Football

Dempsey the hero in sensational Fulham win

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Clint Dempsey wrote himself into Fulham folklore by firing the Cottagers into the last eight of the Europa League with a 4-1 win over nine-man Juventus at Craven Cottage.

Dempsey drifted a sublime chip past keeper Antonio Chimenti to seal a historic 5-4 aggregate win for the Cottagers.

Bobby Zamora cancelled out David Trezeguet's opener before Fulham surged into a 3-1 lead on the night thanks to two goals from Zoltan Gera, including one from the penalty spot.

Juventus had been reduced to 10 after Fabio Cannavaro was sent off in the first half and their fate was sealed in the 82nd minute thanks to Dempsey's winner. Juve's misery was completed by the sending-off of Jonathan Zebina in injury time.

The Italian giants looked set to progress comfortably to the quarter-finals when David Trezeguet opened the scoring in the second minute. Hasan Salihamidzic's curling cross found Diego and he shrugged off Stephen Kelly and Hangeland before laying the ball off to the France striker, who neatly beat Mark Schwarzer.

The visitors' lead lasted just seven minutes, though, thanks to Zamora's 16th of the season. The former Spurs striker overpowered Fabio Cannavaro and chested down Paul Konchesky's cross before beating Chimenti with a volley.

Cannavaro was then dismissed in the 27th minute for colliding with Gera after the Hungarian had been played through by Zamora. Fulham piled on the pressure and hit the woodwork twice through Simon Davies and Dickson Etuhu before Gera converted Davies' cross to make it 2-1 to Fulham on the night.

With Juventus on the ropes, the Cottagers continued to dominate after the interval and Gera levelled the scores on aggregate from the spot in the 49th minute after Diego had handled a Damien Duff cross.

Dempsey was then introduced in place of Stephen Kelly and it was he who provided the game's decisive moment with eight minutes remaining, taking advantage of some slack defending from Zebina and drifting a delightful chip beyond Chimenti and into the far corner.

Juventus were reduced to nine men when Zebina was sent off for lashing out at Duff and Fulham played keep-ball for the remainder of the match to round off a memorable night for the West London club.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Europa League
Fulham
Mark Schwarzer
Bobby Zamora
Football
Paul Konchesky
Premier League
Simon Davies
Dickson Etuhu
Zoltan Gera
Damien Duff
Stephen Kelly
Clint Dempsey

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