Sunday, May 11, 2008

Fulham Redeemed

Fulham confirmed its Premier League status for next season by defeating Portsmouth 1-0 on Sunday. Danny Murphy's second half header was the only goal in a scrappy game and the win saved Fulham from relegation at the expense of Reading and Birmingham. News of the latter two sides winning their respective games comfortably was trickling to the field at Fratton Park, and Fulham knew that only a victory would save them from the drop. Roy Hodgson's side feverishly pressed the Portsmouth goal, and they were rewarded in the 76th minute when Jimmy Bullard's inswinging freekick was met by Murphy. Brian McBride and Kasey Keller played the full 90 minutes for Fulham, while Clint Dempsey started the game before coming off in the 72nd minute.

The news was not so good for Marcus Hahnemann and Reading, who were relegated as a result of Fulham's win. A fantastic effort from Reading in a 4-0 victory over Derby was not enough to make up the gap between the Royals and Fulham, and Hahnemnn's team was relegated to the Championship due to goal differential. Hahnemann made four saves in the loss, while Eddie Lewis and Benny Feilhaber both took part for Derby.

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Everton and Tim Howard clinched fifth place with a 3-1 victory over Newcastle.

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