Fulham FC extended their unbeaten run at home in European ties to 13 against the winners of the last edition of the UEFA Cup, FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
Zoltán Gera's early goal gave the hosts the perfect start before Luiz Adriano equalised, but Bobby Zamora's second-half rocket ensured Roy Hodgson's men take a slender lead into next Thursday's UEFA Europa League round of 32 return leg in Ukraine.
The Londoners opened with confidence befitting a side that had never lost at home in Europe, and Andriy Pyatov was forced to tip over Brede Hangeland's header from Danny Murphy's delivery in the first 30 seconds. Murphy again had a key role as the hosts took a third-minute lead, with his incisive through ball finding Zamora, whose lay-off played in Gera. The Hungarian's shot squirmed under Pyatov and in.
Murphy went close in the 23rd minute when his free-kick sailed just wide of Pyatov's left-hand post, but Mircea Lucescu's side recovered from their tough opening and began to pass the ball smoothly. After 31 minutes, Darijo Srna's cross-shot fizzed just wide after Răzvan Raţ's centre from the left had not cleared. Fulham's reprieve was brief: one minute later, Ilsinho sent Luiz Adriano clear and the Brazilian beat Mark Schwarzer courtesy of a sidestep and composed finish.
With few second-half chances, it took a moment of brilliance for Hodgson's side to retake the lead on 63 minutes. This time Gera set up Zamora, his delightful back-heel being smashed into the top corner by the powerful striker via the underside of the bar. Zamora almost added to his haul moments later but headed wide while unmarked. Fernandinho's late goal had rescued a draw on Shakhtar's last visit to London, against Tottenham Hotspur FC at the same stage last season, and he almost repeated the trick in added time, only for Schwarzer to parry his lofted chip and ensure Fulham held on.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.