Fulham Reach Their 1st European Final

Fulham's crest since 2000
Image via Wikipedia

In what must rank as the best overall team performance of the season Fulham have reached their first ever European Final thanks to a 2-1 aggregate victory over Hamburg in the Europa League. Fulham have only competed in Europe once before back in 2002-3 season when they won the Intertoto cup and this season had to come through the third qualifying round and a playoff round just to reach the group stage.

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Hamburg fight back to beat Standard Liège

Ruud van Nistelrooy
Image via Wikipedia

German representatives Hamburg had to come from a goal down to take a slender lead into their Europa League quarter-final second leg with Standard Liège.

The Belgian club opened the scoring on 31 minutes via Dieudonne Mbokani nodded home off a corner kick for a 1-0 visitors’ lead before Mladen Petric equalised for Hamburg from the  penalty spot on 42 minutes. Ex Manchester United Striker Ruud van Nistelrooy then grabbed the winner to set up a very interesting second leg in Liege on 22nd April.

In the other quarter Final not involving a British club Valencia were surprisingly held to a 2-2 draw at home to Atletico Madrid and had David Villa to thank for going into the second leg level as he grabbed their second equaliser late in the second half.

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