A draw at the Hamburg Arena has left Fulham FC on top, but despite a change of coach on Monday, Hamburger SV will not give up their dream of a decider on home soil easily.
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A draw at the Hamburg Arena, venue for the inaugural UEFA Europa League final, has left Fulham FC on top, but despite a change of coach on Monday, Hamburger SV will not give up their dream of a decider on home soil easily.
• There were no goals last week when the sides met in Germany, with Fulham defending heroically. Tellingly, Hamburg had five shots on goal while their guests had none, and were also well on top in terms of corners (7-1) and offsides (3-1).
• Before last week, the sides had never met in Europe.
• Hamburg have now played 13 games against English sides in European club competition, with the record W4 D3 L6: (W0 D1 L4 in England). Those ties include a 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest FC in the 1979/80 European Champion Clubs' Cup final in Madrid.
• Those previous meetings include four two-legged knockout ties, of which HSV won three and lost one, going down 7-1 on aggregate to Liverpool FC in the 1977 UEFA Super Cup.
• Their best result against an English side – home or away – remains a 4-1 win against Burnley FC in the 1960/61 European Cup quarter-final second leg. Their worst was a 6-0 loss at Anfield in the aforementioned UEFA Super Cup game.
• Hamburg have yet to win in five trips to England, avoiding defeat only once, with a 0-0 draw against Southampton FC at The Dell in a 1984/85 UEFA Cup first round opener.
• Fulham are playing against German opposition for the second round in succession, having beaten reigning Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 at home and 1-0 away in the quarter-finals.
• Fulham's only other games against German opposition marked the end of their 2002/03 UEFA Cup campaign. They lost 2-1 at Hertha BSC Berlin before drawing 0-0 at Queens Park Rangers FC's Loftus Road – their then temporary home – in the third round.
• Thus Fulham's record in five games against German sides reads W2 D2 L1(W1 D1 L0 in London).
• Hamburg dismissed coach Bruno Labbadia on Monday in the wake of a 5-1 league defeat against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. His replacement for the remainder of the season will be Dutch skills coach Ricardo Moniz, who initially came to the club from Tottenham Hotspur FC along with Labbadia's predecessor Martin Jol.
• Prior to last week's stalemate in Hamburg, Fulham had only once drawn the first leg of a European tie away from home, holding Bologna FC 2-2 in one of the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup finals, before winning the return fixture 3-1 in London.
• Hamburg have drawn 0-0 at home in the opening leg of three previous European ties, going on to win the most recent two of them (one on away goals). They were undone in the 1983 UEFA Super Cup, however, losing 2-0 at Aberdeen FC.
• This is Hamburg's ninth appearance in the semi-finals of a major UEFA club competition. They have won five of their previous last-four ties and lost three, most recently bowing out to Werder Bremen in last season's UEFA Cup.
• Fulham have long since eclipsed their best season in Europe, and have reached a major European semi-final for the first time in their history.
• Fulham remain unbeaten in 15 European home games (11 wins, four draws) since making their continental debut in the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup. They have conceded more than one goal just once when holding European matches, drawing 2-2 with HNK Hajduk Split in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round, and have won their last four home fixtures in the UEFA Europa League.
• Hamburg's 3-1 quarter-final win at R. Standard de Liège ended a run of three straight European away defeats.
• Hamburg striker Ruud van Nistelrooy will need little introduction to Fulham fans. He played in nine games against the Cottagers with Manchester United FC from 2001 to 2006 and garnered the record W7 D1 L1 (W2 D1 L0 away from home).
• The Dutch striker scored ten times in those fixtures, all but three of them against his future United team-mate and countryman Edwin van der Sar; seven at Old Trafford and three at Fulham.
• Fulham manager Roy Hodgson faced Hamburg in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage, with his Viking FK side – which featured current Fulham defender Brede Hangeland – losing 2-0 at the Hamburg Arena.
• Piotr Trochowski is the only current Hamburg player who featured in that game.
• In total, prior to joining Fulham Hodgson had coached in five games against German opposition, with the record W2 D0 L3 (W2 D0 L0 as home coach).
