Fulham fight back to draw 1-1

Fulham held out against Manchester United to earn a creditable 1-1 draw.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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Fulham had the opportunity of completing an unlikely double over the defending English Premier League champions Manchester United Loftus Road on Saturday after their at Old Trafford earlier in the season. The game saw the return to West London of last month's £12.8 million signing Louis Saha. Saha almost made the most sensational of starts against his old club just nine seconds after kick-off. The Frenchman raced on to Diego Forlan's angled pass and fired goalwards beating Edwin van der Sar, but his shot skidded just beyond the far post. The Fulham defence knew only too well about the France international striker's abilities, but they didn't take heed. United goalkeeper Roy Carroll threw the ball out to Ronaldo. The winger slipped it inside to Saha and he raced into the area and smashed the ball past van der Sar after 14 minutes. The champions looked comfortable, but the home side gave them a scare with 28 minutes gone. Sylvain Legwinski met Sean Davis' left wing corner with a header which flicked off Roy Keane and against the United crossbar. Fulham stunned United when they scored an equaliser after 64 minutes. Steed Malbranque slipped a pass through to Luis Boa Morte and the Portuguese international span past Wes Brown and fired through the legs of Carroll to send the home fans into raptures. Referee Alan Wiley denied United a penalty claim when Saha ran onto Forlan's through ball. He clipped the ball beyond van der Sar, who sent the striker tumbling to the turf. Wiley dismissed the visitors' appeals and was later consulted by fourth official Graham Poll. He then booked substitute Ruud van Nistelrooy while he was warming up on the touchline. The Fulham defence held out to the final whistle to earn a creditable 1-1 draw. Manchester United dropped to third in the table and fell nine points behind leaders Arsenal, who beat Charlton Athletic 2-1. Chelsea moved above United on goal difference after a 1-0 win at Manchester. (AP)