0 users online

Fulham 2 Leicester 0 - Match Report

last updated Saturday 04th October 2003, 6:35 PM
Fulham midfielder Luis Boa Morte stepped up his flying start to the season today with both goals as Fulham powered to a 2-0 triumph against Leicester at Loftus Road.

The Portuguese winger mustered just two league goals last term but has five in seven games already this campaign.

Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque
Fulham midfielder Luis Boa Morte fires The Cottagers to 4th place in the Premiership
Luis Boa Morte Stories
However, the 26-year-old was somewhat fortunate to still be on the field to fire his brace today - as referee Chris Foy completely missed his stamp on Frank Sinclair's midriff in the 34th minute.

Boa Morte struck his first 60 seconds later, after fine work by man-of-the-match Steed Malbranque.

The creator of the first goal could and should have made it 2-0 five minutes before the break - but Malbranque was distracted by an argument with Louis Saha over who should take a penalty and shot tamely at Ian Walker.

The City keeper made a superb reaction stop from Junichi Inamoto's deflected effort on the stroke of half-time.

Foxes boss Micky Adams, on his return to his former club, rallied his troops after the break but the closest they came was when Marcus Bent's prod trundled across the face of goal.

And Boa Morte completed his double after 71 minutes, firing home at the second attempt.

The opening phase of this match had offered little in the way of goalscoring chances, with the presence of Zico in the directors' box causing more of a stir than events on the field.

The Brazilian legend, Japan's national team boss, was at Loftus Road to run the rule over Fulham's midfielder Inamoto.

Malbranque had the first crack at goal after 11 minutes. The home midfielder's angled drive was gathered by Walker, scrambling across his goalline.

Malbranque then slipped a clever pass into Luis Boa Morte, whose strike at goal clipped the boot of Gerry Taggart and span narrowly past Walker's upright.

Alan Rogers dragged the Foxes' first opportunity wide of Edwin van der Sar's upright.

Boa Morte had a lucky escape after 34 minutes. He kicked Sinclair in the stomach as the pair tussled on the floor following a corner - but referee Foy missed the incident and Boa Morte escaped without so much as a booking.

And it was the Portuguese winger who ironically bagged the opening goal 60 seconds later.

Match Stats Fulham Leicester
Goal attempts 16 8
On Target 8 4
Hit Woodwork 1 1
Offside 0 1
Corners 4 4
Fouls 14 10
Yellows 2 1
Reds 0 0
source: www.sportinglife.com
Malbranque played a one-two with Lee Clark and Boa Morte tucked home from six yards.

Fulham fluffed a wonderful opportunity to double their lead five minutes before the break.

The referee somewhat harshly penalised Taggart for holding down Louis Saha, awarding a penalty to the home side.

Malbranque argued with Saha over who should take the spot-kick - and when the Frenchman took the penalty, his tame attempt was easily saved by Walker.

The Leicester keeper made a superb reaction save on the stroke of half-time, sticking out a glove to deflect Inamoto's deflected drive over the top.

Adams' men were agonisingly close to the equaliser six minutes after the break.

Taggart flicked on Rogers' long throw and Bent's prodded attempt bobbled across the face of goal and just beyond the far post.

Van der Sar seized James Scowcroft's header as Leicester upped the pressure.

Foxes boss Adams made a bold double substitution on the hour, taking off defender Steve Howey and midfielder Lilian Nalis and throwing on strikers Paul Dickov and Les Ferdinand.

Malbranque sent Walker sprawling across his goalmouth to cut out a shot-on-the-turn.

Saha headed Malbranque's left-wing corner into the side-netting beyond the far post.

And Fulham doubled their lead after 71 minutes when Boa Morte completed his brace.

Malbranque put the Portuguese midfielder in on goal and, after his first effort was blocked by Rogers, he clambered to his feet and found the net via Walker's body.

Van der Sar protected the Cottagers' two-goal cushion with a fine reaction save from Ferdinand's close-range attempt.

Fulham Van der Sar, Leacock (Djetou 81), Knight, Goma, Bonnissel, Boa Morte, Pembridge, Clark, Inamoto (Legwinski 64), Malbranque, Saha (Hayles 84).

Subs Not Used: Crossley, Melville.

Booked: Knight(30,f, Goma(66,f).

Goals: Boa Morte 36, 73.

Leicester Walker, Sinclair, Taggart, Howey (Dickov 61), Rogers, Impey, Izzet, Nalis (Ferdinand 61), Scimeca, Bent (Gillespie 77), Scowcroft.

Subs Not Used: Coyne, Stewart.

Booked: Impey.

Att: 14,562

Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).
Source PA Sport by Alistair Grant
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"