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Page last updated at 21:47 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 22:47 UK

Europa League and Championship action as it happened

GOALFLASHES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

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By Caroline Cheese

2245: Well, I don't know about you, but I feel a bit gloomy about the end of Fulham's European adventure. I'd still vote Roy though. Definitely. Thanks for all the messages tonight, you've been ace as always. We'll be back on Saturday for the FA Cup final among other things.

More from defeated Fulham boss Roy Hodgson: "You take every defeat very hard. We came here wanting to win and I think that shone through tonight. Everyone watching on the TV and here in Hamburg will realise we gave everything we had. It was decided by the finishing instincts of Diego Forlan. I thought we did well in terms of keeping Forlan and Aguero quiet but unfortunately not quite quiet enough."

Cardiff boss Dave Jones: "We played scintillating football. We missed two or three glorious chances. We showed great character. For this football club it is a great achievement. You see the fans, you hear them, the club gets knocked but today we came together. Now we get ready for another big one."

2237: And as Roy Hodgson calmly and eloquently puts into context his side's incredible feats this season, Atletico boss Quique Sanchez Flores is being thrown high into the air by his players as they continue the celebrations on the pitch.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson: "I couldn't be more proud of the players and I think this performance tonight summed up what we are. They've been performing against the odds all season, pulling out performances that no-one could really have expected them to pull out. You can't be happy after any defeat but I don't have a word of criticism for any of the team. Unfortunately, fate was against us when it came to lifting the trophy."

2230: Meanwhile the Atletico players are diving headlong in front of their fans as they parade the Europa League trophy around the Nordbank Arena.


2227: The Cardiff City Stadium erupts as Cardiff reach the Championship play-off final where they will face Blackpool. Yann Kermorgant is the Leicester fall guy, the Frenchman taking a ridiculously cheeky penalty. He tries to dink it in, but doesn't get it anywhere near high enough and David Marshall saves easily, leaving Kermorgant with oeuf all over his face.

2226: CARDIFF WIN 4-3 ON PENALTIES

SAVE Leicester 3-4 Cardiff (Marshall from Waghorn)

SCORE Leicester 3-4 Cardiff (Kennedy)

SAVE Leicester 3-3 Cardiff (Marshall from Kermorgant)

SCORE Leicester 3-3 Cardiff (Ledley)

SCORE Leicester 3-2 Cardiff (Solano)

SCORE Leicester 2-2 Cardiff (McCormack)

SCORE Leicester 2-1 Cardiff (Howard)

SCORE Leicester 1-1 Cardiff (Chopra)

SCORE Leicester 1-0 Cardiff (Berner)

2221: Penalties coming up now.

From Frank, Northampton, via text: "Did Atletico not receive their copy of the script? Fulham were supposed to win."

2218: Got to agree with Phil there. Atletico were marginally the better side tonight, with their demon strikeforce of Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero proving the difference. Maybe if Bobby Zamora had been fully fit...?

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Nordbank Arena: "Diego Forlan appears set on a revenge mission to make life a misery for Premier League clubs after his unfulfilling spell at Manchester United. Liverpool were his victims in the Europa League semi-final and now it is Fulham in the final. Desperate disappointment for Roy Hodgson and his players but Atletico were deserved winners. Fulham, however, have captured the imagination with their performances in Europe this season and brought great pride to themselves and the Premier League."

2217: Stay tuned, penalties to come.

2216: FULL-TIME Cardiff 2-3 Leicester [agg 3-3] AET

2216: Seconds remaining in Cardiff where it's still 3-3 on aggregate and heading for penalties. I'm not sure I can take this. Bear with me.

2215: As his players collapse on the turf, Roy Hodgson very calmly turns and shakes the hands of his coaching staff. Atleti's two-goal hero Diego Forlan has come over to the Fulham players to try to offer some sympathy.

2213: ATLETICO MADRID WIN THE EUROPA LEAGUE

2213: FULL-TIME Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham AET

2212: Fulham piling the pressure on, desperately trying to get the ball in the box. Zoltan Gera latches on to a loose ball, and lashes a shot wide. He was offside anyway.

2211: Pictures of Lily Allen crying in the crowd. Don't think she'll be the only one. Two minutes of added time to be played.

