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Leicester v Fulham - Match report

last updated Saturday 22nd September 2001, 6:02 PM
Despite a second-half onslaught, Leicester City's miserable home form continued as they were held to a goalless draw by Fulham in an entertaining clash at Filbert Street.

Peter Taylor's men have now picked up just two points from four home matches this season, though Fulham were severely tested in the second period as the home side pushed for victory.

And the under-fire Foxes boss can at least take some pleasure from his team's first clean-sheet in six Premiership games, his defence successfully shutting out Fulham's 11.5million new-boy Steve Marlet.

But it was an impressive full debut for French striker Marlet, who missed the start of the season with a knee injury following his transfer from Lyon in August.

With both clubs desperate to improve on modest starts to the season it was always going to be a tight encounter but, to their credit, they put on a rousing show for a crowd of just under 19,000.

Fulham were the stronger side as the first half action swung from end to end like a clay court tennis rally, with the Marlet giving the visitors plenty of options in attack.

The lithe striker - showing signs of an impressive partnership with countryman Saha - had a superb chance to open his Premiership account in only the second minute, but he fluffed his shot from Saha's low cross.

Tigana's men were working plenty of space in midfield, though Leicester had wisely adopted a deep defensive line to help combat the extreme pace of Marlet, Saha and Louis Boa Morte.

And the home side certainly had their own chances to open the scoring, the best of which fell to Dean Sturridge when he clipped youngster Jordan Stewart's wicked cross over the bar from just six yards.

The second half was equally entertaining, though this time it was the home side who were forcing the pace as they tested Edwin Van der Saar with a barrage of crosses - though the Dutch 'keeper coped admirably under some intense pressure.

Sturridge again had the best chance for Leicester, his header from Lee Marshall's cross just drifting wide, but for the most part center-backs Andy Melville and 21-year-old Zat Knight were in control for Fulham.

Sensing a chance to ease the pressure on Taylor and secure a first home victory of the season, Leicester threw more players forward as the minutes ticked away.

Stewart, who was having a fine game on the left-hand side of the Leicester defence, swept the ball into the path of James Scowcroft but his header went over the crossbar.

An arm injury forced Stewart off in the 79th minute after falling awkwardly, and despite continuing to press, Fulham held firm to claim their third away draw of the season.

Walker, Marshall, Elliott, Davidson, Sinclair (Rowett 34), Stewart (Impey 80), Savage, Wise, Izzet, Scowcroft, Sturridge.

Subs not used: Royce, Jones, Benjamin.
Booked: Sinclair, Stewart.

Van der Sar, Finnan, Melville, Knight (Symons 64), Brevett, Clark, Davis, Collins, Boa Morte (Legwinski 45), Saha, Marlet, Legwinski (Malbranque 69).

Subs Not Used: Taylor, Hayles.
Booked: Boa Morte, Davis.

Att: 18,918
Referee: E Wolstenholme (Blackburn)
Source sky by Alex Sharratt
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