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Fulham turn the tables - D. Telegraph

last updated Thursday 12th September 2002, 11:06 AM
Fulham (0) 3 Tottenham (2) 2
Fulham completed one of the most remarkable comebacks in recent years when Tottenham failed to replace Arsenal at the top of the Premiership after they threw away a two-goal lead.

Fulham's comeback started when former Arsenal forward Junichi Inamoto belatedly opened his Premiership goal account.
  Fulham midfielder Junichi Inamoto  
  Fulham star Junichi Inamoto starts Fulham's comeback

In the 83rd minute Anthony Gardner foolishly wrestled Barry Hayles to the ground and substitute Steed Malbranque kept his nerve to score from the penalty spot.

With seconds remaining in stoppage time Sylvain Legwinski played a one-two with Facundo Sava before beating Kasey Keller to the delight of the fans at Fulham's adopted home at Loftus Road.

A lively opening period saw both sides playing some flowing one-touch football. Les Ferdinand, the former Queens Park Rangers striker back on his old hunting ground, was inches away from making it a happy return to Loftus Road in the eighth minute. Then, good work by Matthew Etherington enabled Teddy Sheringham to create the opening for Ferdinand, who claimed his angled shot was deflected wide.

Fulham replied with a powerful run down the right from Louis Saha and with Luis Boa Morte free the Frenchman passed straight to the grateful Goran Bunjevcevic who cleared.

Simon Davies tested Edwin van der Sar after a superb lay-off by Ferdinand but Tottenham let themselves down with some poor passing, notably by Chris Perry.

Tottenham broke the deadlock in the 37th minute with a goal that Fulham defender Zat Knight will not want to see again.

From Milenko Acimovic's right-wing corner Dean Richards brushed off Knight's powder-puff challenge to send a powerful header past the Fulham goalkeeper.
Match Stats Fulham Spurs
Goal attempts 13 7
On Target 8 4
Fouls 8 11
Corners 9 6
Yellows 0 1
Reds 0 0
source: www.sportinglife.com

Van der Sar then almost punched the ball into his own net before Sheringham made it 2-0 in the 44th minute. Ferdinand touched the ball to Etherington who gave Sheringham the chance to shoot home low from 12 yards.

Fulham had looked more dangerous as the second half progressed and Inamoto gave the home side hope in the 69th minute with his first Premiership goal.

A poor clearance by Perry, who gave the ball to Inamoto, proved costly when the Japanese international beat Keller from 25 yards.

Perry had to leave the field after a reckless challenge by Pierre Wome saw the Cameroon player catch the Spurs defender in the face with his boot.

Wome was carried off on a stretcher and was fortunate not to be shown the red card by referee Mark Halsey.

With seven minutes remaining, Halsey initially turned down Fulham's appeals for a penalty when Gardner brought down Hayles. The linesman called the referee over and justice was done with Malbranque equalising from the spot.

Van der Sar, Finnan, Knight, Goma, Wome (Collins 81), Davis, Legwinski, Inamoto, Boa Morte (Malbranque 45), Saha (Hayles 21), Sava.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Melville.
Goals: Inamoto 68, Malbranque 84 pen, Legwinski 90.

Keller, Bunjevcevic, Perry (Doherty 80), Richards, Gardner, Thatcher, Acimovic (Ziege 73), Etherington (Iversen 84), Davies, Ferdinand, Sheringham.
Subs Not Used: Hirschfeld, Keane.
Booked: Thatcher.
Goals: Richards 36, Sheringham 44.
Att: 16,757
Ref: M Halsey (Lancashire).
Source D. Telegraph by Christopher Davies
Since 1998
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