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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 September 2007, 18:23 GMT 19:23 UK
Fulham 3-3 Man City
By Jon Barbuti

Fulham's Danny Murphy celebrates his equaliser
Danny Murphy fired a fine equaliser for Fulham

Danny Murphy came off the bench to snatch a draw as Fulham and Manchester City contested a six-goal thriller.

Murphy finished calmly from 12 yards after City, who twice came from behind, had taken the lead.

Fulham went ahead when Simon Davies headed home on 11 minutes, but Martin Petrov cut-in to level on 35 minutes.

Hameur Bouazza restored the lead with a second-half free-kick, but Emile Mpenza headed home moments later before Petrov scored his second with a low drive.

The draw was probably a fair result, yet both teams will wonder how they did not pick up all three points from an open match.

Fulham twice took the lead, yet for the fifth time this season threw it away, while City will wonder how they did not close out the game out after doing all the hard work in twice coming from behind.

606: DEBATE

The Fulham team-sheet might have made uneasy reading for City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, featuring four players who played when Northern Ireland beat his England team 1-0.

And David Healy, the match winner on that famous night at Windsor Park, almost earned the Swede's ire again, racing onto Chris Baird's long ball only to be superbly tackled by Richard Dunne.

City started solidly, but, as befits a team playing away from home with only one forward, created little in the early stages.

And, when Fulham took the lead in the 13th minute, they broke the length of field.

Martin Petrov celebrates his second goal for Man City
Petrov netted two goals for Man City

Bouazza won possession in his own box then, as play passed through midfield, charged down the left wing before receiving the ball and firing in a perfect cross that Davies flicked home.

City were rattled and Davis and Healy both nearly profited from the visitors' profligacy, easily picking off wayward passes but firing their shots too close to Schmeichel.

But despite a disappointing start, City showed great composure to level on 35 minutes.

Fulham lost possession cheaply in City's half and were made to pay as the ball was moved quickly to Petrov.

The left winger ran at Baird, easily cut inside the fall back and fired under Niemi with the outside of his left boot.

City were the better side until half-time but Fulham took control again after the break.

Kamara, on for Davies, won a free-kick 25 yards out in the 47th minute.

City opted for a partial wall and paid for it as Bouazza smashed the ball home.

The visiting team then went up to the other end and equalised. Mpenza bravely won a header and, with the Fulham defence backing off, Elano fired in a low shot which Niemi could only parry upwards. Mpenza, charging through on goal to follow up, made no mistake.

City took the lead for the first time on the hour - and again Niemi was at fault.

Petrov and Elano combined with a neat one-two, but although the Bulgarian's first-time shot was powerful it should never have been allowed to fly in at the near post.

Sanchez threw on Murphy and Seol Ki-Hyeon and the gamble paid off when Murphy equalised on 74 minutes with virtually his first touch.

Again the defending was sub-standard as the former England man was left unmarked in the box and he calmly stroked home from 15 yards.

Murphy could have scored the seventh goal of the match a minute later.

Again he was given too much space, but this time he shot narrowly over from 22 yards with Schmeichel desperately flinging himself across the goal.

The young keeper was called into action again on 88 minutes and almost made a complete hash of it. There appeared little danger as a cross flew into the box, but his weak punch was from the Niemi copybook and deflected narrowly wide.

With injury time up, City made one last break up-field, but were wasteful with a free-kick in a good position.


  • Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez:
    "We are entertaining, we concede lot of goals but then come back when we are behind.

    "Once we have eradicated some of our poor defending we will be OK because we have a real threat going forward.

    "The important thing is we have competition for places. We have quality on the bench and I know that I can change things around."

  • Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson:
    "I think that if you are a manager you are not that happy at conceding three goals.

    "I think it was a good game and both teams had the chance to win it. It is good to see our team play good football but we had to defend better.

    "I'm very happy for Martin Petrov, he has been very close to scoring before but he was very good in this match.


    Fulham: Niemi, Baird, Bocanegra, Hughes, Konchesky, Bouazza (Ki-Hyeon 67), Smertin, Davies (Kamara 46), Davis, Healy (Murphy 67), Dempsey.
    Subs Not Used: Keller, Stefanovic.

    Booked: Bocanegra, Dempsey, Konchesky.

    Goals: Davies 13, Bouazza 48, Murphy 75.

    Man City: Schmeichel, Corluka, Richards, Dunne, Garrido, Ireland (Jihai 83), Hamann, Johnson, Petrov, Elano (Geovanni 80), Mpenza (Bianchi 80).
    Subs Not Used: Hart, Ball.

    Booked: Richards, Hamann.

    Goals: Petrov 36, Mpenza 50, Petrov 60.

    Att: 24,674

    Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).



    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

    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    22 Sep 07 |  Football


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