2209: Still a few minutes left for Fulham to salvage something, but surely they can't do it again can they? Sergio Aguero is off, Valera on. Diego Forlan was booked, by the way, for taking his shirt off and swinging it above his head. Don't think he'll be that bothered.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Atletico goal: So cruel for Fulham. Sergio Aguero does brilliantly to keep the ball in on the left and he crosses low for Diego Forlan, whose flicked shot hits the inside of Brede Hangeland's leg before sneaking in at the far post. Oh, the agony and the ecstasy.

2206: GOALFLASH Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham (Forlan)

2204: Diego Forlan still looks full of running. He skips forward and looks to pick out Sergio Aguero, but there's a Fulham defender in the way.

2203: Erik Nevland plucks Simon Davies's cross out of the air, turns and volleys miles over. They're into the second half of extra time in Cardiff.

2202: "Come on Fulham," is the chant from the stands. Both teams looking very tired now.

2200: Diego Forlan drives a shot over the bar from Tomas Ujfalusi's pull-back. Nine minutes remaining.

2158: Dickson Etuhu gets his head to a deep Danny Murphy free-kick, but he actually heads it away from goal. It's half-time in extra-time at the Cardiff City Stadium. Starting to worry about how to live-text two penalty shoot-outs at the same time.

2157: Salvio gets yellow for a foul on Paul Konchesky. Chris Waddle thinks Fulham's best bet is penalties. I tend to agree.

2154: Half time in extra time at the Nordbank Arena. Still 1-1 between Fulham and Atletico, but the Spanish side are looking far more dangerous.

2153: Fulham hanging on for dear life there. Diego Forlan shrugs off Chris Baird's challenge and cuts the ball back for Raul Garcia. His shot is going wide, but Sergio Aguero attempts to turn it in from close range - but only finds the side netting. Some of the Atleti fans thought that was in. So did I for a second.

2151: Paul Konchesky does well to stay with Sergio Aguero as the Argentine looks for space in the box. Aguero gets his shot away, but Konchesky blocks.

From TorreSamK9 on Twitter: "After nineteen games in the Europa League this season, surely Fulham can find that final push! Come on you Cottagers!"

BBC Wales' Peter Shuttleworth at the Cardiff City Stadium: "It's now a war of attrition at the Cardiff City Stadium as we head into an extra 30 minutes. The fans can't complain about not getting value for their entrance fee. Five goals, two chances off the goal-line, three strikes of the woodwork, a penalty and now an added half-hour."

2148: Oh good gracious, thought it was all over for Fulham. Jose Jurado crosses in from the left, Brede Hangeland gets his head to it but only succeeds in flicking it on for Diego Forlan, who fires it back in. Mark Schwarzer gets a vital hand to it though.

2146: Fulham with a free-kick after a high boot against Erik Nevland. Not within shooting distance... no wait, Simon Davies has decided it is. But he whacks it straight into the two-man wall. Bit of a waste.

2144: I know you ask these questions repeatedly just to wind me up, you cheeky monkeys, but just in case anyone's still unclear: away goals don't count extra in Champ play-offs at any stage.

2142: As Erik Nevland prods a shot wide for Fulham, they get under way in extra time in Cardiff.

2141: Luis Perea and Clint Dempsey shoulder barge each other as they chase a ball down the left, but referee Nicola Rizzoli sees that as an Atletico free-kick. The Italian ref has had an otherwise good game, I reckon.

2140: Extra time in Cardiff, extra time in Hamburg. I cannot bear this tension.

2138: No time for chatting. We're under way in extra time in Hamburg. Simon Davies shoots wide. Jose Jurado blazes over from 25 yards.

2137: FULL-TIME Cardiff 2-3 Leicester [agg 3-3]

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Nordbank Arena: "Some Fulham players down and receiving massages - Atletico all standing and looking fresh. Time for manager Roy Hodgson to deliver one last rallying call to the players who have served him so magnificently in the Europa League. Not the greatest game, but if Fulham can somehow fashion victory here, it was will be most momentous in their history. And they still can."

From dazareth on Twitter: "My dad's inside the Nordbank Arena. I couldn't go because I have an exam tomorrow. Please Fulham, score so I can revise!"

2134: Extra time it is in Hamburg, and it looks very much like the same in Cardiff where they are into three minutes of added time.

