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Match Report - Southampton 3 Fulham 3

last updated Thursday 06th January 2005, 11:19 AM

Southampton were left frustrated - and still second from bottom - after an entertaining match finished all-square at St Mary's.

Fulham striker Tomasz Radzinski scores his third goal in three games
Fulham striker Tomasz Radzinski scores his third goal in three games

Saints manager Harry Redknapp is still searching for his first win since taking over from Steve Wigley and it was only a spectacular own goal by 20-year-old defender Liam Rosenior which saved him from another defeat in a rollercoaster clash.

Senegalese giant Papa Bouba Diop headed Fulham in front after a dull opening. Kevin Phillips replied almost immediately and then grabbed the lead for Saints with a superb effort on 28 minutes.

But Fulham notched an equaliser just before the break when Steed Malbranque capitalised on good fortune and sloppy home defending and Tomasz Radzinski knocked in a fine ball by Mark Pembridge five minutes after the break for 3-2 before Rosenior's aberration.

With Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea still to visit St Mary's Redknapp knows he will need a massive improvement if they are to cheat relegation.

He will need a lot more, too, from son Jamie, signed from Tottenham for the rest of the season, although centre-back Calum Davenport's debut, having also been recruited from Spurs, was highly promising.

For nearly 20 minutes, the St Mary's fans wondered whether the game would ever start. Then suddenly, three goals in eight minutes had pulses racing.

Southampton, with six players dropped and the two new signings on board, made a weak start and Fulham easily had the better of the opening minutes in which Diop whistled a 30-yard shot just wide of Antti Niemi's left-hand post.

Jamie Redknapp was involved in a smart passing move in the 16th minute which ended with a Danny Higginbotham cross that Crouch headed straight at goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

A minute later, Diop was fortunate to see the ball clear his own crossbar after taking a wild swing at another Higginbotham centre.

But the hulking Diop's next contribution was much more impressive - a scoring header from a Mark Pembridge free-kick to give Fulham a deserved lead after 19 minutes. Poor marking allowed him to pick his spot as the ball came in.

Southampton, however, had an equaliser within a minute, Phillips grabbing his seventh goal of the season. Again it looked simplicity itself with the little striker escaping the marking to head in a Fabrice Fernandes cross.

Even better was to come though. When Crouch pressed forward, Phillips' run demanded a pass and he executed a splendid turn which took out Zesh Rehman. Another swivel confounded Zat Knight and his low drive left van der Sar helpless.

Match Stats Fulham Palace
Goals 3 3
Possession 44% 56%
Goal attempts 13 19
On Target 5 7
Corners 2 10
Penalty 0 0
Fouls 16 17
Yellows 2 2
Reds 0 0
source: soccernet

Saints had their tails up but before the break Malbranque had conjured a Fulham equaliser. Niemi could only palm out Luis Boa Morte's cross following a poor clearance by Rory Delap.

Five minutes into the second half, Pembridge played a beautiful pass in behind the scattered Saints defence for Tomasz Radzinski to coolly steer home his ninth goal of the season.

Andy Cole had the chance to put the home side out of their agony but shot just wide three minutes later. Fulham were to regret it.

A near-miss by Anders Svensson, shooting narrowly over, roused Saints again and Jamie Redknapp's ricochet shot through a crowd of players but safely through to van der Sar.

But he had no chance with the most powerful strike of the match - when young full-back Rosenior, son of Torquay manager Leroy and making only his fourth start, swung a foot at Svensson's cross in the 70th minute and bulleted it into the corner.

Southampton Niemi, Telfer, Lundekvam, Davenport (Jakobsson 84), Higginbotham, Anders Svensson, Delap, Redknapp, Fernandes (McCann 44), Phillips, Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Smith, Cranie, Ormerod.

Booked: Redknapp, Phillips.

Goals: Phillips 21, 29, Rosenior 71 og.

Fulham Van der Sar, Rosenior (Fontaine 90), Rehman, Knight, Bocanegra, Malbranque, Diop, Pembridge, Boa Morte, Cole (McBride 90), Radzinski (John 61).

Subs Not Used: Clark, Crossley.

Booked: Rehman (73,f), Cole (90,f).

Goals: Diop 20, Malbranque 43, Radzinski 50.

Att: 27,343

Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).

Source Sporting Life
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