• Date: Sun 21 February 2010
  • Venue: Craven Cottage
  • Ref: Dowd, P
  • Attendance: 21,758
Fulham

Fulham

Duff (59)

Zamora (90)

2 - 1

Fulham vs Birmingham City

Team Lineups

Fulham

Mark Schwarzer
Brede Hangeland
Chris Baird
Nicky Shorey
Aaron Hughes
Zoltan Gera
Danny Murphy (Chris Smalling, 90)
Damien Duff
Dickson Etuhu
Simon Davies (Bjorn Helge Riise, 83)
Bobby Zamora

Birmingham City

Joe Hart
Stephen Carr
Liam Ridgewell
Roger Johnson
Scott Dann
Lee Bowyer
Sebastian Larsson (Craig Gardner, 68)
Barry Ferguson (Miguel Marcos Michel, 90)
Keith Fahey
Cameron Jerome (Kevin Phillips, 77)
James McFadden

Match Report
Bobby Zamora again showed why he is being touted as a potential England World Cup player with the matchwinning goal in Fulham's 2-1 victory over Birmingham City at Craven Cottage. After his superb midweek winner against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League, Zamora produced another outstanding effort, his 15th goal of the season in all competitions, to consign the Blues to a third successive away league defeat. Watched by England coach Fabio Capello, the forward worked hard throughout, but had to wait until stoppage time for his opportunity to shine. With the sides locked at 1-1 Stephen Carr fouled Zoltan Gera on the edge of the Birmingham area and Zamora stepped up to plant a curling left-foot shot into the top left-hand corner, beyond Joe Hart's despairing dive. The Cottagers' stirring finish was in stark contrast to the opening moments of the game, in which Birmingham went ahead with barely three minutes on the clock. The Blues were quickest out of the blocks and when the ball broke to Lee Bowyer on the edge of the Fulham box, the midfielder's dinked cross to the edge of the six-yard area was met by Chris Baird, who in attempting to clear succeeded only in heading into the top right-hand corner of the goal. Goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer was left rooted to the spot, while Baird could only shake his head in disbelief. That goal ended the home side's run of clean sheets stretching back over five hours of Premier League football and Fulham struggled to regain parity for the rest of the first half. Birmingham's midfield pairing of Barry Ferguson and Bowyer caught the eye, breaking up play and pressing Fulham's creative players, particularly Danny Murphy and Zoltan Gera, into mistakes. After half-time, however, the home side began to find their rhythm. First Zamora hooked in a 25-yard half-volley on the turn which Hart saved comfortably. Then Fulham had a penalty shout turned down when Gera's attempted flick appeared to strike Scott Dann on the arm. Then in the 60th minute Fulham were level after a moment of quality from winger Damien Duff. The Irishman cut inside from the right wing, played a one-two with Gera and speared a drive low past Hart from the edge of the box. Birmingham had an opportunity to go in front again ten minutes later, when James McFadden's drive from outside the box was touched on to the bar by Schwarzer. But it was Zamora who was to have the final say, the home side leapfrogging Birmingham into ninth place in the table, having now lost just once in their last 11 matches at Craven Cottage.
Live Text Commentary
Full time
 

Full time: FULHAM 2-1 BIRMINGHAM: Zamora's late goal seals a deserved win for Fulham against in-form Birmingham.

90
Substitution
 

Smalling takes to the field in place of Murphy.

90
Substitution
 

Madera comes on for Ferguson.

90
Goal
 

FULHAM 2-1 BIRMINGHAM: Late drama as ZAMORA steps up to curl a delightful 20 yard free kick home.

88

Phillips tries to twist on the edge of the Fulham box but Hangeland is able to clear the danger.

86

Shorey's volley looks goal-bound but Carr heads clear.

85

Gera races away from Fahey but he runs the ball out of play. Goal kick to Birmingham.

83
Substitution
 

Davies makes way for Riise.

80

Into the last ten minutes and both sides look to be going all out for the win.