2133: FULL-TIME Atletico Madrid 1-1 Fulham

2132: Hearts in mouths time for Fulham fans as Sergio Aguero throws himself over in the penalty area after the ball runs away from him. But it's a dive, and the referee isn't interested.

2131: Cardiff keeper David Marshall pulls off a fabulous fingertip save from Steve Howard.

2130: We have two minutes of added time at Hamburg, where it's 1-1. Still three minutes 'til the 90 in Cardiff, where it's 3-3 on aggregate. Extra time coming our way in both games.

2129: The Atletico fans send up yet another thunderous chant. Both sets of fans have been an absolute credit to their clubs tonight. Two minutes remaining. I can't bear the tension.

2128: Raul Garcia barges into Zoltan Gera to give Fulham a free-kick about 30 yards. Danny Murphy with it... but it takes a massive deflection off the wall and goes out for a throw-in.

Someone has struck the woodwork
2126: Four minutes remaining in Hamburg, seven in Cardiff where Peter Whittingham has just clattered the bar with a free-kick.

2125: Big cheer from Fulham's fans now as Zoltan Gera wins a free-kick, which might ease the pressure on the Cottagers. Not for long though. Atletico now back on the attack.

2122: Are Fulham just hanging on for extra time? Bad idea methinks. Still eight minutes remaining. Shout for handball from the Atletico fans as Aaron Hughes misjudges his headed clearance and it bounces onto his arm. Erik Nevland on for Damien Duff.

2120: Those changes appear to have perked Atletico up. Tomas Ujfalusi crosses dangerously for Salvio, who completely mis-hits the shot - relief for Fulham.

2117: Atletico made a second change: Jose Antonio Reyes is replaced by Eduardo Salvio. Can I say sorry to those of you on 606 tonight? It's misbehaving. Must be the Europa League excitement.

BBC Wales' Peter Shuttleworth at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Can we borrow Peter Snow's famous election swing-o-meter at the Cardiff City Stadium please?! As the Bluebirds fans find their voice again after Peter Whittingham's penalty drags Cardiff back into this tie, then Bothroyd hits the bar. Leicester now on the back-foot. Amazing stuff."


2114: Sergio Aguero with some delightful control and as he turns, he's brought to ground by Dickson Etuhu. The Argentine takes the free-kick, but it's easy for Mark Schwarzer. Fifteen minutes remaining, and we're heading for extra time as it stands - as indeed we are at Cardiff.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Cardiff goal: We're level again in the play-off semi at Cardiff as Peter Whittingham scores from the spot. Leicester only have themselves to blame as Alex Bruce dithers and fails to deal with a ball into the box, Michael Chopra nips in and is then brought down by Bruce. Howard Webb points to the spot and Whittingham does the rest.

2111: GOALFLASH Cardiff 2-3 Leicester (Whittingham pen) [agg 3-3]

2110: PENALTY TO CARDIFF

2108: Damien Duff cuts in from the right, looking for the shooting opportunity. He eventually pulls the trigger but drags it wide. A change for Atletico now and Simao doesn't look all that happy to be coming off. Make that very unhappy. Jose Jurado is on.

2106: There's Hugh Grant! The actor is just helping himself to a European beer in one of those fancy European glasses. Lovely.

Yellow card
2103: Brede Hangeland picks up the game's first booking for bringing down Sergio Aguero. Jose Antonio Reyes leaves the free-kick for Simao, who gives it back to Reyes. It's all a bit of a muddle really. The ball eventually comes to Diego Forlan out left, who shows some neat skill but his cutback is cut out by Zoltan Gera.


2100: Fulham fans making all the noise now... Chris Waddle's right, Atletico can't defend. Zoltan Gera's cross from the left hits a defender and comes straight to an unmarked Simon Davies. Good strike but the keeper makes an excellent save.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Nordbank Arena: "Fresh legs for Fulham now in the shape of Clint Dempsey, who has made an impact before in this season's Europa League. Brave effort by Bobby Zamora before his departure, but he has been fighting a losing battle with his Achilles tendon and was off the pace tonight."

BBC Wales' Peter Shuttleworth at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Cardiff City's character is now severely in question as Leicester's Welshman threatens to spoil the Welsh club's day. Andy King punishes slack Bluebirds defending and the tension around the Cardiff City Stadium is palpable. Exactly the start to the second-half Cardiff boss Dave Jones did not want."

