Fulham lost a heartbreaking game last night in the Final of the Europa League. Atletico Madrid became the Champions with a 2 - 1 victory. I have to give much credit to Atletico Madrid. They took advantage of the opportunities they created. They were the more attacking of the 2 clubs yesterday. However, Fulham hung in there and played hard to the very end of this match. I always look back at my "keys" to the match. Below is an analysis of "my 5 keys to victory for Fulham against Atletico Madrid."
1. Fulham need to feed the ball to Bobby Zamora early and often. There is no question that Bobby Zamora was not 100%. He was involved in Fulham scoring their only goal of the match. He was taken out early in the second half. Maybe a healthy Zamora would have made a difference? I give him credit with giving everything he had and playing yesterday. When Zamora went out it seemed Fulham were not the same club. He is just very important to the club.
2. Fulham need to test David De Gea in this match. Fulham certainly did not put enough pressure on the young goalkeeper. He did make a nice save on a Simon Davies shot. Fulham were not able to attack enough in this match.
3. Set Pieces will be very important tomorrow. Fulham, defending set pieces hung in there. They didn't give up a goal on a set piece so I guess you can say they did their job. When Fulham had set pieces they did not do enough with these opportunities. On one occasion, a free kick by Danny Murphy was blocked by the Atletico players. On corner kicks they also did not do enough to create an opportunity for a goal.
4. Fulham need to contain Diego Forlán and Sergio Aguero. Fulham were not able to contain these 2 players. They were the difference in the match in my opinion. Forlan scored both goals and Aguero assisted on them. They were dangerous the entire match.
5. Mark Schwarzer needs to be dominating tomorrow. Mark Schwarzer did his job yesterday. I don't think you can blame him for either goal.
I think the key with Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero was the biggest factor in this match. Fulham just could not contain these players.
I also just read this really good breakdown of the match that I wanted to share. It is on Zonalmarking.net. The title of the article is Atletico 2-1 Fulham: Forlan finishes leave Fulham forlorn. Please feel free to click on the link. It might be tough to read for Fulham fans, but I think the writer does a nice job of breaking down the game.
This was an incredible season and I am very proud of the Cottagers. I thougt last night the team played their hearts out. There is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I am already looking forward to next season.