Fulham held Celtic to a goalless draw in their latest pre-season friendly at Craven Cottage.
Fulham had a scare in the opening exchanges when a mix up between Adam Green and Alain Goma allowed two Celtic attackers through on goal, fortunately Mark Crossley was aware of the situation and cleaned up. Despite his shaky start, Green soon found his feet when on five minutes he produced an excellent tackle to dispossess Jeremie Aliadiere.
Claus Jensen came close to opening the scoring for the Whites just after the quarter hour mark. A well delivered long ball from Mark Pembridge fell nicely into the path of Radzinski, who had advanced clear of the Celtic back line. He instantly controlled the ball and laid it back into the path of Jensen. With the goal at his mercy only a last ditch interception from a recovering defender prevented a certain goal.
In the sweltering temperatures, the Whites were certainly looking assured as they willingly chased down lost causes all over the pitch, much to the frustration of the visiting supporters.
Mark Pembridge’s spectacular 30-yard strike on 22 minutes had most of those in attendance either cheering or shaking their heads in disbelief. His powerful shot swerved just wide of Marshall’s right hand upright but the deflection off the stanchion gave the impression of a goal.
Mark Crossley was, once again, required to be at full awareness on 39 minutes when a neat piece of play from Petrov on the edge of the Fulham box set Sutton clean through. Thankfully, Crossley was off his line quickly and smothered any danger.
Within the opening minutes of the second half, Steed Malbranque chased down a loose Celtic ball and squared into the path of Cole whose short from 18 yard sailed over. That kick started the visitors as they started to increase the pressure of Fulham’s defence. Mark Crossley was required to pluck two dangerous cross out of the air as Celtic began using the wide areas with greater efficiency.
Celtic’s spell of dominance however was short-lived as Fulham created a number of dangerous situations, unfortunately, the final ball into the box was lacking.
A badly cleared Celtic corner on 60 minutes fell invitingly into the path of Petrov whose thunderous shot thumped into the collective mass of advancing Fulham players.
A quick Celtic break on 65 minutes caught Fulham’s defence looking especially square. The lively looking Petrov was allowed to advance as far as the six yard area before his cutback evaded the string of Bhoys players lining up in front of goal.
As the match progressed Fulham’s back line was becoming ever more susceptible to quick counter attacks.
A loose ball from Ahmad Elrich on 81 minutes allowed Maloney through on goal. The Celtic player laid the ball into the path of Zurawski who was felled in the area by Crossley – a certain penalty. However, the big Welsh stopper pull off a fine save low to his right to keep the scores level.
Fulham: Mark Crossley, Moritz Volz (Dean Leacock 82), Zesh Rahman, Alain Goma, Adam Green, Mark Pembridge (Sylvain Legwinski 82),Steed Malbranque, Claus Jensen (Darren Pratley 82), Andrew Cole (Michael Timlin 82). Tomasz Radzinski, Ahmad Elrich.
Subs not used: Jaroslav Drobny, Liam Fontaine, Neale McDermott.