2057: "Atletico Madrid cannot defend," announces Chris Waddle on BBC 5 live as Clint Dempsey picks up a Zoltan Gera pass in the box. He gets his shot away but the offside flag is up. Dempsey looking lively.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Leicester goal: "Play-offs equal drama. Leicester, who were two goals down 40 minutes ago, edge their noses in front of Cardiff 3-2 on aggregate. Paul Gallagher gets free on the right before crossing for the Foxes' Welshman Andy King to glance home."

2055: Bobby Zamora's evening is over and a loud chant goes up from the Fulham fans as he jogs off to be replaced by Clint Dempsey, the first American player to play in a major European final.

Handbags
2053: Zoltan Gera chases a through-ball but he overhits his first touch and David de Gea collects. The Hungarian accidentally clips the keeper on the head as he sprints through - and there's a momentary outbreak of handbags, before everyone calms down and realises De Gea is actually OK.

2052: GOALFLASH Cardiff 1-3 Leicester (King) [2-3]

2050: Good spell of pressure from Fulham, but the best shooting chance falls to Dickson Etuhu, which isn't ideal for Fulham.

2048: Atletico defender Luiz Perea is hanging onto Bobby Zamora for dear life as the ball comes in. No free-kick though. They're under way in the second half at Cardiff now.

2046: Bobby Zamora still on the pitch for Fulham as the second half kicks off. Reports suggest Roy Hodgson is hoping to get an hour out of his talismanic striker. Clint Dempsey waits on the bench.

From InfostradaLive on Twitter: "Simon Davies is the first Welshman to score in the Uefa Cup/Europa League final since Mike England for Spurs in 1974."

From optajean on Twitter: "Fulham's record after having conceded the opening goal in the Europa League this season: 2 wins, 1 draw, 1 defeat."

From Nasris_Special_Touch_10 on 606: "Great strike by Davies, but I think Simao, Forlan and Aguero have stood out for Atletico. Come on Fulham!"

From Gav via text: "Alone in my 'One Simon Davies' chant on the train into London... Nobody else is following the action!"

BBC Wales' Peter Shuttleworth at the Cardiff City Stadium: "The Bluebirds are visibly rattled by Leicester as Steve Howard is winning the aerial bombardment for the visitors - using his height to set up both goals and Cardiff can't handle the big man dropping off. Cardiff have to regroup and as the psychological edge swings Leicester's way in this fascinating Championship play-off tie."


2035: It seems as good a time as any to remind you that away goals don't count extra in the Championship play-offs. So as it stands, they're heading for extra time in Cardiff.

2033: HALF-TIME Cardiff 1-2 Leicester [agg 2-2]

2032: Phew... which is largely what the Fulham fans might be thinking. They were second best in that half, and looked very nervous for most of it, but they're all square thanks to that strike by Simon Davies, his second in two Europa League games.

2030: HALF-TIME Atletico Madrid 1-1 Fulham

From mcwd on Twitter: "Just shouted YES! in the silent study room of the uni library for the Fulham goal. Lots of people looking at me weirdly..."

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Leicester goal: We're all square in the Championship play-off semi-final as Mark Hudson unfortunately nods into his own net. Steve Howard is at the centre of the action again as he heads on target but Hudson's attempt to keep it out only sees him divert it past keeper David Marshall. What a turnaround.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Nordbank Arena: "Fulham have once again demonstrated how superbly they can react to a setback. Diego Forlan's goal was a deserved reward for Atletico Madrid's supremacy - but Simon Davies' superb volley has changed the mood. Atletico still the more dangerous side but what a lift for Fulham, and how their supporters have responded."

2026: Atletico's goal appeared to make Fulham lose some of the shackles, which is exactly what they needed. Absorbing game now... Although that's a terrible corner by Atletico. Alan Green on BBC 5 live reckons Bobby Zamora is hobbling already.

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Fulham goal: Bobby Zamora with a deft turn in the box, controlling the ball brilliantly... and then he appears to ruin it all by refusing to shoot and going for another touch. Zoltan Gera picks up the pieces and his cross takes a slight flick before reaching Simon Davies, who crashes a magnificent right-foot volley past David de Gea.

