Football

Fulham claim slim advantage

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Fulham moved one step closer to a fairytale Europa League semi-final after they recorded a 2-1 win over German champions Wolfsburg at Craven Cottage.

A match bereft of goalmouth action was sparked into life halfway through the second half courtesy of goals from Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff.

The Cottagers looked set for a two goal victory margin before Alexander Madlung rose to beat Mark Schwarzer just before the death to leave the tie finely poised going into next week's second leg in Germany.

Zoltan Gera had Fulham's first effort on target but his low 30-yard shot was easily saved by Diego Benaglio.

Duff then raced towards the Wolfsburg goal and beat three defenders before laying the ball off to Clint Dempsey but Fulham's match-winner against Juve could not hit the target.

Grafite shot tamely at Schwarzer after beating the offside trap, much to the annoyance of the vocal Wolfsburg fans near Schwarzer's goal.

Zamora then struck for the 18th time this season to put the home side ahead with a superb curling effort. The former Spurs hitman took advantage of the space given to him by Marcel Schafer to place a precise left-footed curler past Benaglio.

Zamora, who has been at odds with the Fulham fans on more than one occasion this season, chose to celebrate in a controversial fashion by cupping his ear with his hand towards the home fans.

Duff then doubled Fulham's lead four minutes later after picking up the ball off Zamora in the box to coolly slot past Benaglio.

Roy Hodgson looked to shore up his side's defences by introducing Chris Baird for Danny Murphy, who came off to a standing ovation from the home fans. The move failed to stifle the Germans' attack and Wolfsburg put themselves well and truly back in the tie when Madlung rose to beat Schwarzer from a Zvjezdan Misimovic cross near the end.

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

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Topics:
Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur
Fulham
Mark Schwarzer
Bobby Zamora
Football
Premier League
Chris Baird
Zoltan Gera
Damien Duff
Clint Dempsey

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