77
Substitution
 

Phillips comes on for Jerome.

76

Gardner's speculative shot is easily saved by Schwarzer.

73

Hangeland does well to get across to block Ferguson's 20 yard shot.

70

McFadden lets fly with a shot that hits the bar and bounces down and away from goal.

68
Substitution
 

Gardner comes on for Blues in place of Larsson.

67

Davies' first time cross goes behind the Birmingham goal.

65
Yellow Card
 

McFadden goes into the book for something he said to the referee.

64

Schwarzer makes a comfortable save from McFadden's low shot.

62
Yellow Card
 

Duff is booked for a late challenge on Dann.

59
Goal
 

FULHAM 1-1 BIRMINGHAM: Fulham are back in it thanks to DUFF. The winger cut inside before letting fly on the edge of the Birmingham box.

Full time
 

Fulham fans scream for a penalty after it looked like Murphy's pass was blocked by Dann's hand. Referee Dowd waves play on.

55

Schwarzer makes a routine save from Jerome's shot.

52

Zamora hits a decent left foot shot from Davies' pass but the ball goes straight at Hart.

49

Ridgewell hits a long pass looking for Jerome but Hangeland is there to tidy up and bring the ball out for Fulham.

47

Duff hits the ball low across the Birmingham box but Zamora can't get touch and the visitors clear.

Second half
 

No changes for either side at the break, as Birmingham get the second half up and running.

Half time
 

Half time: FULHAM 0-1 BIRMINGHAM: Fulham had most of the possession in the first half - but Birmingham still lead thanks to Baird's own goal.

42

Duff makes a clearance under pressure from Bowyer on the edge of the Fulham box.

40

Hughes does well to clear the danger for Fulham - with only one boot on!

38

Gera's volleyed cross is headed wide by Zamora as Fulham continue to press the visitors.

36

Shorey's whipped cross is headed away from danger by Bowyer.

34

Davies heads straight at Hart from Gera's cross. The winger should have done better.

32

Murphy loops a pass over the Birmingham defence for Zamora but the ball just runs away from the striker and Hart collects.

30

McFadden's low cross into the near post is easily cleared by Hughes.

27

Duff sends a rasping drive over the Birmingham goal.

23

Baird heads clear from Fahey's long throw-in.

21

Dann hooks the ball clear from Duff's low cross into the box.

Full time
 

Fulham have reacted positively to the early goal and have had the majority of the game.

16

Hangeland climbs above Johnson but sends his header well wide of the Birmingham goal.

14

Jerome hits a rising shot from Bowyer's knock-down but the ball sails high over the target.

12

Zamora tries to get his head to Murphy's cross but Hart gathers the loose ball.

10

Davies hits a cracking volley but Hart is in the right position and palms it out for a corner.

7

Murphy is involved in everything good Fulham are doing. His low cross into the Birmingham box is blasted wide by Shorey.

5

Murphy combines well with Zamora but the striker loses control of the ball and Johnson clears.

3
Goal
 

FULHAM 0-1 BIRMINGHAM: Early drama at the Cottage as BAIRD heads into his own net from Bowyer's dangerous cross.

2

McFadden's long range effort deflects off Hughes and runs into the grateful arms of Schwarzer.

1

Murphy fires in a 40 yard shot but it's well wide of the Birmingham goal.

Referee Phil Dowd gets the game under way.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

The teams are out at Craven Cottage. Both sides sit in the top ten - but who will come out on top this afternoon?

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Dann, Johnson, Ridgewell, Fahey, Bowyer, Ferguson, Larsson, McFadden, Jerome

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Keith Fahey starts for Birmingham, with Christian Benitez making way in an otherwise unchanged side from the one that beat Derby in the FA Cup.

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Fulham: Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Shorey, Davies, Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Gera, Zamora

Awaiting Kickoff
 

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson makes one change to the side that beat Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League on Thursday. Nicky Shorey comes in for Stephen Kelly, who drops to the bench.