2023: GOALFLASH Cardiff 1-2 Leicester [agg 2-2]

2022: GOALFLASH Atletico Madrid 1-1 Fulham (Davies)

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Atletico goal: Well, it's deserved, you have to say. The move begins with a barnstorming run by Jose Antonio Reyes down the right and he sweeps a lovely ball inside to Simao, who knocks it on back for Sergio Aguero. The Argentine heads it down brilliantly and mis-hits the shot but it turns into a perfect pass for Diego Forlan, who is just onside as he slots past Mark Schwarzer.

2016: GOALFLASH Atletico Madrid 1-0 Fulham (Forlan)

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Leicester goal: It's game on again in Cardiff as Leicester pull one back less than four minutes after falling behind. Matt Fryatt and Steve Howard combine before Fryatt's shot slips under David Marshall and just has enough legs to creep over the line.

2013: Sergio Aguero looking very, very dangerous every time he picks up the ball. Fulham are lucky his final ball hasn't hit the mark yet. Meanwhile, Brede Hangeland has made a very nervy start to the match. He loses out on a header to Antonio Lopez.

2011: GOALFLASH Cardiff 1-1 Leicester (Fryatt) [agg 2-1]

Goooooooaaaaaaaaal
Cardiff goal: Cardiff are ahead and deservedly so after dominating. Michael Chopra is just onside as he latches on to a Jay Bothroyd flick and he slots a shot just under the outrushing Leicester keeper Chris Weale.

2009: Brilliant work from Sergio Aguero on the left. He turns Aaron Hughes twice as he jinks into the penalty area but his low ball in is cleared, with Diego Forlan waiting.

2008: GOALFLASH Cardiff 1-0 Leicester (Chopra) [agg 2-0]

2007: Fulham give the ball away for the umpteenth time and Diego Forlan has a go from distance, but nothing to trouble Mark Schwarzer.

BBC Wales' Peter Shuttleworth at the Cardiff City Stadium: "No resting on their 1-0 first-leg advantage as it's attack, attack, attack for Cardiff against Leicester as the Welshmen heed the words of boss Dave Jones and go for that crucial first goal here at the Cardiff City Stadium. The Championship's top-scorer Peter Whittingham should have added to his 24-goal tally this season."

2005: Simon Davies catches a right-foot shot from the edge of the box beautifully, but it's expertly plucked out of the air by Atletico keeper David de Gea.

2003: It might be this quick surface, but every time Fulham pass the ball around, they look a bit panicky. Signs they're starting to settle now, I think. Eighteen minutes gone, still 0-0.

2002: Much better from Fulham. Bobby Zamora heads Paul Konchesky's shot back for Zoltan Gera, who volleys well over. Decent move though.

2001: And there is Dickson Etuhu... tripping Tomas Ujfalusi from behind to give Atletico Madrid a promising free-kick. Mark Schwarzer catches Jose Antonio Reyes's effort at the second attempt.

From Uche , from Lagos, via text: "The two Etuhu brothers are both playing tonight. Dickson is fighting for European glory with Fulham, Kelvin for promotion with Cardiff City."
Kelvin's fighting from the bench

Someone has struck the woodwork
1957: HUGE let-off for Fulham. Danny Murphy is caught in possession by Sergio Aguero, who plays in strike partner Diego Forlan. The Uruguayan's shot beats Mark Schwarzer but hits the bottom of the far post.

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty at the Nordbank Arena: "Empty seats to be seen around the Nordbank Arena but still plenty of atmosphere. 'Roy Hodgson For Prime Minister' reads one banner draped at the Fulham end - maybe another time Roy. Fulham supporters react ecstatically to their first spell of sustained possession."

1955: Atletico break up a decent spell of Fulham possession and Sergio Aguero gallops over the halfway line before running straight into Brede Hangeland, looking for a free-kick - but the referee's not having any of that nonsense. Seconds later, Bobby Zamora is caught inches offside before skewing a shot across goal.

1954: Early chance in Cardiff and it falls to the home side. It's a good chance as well as Peter Whittingham easily outpaces Leicester's Nobby Solano, but then proceeds to produce a poor finish wide of the post.

1953: Raul Garcia's speculative shot takes a deflection to give Atletico the first corner of the match - and their fans respond like they've just won the World Cup. Bobby Zamora heads it clear - but not that convincingly. Fulham seem a touch more nervous here, which is probably not that surprising.

