Friday, 2 April 2010
Fulham 2 -1 Wolfsburg
The unexpected appearance of Simon Davies at right back from the start of the game provided fans with an attacking mindset, but in truth Fulham's fourth (or fifth) choice right back didn't venture forward as much as perhaps Paintsil would - mindful of his new defensive duties no doubt. But he was tidy in the position and didn't really do much wrong.
It seemed Dixon Etuhu was having a 'mare though. Frequently ball watching, his passes were often astray and it looks like he lost his man for Wolfburg's pretty ordinary goal. Alongside him Murphy had an expressive second half after a mixed first 45 minutes, with plenty of incisive passing. Murphy's turnaround heralded a more fluid team performance in the second half and Zamora took a wonderful goal, which looks even better on TV. He used Duff's run as a decoy and calmly stroked the ball into the opposite corner of the goal from quite far out. You shouldn't be scoring those kind of goals from 30 yards. We were too busy celebrating to notice Zamora cupping his ear. I wonder why that has returned?
The Wolfsburg keeper didn't have a great deal to do in the game, but didn't make any outstanding saves. In fact the next thing he did was pick the ball out of the goal again after wonderful wing play from Konchesky and Gera (perhaps Dempsey) gave the ball to Bobby on the edge of the six yard box. Back to goal, he laid it on a platter for Duff to crack it low into the net. 2-0. Perfect score. Now only if they can keep that for next week.... no.
Around about 80 minutes Bobby received the ball on the halfway line and kind of stopped instead of powering forward. This changed mindset suddenly transferred to all the players and things became a bit panicked at the back - embodied by Hangelnad's ignoring of Schwarzer's call which nearly (and perhaps should have) gifted Wolfsburg a goal. Which they eventually got anyway. Still - Fulham beat Shaktar (still the most impressive team in the tournament) 2-1 at home and that was enough. Hopefully history will repeat itself in this tie too. All the other quarter finals are as equally well balanced as well.
Col and I were sat higher up than normal and in H5 and the view of the game there (massive pillar aside) is pretty good. There were at least three shots by Fulham in the second half that we could picture flying into the goal had it not been for a few defensive blocks and Bobby Z's arse. But that's why those season tickets are £500. The difference in these seats is also shown in the amount of time it tales to get out of the ground. Normally from our seats in H7 we can easily slip out and be walking along the Thames within a minute. Not so here. In fact walking back from the ground with so many people around us gave the experience a completely different feel - almost communal.