Juve floored by Fulham comeback
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Fulham FC 4-1 Juventus (agg: 5-4)
Clint Dempsey's brilliant late chipped goal crowned a remarkable night for the London side as they earned a place in Friday's quarter-final draw.
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Clint Dempsey's brilliant chipped goal three minutes from time completed a remarkable comeback for Fulham FC as they overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit against Juventus to ensure their UEFA Europa League run continues.
Zoltán Gera scored twice and Bobby Zamora and substitute Dempsey once each as Fulham made the most of Fabio Cannavaro's 27th-minute dismissal to recover from David Trezeguet's early strike and reach the quarter-finals. To make matters worse, Juventus ended their campaign with nine men, first-leg scorer Jonathan Zebina sent off late on for a kick on Damien Duff.
A historic night for Fulham started in terrible fashion when after only two minutes a mix-up in defence allowed Trezeguet to sweep the ball low past goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Fulham rallied and were back on level terms seven minutes later when Zamora beat Cannavaro to Paul Konchesky's cross and fired in the equaliser.
Juve had let a three-goal lead slip against AC Siena on Sunday and nerves were jangling when Cannavaro was dismissed midway through the half for pulling back Gera as he burst clear. Zamora's pass had created the opening and his resulting free-kick was only kept out by a superb fingertip stop from third-choice goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti, in for the injured Gianluigi Buffon and Alex Manninger.
Fulham powered forward and Stephen Kelly then Dickson Etuhu hit the woodwork before their pressure paid off on 39 minutes, Gera finishing a flowing move when he tapped in Simon Davies's cross. There was no let-up after the break as Diego handled in the area and Gera dispatched the spot kick on 48 minutes to put Fulham ahead 3-1 and bring the tie level 4-4 on aggregate.
The 39-year-old Chimenti kept Juve in the tie with instinctive saves from Davies, Dempsey and Gera. There was nothing he could do with eight minutes left, however, when Dempsey chipped high over his head and into the far corner from the edge of the area to cap a memorable night for Roy Hodgson's side.