BBC Wales' Peter Shuttleworth at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Cardiff boss Dave Jones urged Bluebirds fans to transform this sold-out stadium into a 'hellhole' for Leicester's visit - and his followers are responding with deafening gusto."

1949: Very slick surface at the Nordbank Arena, where the Atletico fans are making a thunderous noise.

1947: And they're off and running in Cardiff too. First sign of nerves in Hamburg as Brede Hangeland slices a clearance on the halfway line.

1945: The biggest game in Fulham's history is under way now.

1944: TEAMS Cardiff v Leicester
Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Hudson, Blake, Kennedy, Whittingham, McPhail, Ledley, Burke, Chopra, Bothroyd. Subs: Enckelman, Gyepes, Capaldi, Quinn, Etuhu, Wildig, McCormack.
Leicester: Weale, Solano, Hobbs, Bruce, Berner, Dyer, King, Wellens, Gallagher, Howard, Fryatt. Subs: Logan, Morrison, N'Guessan, Waghorn, Kermorgant, Vaughan, Spearing.
Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

1944: If you're UK based and on the web, refresh the page now for 5 live commentary from Hamburg or Cardiff.

1943: This atmosphere would be enough to turn even the most experienced legs to jelly, let alone a club in their first European final.

1940: There's a kid running riot on the pitch with an Atletico flag. This must be the opening ceremony. Excellent, dramatic music to accompany said kid, who appears to have consumed a few too many E numbers.

From Emma from London via Argentina, via text: "I am a lifelong Fulham fan stuck in Buenos Aires working, with my whole family over in Hamburg. I have never been so sad to miss a match yet so proud to be a FFC fan. Do Hodgson proud tonight Whites!"

BBC Wales' Peter Shuttleworth at the Cardiff City Stadium: "Play-off anticipation reaching fever pitch at the Cardiff City Stadium and Bluebirds fans are unusually buoyant as they head into this home second leg with a goal advantage. But Cardiff boss Dave Jones knows Leicester have nothing to lose - and that makes the Foxes dangerous."

1936: Aw, some messages now from Roy Hodgson's fellow managers, who toasted him at the League Managers' Association dinner the other night. A gushing Sir Alex Ferguson says: "There can only be one ending. You've got to win, you will win." Don Fabio rather threateningly barks: "You have to win." And then he smiles and everything's OK again.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson: "This is a massive final, being beamed all around the world, we're aware of our responsibility and we realise how well we've done to get here. The players are determined to play well. There'll be some nervousness but I'm pretty sure that'll be the same in the Atletico dressing room."

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty tweeting from Hamburg: "Fulham PA announcer and lifelong fan "Diddy" David Hamilton is whipping the fans into a frenzy perched on a raised platform."

1928: Apparently, there is another team apart from brave Fulham in tonight's Europa League showpiece. It's Atletico Madrid, and they've only won two games on their way to the final, so they should be a pushover, no? Well, no. They've got Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero for a start (and that's quite a decent start) - and this is their fifth European final.

From Pete in the USA "Biggest game in Fulham history, looking for glory from Dempsey today.. GO ON YOU WHITES!!!"

From Oli the Gunner, via text: "I'm a Gooner through and through, but tonight, I'm sure I'm not alone in becoming an honorary fan of one of the most likeable clubs and managers in the Premier League. Come on Fulham!"

1922: Here's pop star and Fulham fan Lily Allen on the telly with her Grandad. Aah. "We're very proud and really nervous," says Lily. Now, where's Hugh Grant?

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty in Hamburg: "Hamburg's Nordbank Arena is spectacular and atmospheric - and well known to Fulham after their Europa League semi-final win against the Bundesliga side. Roy Hodgson has done a bit of PR to get the locals on Fulham's side with glowing praise for the stadium, the playing surface and the city itself. Wise ploy as plenty of Hamburg fans will have snapped up tickets in the hope of seeing their own team contest the final on home territory."

From fredriknygren on Twitter: "Re 1905: As a Swede I can assure you Roy's 'semi-final' is definitely Swedish! He won seven titles here you know."
Apologies. I don't want to cause an international incident

1913: And just while I'm clearing things up, Burnley's chance of European football disappeared on Monday with the news that England missed out on an extra Europa League place via the Fair Play rankings. So Fulham will qualify for the competition next season if they win tonight, but not if they don't. All clear?

