Bolton 1 Fulham 3: Hodgson's United reality check for Fulham

16 March 2009 01:50

first taste of Barclays Premier League success on the road this season was overshadowed by an away win of far greater significance just a few miles down the motorway at Old Trafford.

But if the jubilant Liverpool

fans heading back to Merseyside hope Fulham can turn Manchester United's

blip into a full-blown crisis when they meet on Saturday, there was a sobering reality check from the Londoners' manager Roy Hodgson.

It is only a week since United dismantled his team 4-0 in an FA Cup quarter-final and if Liverpool and Chelsea

are expecting a favour in their pursuit of Sir Alex Ferguson's team, Hodgson urged them to think again.

Three and easy: Diomansy Kamara scores the third to seal Fulham's first victory on their travels in the league this season

'Listen, I can't stand here and say our team is on a par with Manchester United because everyone knows it isn't,' he said.

  Bolton 1 Fulham 3: How the action unfolded



'Wecan promise we'll give them a good game, but Liverpool and Chelseacan't really expect that we'll beat Manchester United for them. All wecan do is give it our best shot.'

Fulham had been staying atthe same hotel on the outskirts of Manchester as Liverpool and whilecaptain Danny Murphy - who guaranteed his place in Anfield history byscoring three winning goals at Old Trafford in the space of fourseasons - might not have been able to promise his old team-mates StevenGerrard and Jamie Carragher that he would topple United again, hebelieves holding the champions to a draw is not out of the question.

Something out of nothing: Bolton skipper Kevin Davies celebrates his equaliser after beating Mark Schwarzer (above) but it proved to be a mere consolation

Murphysaid: 'Everybody expects us to get soundly beaten again by United afterwhat happened last week, but let's not forget we've beaten Arsenal anddrawn with Chelsea at our place this season.

'I'm not saying we can turn it round and win, but we'll be hoping to maybe nick something.'

Itwas Murphy's dramatic winner at Portsmouth that kept Fulham up on thelast day of the season last May. Hodgson's side had failed to win awayin the League since, but found Bolton

all too accommodating as theytook a huge step to reaching safety as early as mid-March.

Bolton'sdefending was simply awful. Centre back Andy O'Brien was the chiefculprit, clumsily pushing the ball past his own keeper JussiJaaskelainen to allow Andrew Johnson to score the opener and thenlosing the Fulham striker again in the build-up to Simon Davies's goalafter Kevin Davies had fired Bolton level.

Leading the way: Bolton's Ricardo Gardner is helpless to prevent Simon Davies' well taken second for Fulham which put the visitors back in front

Then Gavin McCanntried to play the ball across his own penalty area two minutes fromtime and substitute Diomansy Kamara gladly accepted Fulham's third,doubling the number of goals they have scored away all season.

Boltonare still far from safe and Davies, who took his goal total for theseason to 11, said: 'There was some Sunday league defending. Threemistakes have cost us, but we can't just blame the defence.

'Theaim is to finish in the top 10, but to do that these are the sort ofgames we really need to win. But we made it all too easy for them andthat's not like us.'

Ful' of it: Bobby Zamora (L) toasts strike partner Andy Johnson's opener that set Fulham on their way to their first away league win since last May at Portsmouth


BOLTON WANDERERS (4-5-1):Jaaskelainen 6; Steinsson 5, Cahill 7, A O'Brien 4, Samuel 5 (Riga74min, 6); K Davies 7, McCann 5, M Davies 6 (Muamba 68, 5), Gardner 6,Taylor 5; Elmander 6.

FULHAM (4-4-2):Schwarzer 6; Pantsil 6, Hangeland 7, Hughes 6, Konchesky 6; S Davies 6,Etuhu 6, Murphy 7, Dempsey 6; Johnson 8 (Nevland 90), Zamora 7 (Kamara84).

Man of the match: Andrew Johnson. Referee: Chris Foy.

 Bolton 1 Fulham 3: How the action unfolded




Source: Daily_Mail