• In his two two-legged ties against German opposition, Hodgson's Halmstads BK side lost to 1. FC Dynamo Dresden in the 1977/78 European Cup first round while his FC Internazionale Milano charges lost the 1997 UEFA Cup final on penalties against FC Schalke 04 after the teams traded 1-0 home wins.
• Hamburg's David Rozehnal and Fulham's Damien Duff were team-mates at Newcastle United FC in 2007/08. Newcastle won 1-0 at Craven Cottage on 15 December 2007 in Rozehnal's only game against the London side.
• HSV's Marcus Berg and Fulham's Erik Nevland were team-mates at FC Groningen in 2007/08.
• Hamburg's Mladen Petrić and Fulham's Pascal Zuberbühler played together at FC Basel 1893 from 2004 to 2006, winning the title in Petrić's first season.
• Petrić – and indeed Züberbuhler – came up against Fulham's first-choice keeper Mark Schwarzer in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup quarter-finals, as Basel took on Middlesbrough FC. The English side lost 2-0 in Switzerland, and went a goal behind in the second leg only to win the match 4-1 en route to a final defeat.
• HSV defender Guy Demel spent 2000/01 in England with Arsenal FC, without making a single league appearance.
• The brother of Hamburg defender Jerome Boateng, Kevin-Prince Boateng, plays in the Premier League with Portsmouth FC.
• Hodgson was Petrić's coach at Grasshopper-Club in 1999/2000, though the striker made just two substitute appearances in the league that campaign. The Zurich club finished fourth, with Hodgson moving on to FC København.
• Australian goalkeeper Schwarzer's parents were born in Germany, and he played there with Dynamo Dresden (1994-95) and 1. FC Kaiserslautern (1995-96) before moving to England.
• Zuberbühler made 13 Bundesliga appearances while on loan from Basel at Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2000/01. Hamburg midfielder Zé Roberto was among his team-mates at the BayArena.
• Fulham forwards Bobby Zamora (39) and Zoltán Gera (27) have committed more fouls than any other players in the UEFA Europa League. Zamora has also been ruled offside more than any player left in the last four – 22 in total.
• Hamburg's David Jarolím has been fouled 30 times, more than any other player left in the competition.
• Zamora is the highest scoring active player in the competition with six goals, while team-mate Bjørn Helge Riise has made more assists than any other player in the semi-finals with four.
• As a Hamburg player between 1977 and 1980, Kevin Keegan helped HSV to the 1978/79 Bundesliga title, winning the Ballon d'Or that year and playing in the 1980 European Cup final. Keegan, who earned the nickname 'Mighty Mouse' in Germany, was Fulham manager in 1998/99, guiding the club to promotion from the English third tier before leaving to become England manager.
• The winners will face either Club Atlético de Madrid or Liverpool FC in the final at the Hamburg Arena on 12 May. Both Fulham and Hamburg competed in the UEFA Europa League group stage, while Atlético and Liverpool finished third in their UEFA Champions League groups.
• Since the UEFA Cup was decided with a one-off final at a neutral venue for the first time in 1997/98, two sides have played in the decider at their home stadium. Feyenoord beat BV Borussia Dortmund 3-2 at their De Kuip home in 2001/02, but Sporting Clube de Portugal lost 3-1 to PFC CSKA Moskva in 2004/05 at their Estádio José Alvalade.
• Seven UEFA Cup finals have been contested by sides from the same association, though there have been no all-English encounters since the very first edition of the UEFA Europa League's precursor:
1971/72 – ENG: Tottenham Hotspur FC beat Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
1979/80 – GER: Eintracht Frankfurt beat VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach
1989/90 – ITA: Juventus beat ACF Fiorentina
1990/91 – ITA: FC Internazionale Milano beat AS Roma
1994/95 – ITA: Parma FC beat Juventus
1997/98 – ITA: FC Internazionale Milano beat S.S. Lazio
2006/07 – ESP: Sevilla FC beat RCD Espanyol
• Fulham have never been involved in a European penalty shoot-out.
• Hamburg lost their only European penalty shoot-out 4-3 on home turf against Dutch opponents Sparta Rotterdam following a 2-2 aggregate draw in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup first round.