1911: Lots of you suggesting this is Bobby Zee's chance to prove Fabio Capello wrong after he missed out on a place in the provisional squad for the World Cup. Capello explained yesterday that he wanted to include Zamora, but the striker said he needed surgery on his troublesome Achilles and couldn't play a game without a painkilling injection.

From BBC Sport's James Doe in Hamburg: "Just out of Stellingen station to be greeted by a sea of fans trying to offload tickets. Party atmosphere on walk to stadium, generated largely by the Spaniards. Cottagers' presence has been much more low key around town all day."

1908: You're excited, I'm excited. Even Uefa head honcho Michel Platini is like a little boy waiting for Christmas... "Football is unpredictable. That is why it is nice and we love it. The small teams can beat the biggest, the biggest can beat the smallest. Everything is possible in football."

1905: Love the way Roy Hodgson says semi-final... in what I think is an Italian accent. And to think people laugh at Steve McClaren for picking up a Dutch accent.

From Kish, via text: "My mate Jacob who is a Fulham fan is on a year abroad from Uni in Australia and has spent his whole student loan on flights to Hamburg to go to the game. Legend."

1900: TEAMS Atletico Madrid v Fulham
Atletico Madrid: De Gea, Ujfalusi, Perea, Dominguez, Antonio Lopez, Reyes, Paulo Assuncao, Raul Garcia, Simao, Forlan, Aguero. Subs: Joel, Valera, Camacho, Jurado, Salvio, Juanito, Cabrera.
Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Duff, Etuhu, Murphy, Davies, Gera, Zamora. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Pantsil, Nevland, Riise, Dempsey, Greening, Dikgacoi.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)

From vimes07 on Twitter: "When you look at Middlesbrough and Rangers, these fairytale Uefa Cup runs don't seem to end very well for the British team."

1855: Not just the Europa League final tonight. No, no, and thrice no. There's the small matter of the Championship play-off semi-final second leg between Cardiff and Leicester, with the Bluebirds leading 1-0 from the first leg. Now, it's only fair I point out that I'll be mainly concentrating on events in Hamburg - but you can be sure there will be goalflashes and updates from BBC Wales' Peter Shuttleworth, who's at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Fulham captain Danny Murphy: "Every player seems to have improved under Roy. But there's no magic dust that he sprinkles on us before every game. The manager and his staff work damn hard on the training pitch to make sure that the lads in the team know their job. This is a manager who organises his team well, plus there's a set of good players here. It's a nice balance."

From Brian010 on 606: "It's all about the Duffer's magical left peg opening up Atletico tonight. Come on Fulham!"

1850: Damien Duff starts too in a very familiar-looking Fulham line-up. Diego Forlan and Sergio Aguero are both in the Atletico starting XI.

1847: For Roy Hodgson, already well on course for a knighthood, a sainthood, and the Nobel peace prize, it's a chance to become the first English manager since Sir Bobby Robson 13 years ago to win a European trophy (Barcelona, Cup Winners' Cup, 1997) and the first to win one with an English side since Howard Kendall 25 years ago (Everton, Cup Winners' Cup, 1985).

BBC Sport's Phil McNulty tweeting from Hamburg: "Omens suggest a dramatic night ahead. Press bus just survived a shunt with a taxi. Left the Polizei to sort that one out."

1842: First things first, if you missed the news earlier, Bobby Zamora will start for Fulham for the first time since the semi-final win over Hamburg. He and Zoltan Gera are Fulham's top scorers in Europe with six. More team news as and when we get it.

1838: More than nine months since they started their second ever European campaign in Lithuania, Fulham are preparing for their biggest game since the 1975 FA Cup final, when Alan Mullery and Bobby Moore graced the Cottagers' team. Tonight, the likes of Danny Murphy, Zoltan Gera and Brede Hangeland could become Fulham legends (if they aren't already).


1835: Vetra Vilnius, Amkar Perm, CSKA Sofia, Basle, Roma, Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg, Hamburg... Atletico Madrid?



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12 May 2010 23:59 UK


see also
Europa League final photos
12 May 10 |  Football
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football


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