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Page last updated at 22:15 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Europa League as it happened



To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Jonathan Stevenson

2214: Thanks for your company tonight, it's hugely appreciated. I expect to see you all again in a few short hours, when we start the build-up to the World Cup draw in South Africa. The live text kicks off at 1200 GMT - one more sleep to go. Night.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson: "We made a lot of changes, so it wasn't easy for the guys coming off the bench to get into the game. In the first half we played really well and should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up, but of course they came back into it and had a go."

From CFCCallum on 606: "I wish every club wished their fans a safe journey home and to keep warm... I thought that was lovely."

From Sean, Glasgow, via text on 81111: "God Stevo, I near had a heart attack! Typos can kill - thought my treble was dead."

Fulham scorer Zoltan Gera: "The second half was very difficult, but we started the game really well and should have taken two or three chances. They came out and attacked and we had to defend really well. We definitely want to go through."

2158: It was never 1-1, of course, the keyboard was just playing tricks on me. Still, at least some readers aren't suggesting I should be sacked. I mean, that would be ridiculous...

2156: Full-time Fulham 1-0 CSKA Sofia
Panic over Fulham fans, you are still very much in the Europa League mixer. It didn't turn into the quality match we might have hoped, but Zoltan Gera's goal ensures it is job done for the Cottagers.

2155: Of course it's Fulham 1-0 CSKA. Typos...

2154: Fulham are keeping the ball in the CSKA half, exactly where they want it.

2153: Into injury time at Fulham and we'll have three minutes of the stuff. It remains Fulham 1-0 CSKA Sofia.

2151: It's a little nervy around Craven Cottage right now. After what happened at home against Roma, you can hardly blame them.

2149: Another chance for the Sofia team as Todor Yanchev gets his head on a cross from the right, but it's a touch too high and he can only direct it over. Lubo Penev, who has had quite a day, is going through all sorts of emotions on the touchline.

From Paul, London, via text on 81111: "Just clicked on the link (at 2133) to remind myself of the great day and had to laugh at the comment by Jimthor at 0054."

2146: They've shaken off the jet-lag and are firing on all cylinders now, the Bulgarians. Spas Delev nips inside from the left and unleashes a fine right-foot shot that flies just a few inches over Mark Schwarzer's crossbar. They could be level.

2144: Unbelievable stuff as CSKA go perilously close to levelling. Fulham fail to clear a corner properly and it falls to Kosta Yanev 20 yards out - his low right-foot drive is heading in, but Damien Duff knees it off the line. A second before, CSKA wanted a penalty for handball. They might have had a case, too.

2143: Ten minutes left at Craven Cottage where it's Fulham 1-0 CSKA Sofia. A win very much keeps Fulham's Uefa Europa League last 32 hopes alive.

2141: Yordan Minev has suffered a knock but the Bulgarians have made three changes, so he'll have to hobble away for the rest of the night. Damien Duff comes on for Danny Murphy, who has done well to last 78 minutes on his return.

2138: Damien Duff is getting ready to come on.

2137: CSKA have a corner and Kostadin Stoyanov has a free header, but he can only bullet wide from eight yards. Really should have done better.

2135: Yordan Todorov comes off and Rui Miguel is on for the Bulgarians. They are running out of time.

2133: Clint Dempsey comes on for the injured Simon Davies for Fulham. Roy Hodgson will be hoping it's nothing too serious for the Welshman. Twenty minutes left, it's Fulham 1-0 CSKA Sofia.

From Parish1987 on 606: "Stevo, do you promise tomorrow's live text will be as exciting as Transfer Deadline Day 2008?"
Haha, I love you lot sometimes (all the time). No, but if I linked to that very special day, would it make you happy?

2129: Bobby Zamora playa a terrifically dangerous ball across the 18-yard box where Zoltan Gera is lurking, but a CSKA defender gets in a vital interception. The resulting corner comes to nothing.

2127: Simon Davies needs a bit of treatment and the game has stopped for a little while.

2125: Bjorn Helge Riise is a confident young lad, but he doesn't hit a ball quite like big brother yet as he spanks one miles over from 30 yards. CSKA make a change, with Ivan Ivanov being taken off and Kosta Yanev on in his place.

From Rob, London, via text on 81111: "Is it just me or has Bobby Zamora suddenly turned into Pele?"

2122: Roma are now beating Basle in Group E's other game, with Mirko Vucinic putting the hosts 2-1 up.

2121: The Fulham fans have raised the volume in a bid to spur their team on. But it's CSKA who have a great chance as Yordan Minev crosses from the right and Spas Delev controls and fires a couple of yards wide from inside the box.

2119: England have a lot of Bobby Zamora-type strikers at the moment, don't they? Kevin Davies, Emile Heskey, Carlton Cole... meanwhile at Craven Cottage, Fulham lose possession and Todor Yanchev races through, but Stephen Kelly gets in a last-ditch block and the danger is averted.

2117: ... CSKA make a change, with Todor Timonov going off and the astonishingly-named Brazilian Michel Platini coming on in his place. I love football.

