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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 January, 2005, 15:57 GMT
Fulham 3-1 Crystal Palace
Zesh Rehman, Andy Cole and Mark Pembridge
Andy Cole's brace ensured Fulham won this lively London relegation derby.

Cole gave Fulham a fourth minute lead with an incisive turn and shot and put them back in front in the second half after a probing run and calm finish.

Palace had equalised after Edwin van der Sar fouled Andy Johnson, the prolific striker scoring from the spot.

Tomasz Radzinski, who had set up Cole's first goal, made the game safe for Fulham, sliding in at the far post to convert Steed Malbranque's cross.

Cole might have had a hat-trick had he not blazed over the bar just after his second goal when he was set up by Luis Boa Morte.

Gabor Kiraly also did well to save a Cole shot with his feet after the Fulham striker had been once again found by Boa Morte in a purple patch for Chris Coleman's side.

Having lost six of their previous eight league games, Fulham looked more balanced with Boa Morte back in the side, the Portuguese winger having been out injured over the last month.

But it was the striking understanding between Radzinski and Cole that conspired to put Coleman's team into early lead.

Radzinksi turned quickly away from Johnson and slipped the ball into the feet of Cole.

Just as quickly the former Blackburn striker spun away from Fitz Hall and drilled a low shot past Kiraly.

Cole's second goal was an even better finish, the Fulham striker cutting inside Tony Popovic, skipping past Michael Hughes, before prodding the ball into the corner.

If the opening half had been an even contest, Fulham dominated the second period, carving out a succession of chances with Radzinski bundling the ball in after good work from Steed Malbranque.

Palace's first-half revival had much to do with Wayne Routledge's trickery down the right.

The Palace youngster sent across a succession of crosses creating confusion in the Fulham box and Tom Soares went close with a couple of headers, notably after Popovic nodded the ball back at the far post.

Just before scoring the penalty, Johnson also sent a header agonisingly over the bar after Vassilis Lakis and Danny Granville combined well down the left.

Undeterred Palace continued to press forward and Johnson's striking instincts put the visitors back on level terms.

Johnson latched on to Hall's long ball from the back and was too quick for Van der Sar, who bundled the Palace striker off the ball.

Fulham's goalkeeper escaped a booking, but Johnson ensured Van der Sar was punished his rash challenge by calmly converting the penalty.


Fulham: Van der Sar, Volz (Rosenior 76), Knight, Rehman, Bocanegra, Malbranque (Clark 82), Pembridge, Diop, Boa Morte (John 89), Radzinski, Cole.
Subs Not Used: Crossley, McBride.

Booked: Knight.

Goals: Cole 4, 60, Radzinski 73.

Crystal Palace: Kiraly, Butterfield, Popovic, Hall, Granville, Routledge, Riihilahti (Torghelle 65), Soares, Lakis (Andrews 79), Johnson, Hughes (Leigertwood 64).
Subs Not Used: Speroni, Boyce.

Booked: Soares, Butterfield, Popovic.

Goals: Johnson 35 pen.

Att: 18,680.

Ref: D Gallagher (Oxfordshire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Fulham manager Chris Coleman


Interview: Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie




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