. I Never would have imagined how this game played out.
The game started off terribly for Fulham. In the 2nd minute the ball fell to David Trezeguet in a very dangerous area. He knocked it past Mark Schwarzer in the corner of the net. With the score now 1 - 0 in favor of Juventus, Fulham now had to score 3 goals just to force extra time. Fulham could have easily folded at this point. I am happy to say they came fighting back.
In the 8th minute a beautiful ball was played in by Paul Konchesky. The ball hit Bobby Zamora's chest, and he blasted it in the back of the net. Fulham were now tied in the match 1 - 1, but still needed 2 more goals just to send it to extra time.
Juventus were still trying to push forward. Diego had a nice blast that went right to Mark Schwarzer. Fulham were definitely creating their chances as well. In the 22nd minute a nice cross by Simon Davies just missed Zamora.
The match changed dramatically in the 26th minute. A foul by Fabio Cannavaro on Zoltan Gera led to a red card. It looked like there was some holding and maybe tripping on Zoltan Gera. Juventus were now down to 10 men.
Fulham now took advantage of the situation, and started to create several chances. In the 29th minute off of a free kick, Bobby Zamora had a beautiful strike that was just saved by Chimenti. In the 37th minute, a Simon Davies shot off of a free kick just hits the cross bar. In the 38th minute off of a corner kick, Dickson Etuhu's header bangs off the net. Fulham were creating the chances, but they needed to breakthough with another goal.
In the 39th minute, Paul Konchesky passed the ball to Bobby Zamora. He flicked it over to Simon Davies just next to the net. Davies then passed it on to Zoltan Gera who drove it into the net for a fantastic goal. This was some of the best passing I have seen Fulham perform in a long time. The score was now 2 - 1 Fulham at the half. They stil needed to score in the second half at least once to bring it to extra time.
The second half began with some controversy. In the 48th minute a cross by Damien Duff hit the arm of Diego inside the box. Fulham were awarded a penalty. Zoltan Gera then scored his second goal as he got it past the the goalkeeper. The score was now 3 - 1, and 4 - 4 on aggregate. Did deserve a penalty? I thought it could have gone either way. I have though seen calls go against Fulham so far in the Europa League with controversial red cards. It is part of the game and each team gets its calls.
Now, Fulham needed one more goal to move them ahead in the Europa League. If the game ended 3 - 1 we would be going to extra time. Fulham were again creating several chances in the second half. In the 70th minute a blast by Davies is saved by the goalkeeper. In the 75th minute a shot by Gera just sails high over the net. In the 77th minute a great cross by Simon Davies is headed by Clint Dempsey right to Chimenti. Fulham were putting the pressure on, but time was running out in the match.
Fulham were looking for that next goal to go ahead. In the 82nd minute they got that goal. Dickson Etuhu fed the ball into Clint Dempsey. He took a stab at the ball and chipped it up into the top corner for the goal. This was a tremendous goal. Fulham were now up 4 - 1 and 5 - 4 on aggregate. They needed to hang on for about 10 minutes longer. Zebina made it easier for Fulham when he caused a foul on Damien Duff. He was given a red card as well. Fulham hung on for the victory and move on in the Europa League.
This victory I am sure means more to Fulham and there fans than Juventus. They did it the hard way. They earned it. It took an incredible effort but they got it done. Fulham won 4 - 1 and ended ahead 5 - 4 on aggregate. They move on in the Europa League.