From iaincannell on Twitter: "I can honestly say I've not looked forward to a live text more than the World Cup draw one tomorrow."
Me neither. Talking of which...

2114: They do play some lovely stuff, Fulham, when they are on song. Full of lovely touches, one-twos, neat little lay-offs - Roy Hodgson really has worked a miracle since he arrived at the Cottage.

2112: Bobby Zamora is a finisher away from being an absolutely magnificent footballer. His glorious lay-off to Zoltan Gera enables the Hungarian to roll the ball into his path, but Zamora smashes his right-foot shot wide from 15 yards.

2110: Good tempo to Fulham at the start of the second half as they look for the second goal that will kill the game.

2108: We're back under way at Craven Cottage, where it's Fulham 1-0 CSKA Sofia. Brilliantly, the Bulgarian club's manager Lubo Penev is now in the ground and in the dugout having made his way to England very, very late doors (see 1947). Fulham have brought on Aaron Hughes for Brede Hangeland.

From newbulgaria on 606: "CSKA are a team who would struggle to get out of League Two. They are one of the worst teams that are about to go out of the Europa League and any decent team would slaughter them without a problem."

2103: Worth mentioning that our live text coverage of the draw for the World Cup finals starts tomorrow at 1200 GMT. Yes, we know the *actual* draw doesn't get under way for another six hours, or thereabouts. But we get to chat about football and watch highlights of past World Cup tournaments, so there isn't much to complain about. See you at high noon.

From Nigel, via text on 81111: "Fulham need to be careful not to upset the ref in these European games, as we all saw what happened in Rome. Regards."

From chizzleface on Twitter: "Dunno if I'm reading this right, but if Fulham win tonight then a win next time guarantees them passage to the next round?"
(Makes long exhaling sound...) Dunno pal. I think so, yeah, but I'm not definitely 100% sure. Sorry.

2054: It's half-time in Rome, too, in the group's other game, where it's Roma 1-1 Basle. If you want to know how the results tonight as they stand affect Group E, maybe click on this link. Because frankly I'm not clever enough to work it out and Danny the Stat's not here.

Half time
2052: Half-time Fulham 1-0 CSKA Sofia
Not much to argue about there - the only thing that will be slightly frustrating Roy Hodgson is the slender nature of the lead. If Fulham get another goal this game's dead.

2050: Into the last minute of the first half at Fulham, now. Is there time for a cheeky second?

2047: Fulham's Chris Baird is booked for a shirt pull and he will miss their next European game. Ivan Ivanov takes the free-kick from 40 yards but rifles it well, well wide. Bulgarians like hitting set-pieces from stupid distances. Anyone remember Trifon 'The Wolf' Ivanov? What a legend.

2045: Todor Timonov wastes a decent position for CSKA, shooting poorly wide from about 25 yards. Since they struck the bar early on, the visitors have offered little in the way of an attacking threat.

2043: Bobby Zamora's hold up play and link-up play has been phenomenal this evening so far. He's like a poor man's Emile Heskey, and I mean that in a good way.

2041: Ten minutes to go until half-time and it's still Fulham 1-0 CSKA Sofia. Zoltan Gera needs a bit of treatment after being clattered in the air by Viktors Morosz, who is booked.

2040: It's 1-1 between Roma and Basle now, the legendary Roman Francesco Totti equalising from the penalty spot.

2039: There's a 4-0 win here if Fulham want it. Presumably they do, because they don't win 4-0 very often. CSKA pass it around nicely for a few moments, but at the back they are wide open.

From Pete in Southend, via text on 81111: "You think the additional official behind the Sofia goal feels left out as he spends most of his time in Sofia's right-back position!"

2034: How did that not go in? Danny Murphy's clipped cross to the back post is cushioned into the path of Simon Davies via a deflection, only for the Welshman to drag his left-foot shot wide from 10 yards.

2033: Fulham win a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the Sofia box on the right and it is played short to Zoltan Gera, only for the Hungarian to completely miss his right-foot shot. Moments later, Bjorn Helge Riise side-foots at the keeper from 20 yards.

2031: A couple of Simon Davies' corners from the Fulham right cause some problems for the Bulgarians and from the second, Chris Smalling glances a header wide.

2029: Fulham pick it up again and Simon Davies is just a touch too heavy with his intended pass for Bobby Zamora. Just realised I didn't do a predo. Oops.

2027: Fulham have taken their foot off the accelerator big time, allowing the Bulgarians to knock it around for a couple of minutes. In Rome, Basle are beating Roma, which is a pretty good score for Fulham.

From JackHughesByZola on 606: "I sense a hiding for CSKA if their defence doesn't improve."

2023: Bobby Zamora has a very presentable chance on the volley from 10 yards after Zoltan Gera heads the ball down, but the hit-or-miss striker blazes over.

Fulham goal: They have been banging on the door and finally have their lead. Bjorn Helge Riise, who thinks he should be playing a bit more often, does really well down the right and stands up a lovely cross right into the mixer where Zoltan Gera is on hand to head home from point-blank range.

2020: GOAL Fulham 1-0 CSKA Sofia

2020: John Pantsil has a shot at the near post parried away by Zdravko Chavdarov. Bobby Zamora is proving a real thorn in the Bulgarians' side with his hold up play.

