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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 May 2007, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Middlesbrough 3-1 Fulham
By Tom Fordyce

Middlesbrough celebrate
Boro celebrate David Wheater's goal

Two goals from Mark Viduka helped Middlesbrough end their season in style with a thumping of sorry Fulham.

Viduka opened the scoring with a crisp drive past Antti Niemi before a mistake from young defender David Wheater allowed Simon Davies to equalise.

But Wheater made amends with a powerful header just on half-time before Viduka capitalised on poor defending to score his 19th of the season.

Boro could have scored twice as many but missed a sackful of simple chances.

If new Fulham manager Lawrie Sanchez had been in any doubt about the size of the task facing him next season, this performance would have spelt it out for him.

His side made Boro look like world-beaters, giving them all the room they wanted in a one-sided first half and only making a decent fight of it once they were 3-1 down.

Viduka had three great chances to make it a hat-trick but was denied twice by Niemi and once by a last-ditch tackle from Liam Rosenior.

The highlight for Fulham was the introduction as a late sub of Matthew Briggs, who at the age of 16 years and 65 days became the youngest player ever to play in the Premiership.


Boro dominated the first 45 minutes, pulling the visitors apart with ease - but they were as hapless in front of goal as they were dominant elsewhere.

Wheater had a great chance to break the deadlock in the seventh minute, but his free header from Julio Arca's corner bounced tamely wide.

Moments later, Emanuel Pogatetz powered another header towards the top right-hand corner, only for Niemi to claw the ball away at full stretch.

A lovely one-touch passing move then saw Stewart Downing race clear on goal from the left - but with George Boateng unmarked and screaming for the ball in the middle, the England winger shot wastefully across goal.

Arca was guilty of an even worse miss midway through the half, planting a free header wide of the post from a Pogatetz cross, before Viduka finally struck.

Once again Fulham stood off, allowing Jonathan Woodgate to stroll through midfield and feed the Australian, who turned leisurely inside Zat Knight before smashing a right-footed shot inside Niemi's near post.

Davies' equaliser came as a complete shock.

Wheater made a complete hash of clearing Carlos Bocanegra's hopeful punt forward and Davies nipped in between defender and keeper to volley home.

But Wheater made amends within moments, rising high to head home from Fabio Rochemback's corner.

And when Viduka made it 3-1 with an angled drive across Niemi within two minutes of the restart, Fulham's hopes were all but gone.

  • Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate on persuading Mark Viduka to sign a new deal:
    "He'll think about things in the next 10 days.

    "He heads back to Australia to link up with them, but I don't mind how long it takes if it is the right answer for us.

    "Whatever happens he has been brilliant for me. In my first season, he has been a leader both on and off the field. I'm very grateful for his contribution."

  • Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez:
    "As I understand it, we have avoided relegation by a point. To be honest, that is not good enough.

    "I have had five games and what is it - three defeats, a draw and a win?

    "We have got over the line, but we have squeaked over the line. The job now is to make sure this is but a distant memory come next season."

    Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Davies, Woodgate, Wheater, Pogatetz, Downing, Boateng (Morrison 68), Rochemback, Arca, Lee (Yakubu 68), Viduka (Johnson 90).
    Subs Not Used: Jones, Euell.

    Booked: Pogatetz.

    Goals: Viduka 34, Wheater 45, Viduka 47.

    Fulham: Niemi, Rosenior, Christanval (Queudrue 50), Knight, Bocanegra, Dempsey, Volz (Briggs 77), Davies, Radzinski, Helguson (John 64), McBride.
    Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Jensen.

    Goals: Davies 42.

    Att: 29,556

    Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).

  • Barclays Premier League Table
    01 February 2010 22:00
        P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 23 38 54
    2 Man Utd 24 36 53
    3 Arsenal 24 32 49
    4 Tottenham 24 20 42

    5 Liverpool 24 16 41

    6 Man City 22 14 41
    7 Aston Villa 23 13 40
    8 Birmingham 23 -1 34
    9 Everton 23 -1 32
    10 Blackburn 24 -15 28
    11 Fulham 23 -2 27
    12 Stoke 22 -7 26
    13 Sunderland 23 -10 24
    14 Wigan 22 -23 22
    15 West Ham 23 -9 21
    16 Bolton 22 -15 21
    17 Wolverhampton 23 -21 21

    18 Burnley 23 -23 20
    19 Hull 23 -26 20
    20 Portsmouth 22 -16 15

    Premiership clockwatch
    13 May 07 |  Premiership
    Premiership photos
    13 May 07 |  Football


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