2017: Fulham should have a corner as the CSKA keeper takes the ball out of play. But with one of the referees' assistants behind the goal looking along the line, the keeper is allowed to play on. For God's sake, it's not working, is it?

2015: I'm in love with this game, but I cannot believe that has just happened. Ivan Ivanov dives in recklessly on Zoltan Gera in the CSKA box and it's a cast-iron penalty. The returning Danny Murphy - who never misses - steps up, and er, balloons his spot-kick haplessly over the crossbar.



Someone has struck the woodwork
2012: My life this is a brilliant football match already. Todor Timonov crashes in a thunderbolt from all of 30 yards that fizzes over Mark Schwarzer and thumps against the Australian's crossbar. The bar is lucky to still be alive.

2011: All Fulham. Simon Davies drills over a low cross-shot from the right and Zdravko Chavdarov again does well to gather the ball in. At the other end, Spas Delev threatens briefly. You heard me.

2009: Fulham are going for it. Bobby Zamora turns neatly but his touch is a bit too heavy and keeper Zdravko Chavdarov races from his line to collect.

2007: Cracking atmosphere on the banks of the River Thames in west London tonight. Fulham need a win - and their fans are going to give them every chance to get that win. Anyone mind if I support them just for a couple of hours?

2006: Under way at Craven Cottage as Fulham take on Bulgarians CSKA Sofia. On the brink of a World Cup draw, does anyone else wish Hristo Stoichkov was playing? My word there was a footballer.

2001: The great Toadfish from Neighbours looks like he has found his way into the crowd at Craven Cottage. Maybe he's one of the boys Haydn was talking about earlier. Not long until kick-off now, you hardy lot.

From Eliza on Twitter: "Aw, Stevo, your latest plea sounds so sad. It's hardly a night of football to set the world no fire though, is it?"
No, no it isn't. But stay with me anyway, won't you?

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson: "The big problem is up front for us, we're so short of numbers. It's good Bobby Zamora and Danny Murphy are available and it's nice to be able to leave Damien Duff and Clint Dempsey out of the team."

From DAve on 606: "Fulham are going to clean up tonight. I am predicting a comfortable 3-0 win with Zamora running amok, as he so often does."

From Haydn in London, via text on 81111: "My Australian work mates are going to Fulham for their first ever game of 'soccer' tonight. Hope it's a good one for them."

1947: CSKA will have coach Luboslav Penev with them today after a ban on him leaving Bulgaria was lifted. The 43-year-old was unable to travel on Wednesday having been grounded by local authorities because of a bank demand over a debt. But he was given permission to travel at 1315 GMT.

1944: Fulham make six changes to the side that drew with Bolton on Saturday as Stephen Kelly, Chris Smalling, Bjorn Helge Riise, Danny Murphy, Simon Davies and Bobby Zamora replace Paul Konchesky, Aaron Hughes, Damien Duff, Jonathan Greening, Clint Dempsey and Erik Nevland.

1941: If you can see these words, then please get involved. It could be a very, very lonely night if you don't. I'm always on Twitter for you, we get texts at 81111 and there's a 606 thread up and running too. You'd make me ever so happy if you stuck your oar in.

1937: Fulham v CSKA Sofia line-ups:
Schwarzer, Pantsil, Smalling, Hangeland, Kelly, Riise, Baird, Murphy, Gera, Davies, Zamora.
Subs: Stockdale, Duff, Hughes, Dempsey, Saunders, Briggs, Uwezu.
CSKA Sofia: Chavdarov, Minev, Vidanov, Ivanov, Kostadin Stoyanov, Todorov, Yanchev, Popov, Morozs, Timonov, Delev.
Subs: Ivaylo Petrov, Rui Miguel, Branekov, Nikolay Manchev, Yanev, Michel, Baez.
Referee: Pavel Balaj (Romania)

1934: Roy Hodgson's men meet CSKA Sofia in the Uefa Europa League at Craven Cottage tonight, needing a win to boost their chances of progressing to the last 32. They've had a decent campaign so far, and can count themselves unfortunate to not be in an ever stronger position.

1930: It's not often that we get to concentrate solely on Fulham. But tonight is their special night and their special night only.*

* If you want to talk about anything else, or the World Cup draw which takes place tomorrow, I really don't mind

Print Sponsor

Europa League results

3 Dec 2009 23:59 UK

  • Dinamo Bucharest2-1SK Sturm Graz
  • FC Copenhagen2-0CFR Cluj-Napoca
  • FK Aust. Vienna0-3Athletic Bilbao
  • FK Ventspils0-1Hertha Berlin
  • Fulham1-0CSKA SofiaR
  • Galatasaray1-0Panathinaikos
  • PSV1-0Sparta Prague
  • Roma2-1Basle
  • S. Donetsk0-0Club Brugge
  • Sporting1-1Heerenveen
  • Toulouse1-0P. Belgrade
  • Werder Bremen4-1Nacional

see also
Fulham 1-0 CSKA Sofia
03 Dec 09 |  Europe
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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