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Birmingham City v Fulham: Memorable meetings

Ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Birmingham City, we’ve taken a look back at a few famous wins at St. Andrew’s. There’s the night Jean Tigana’s French revolution introduced itself to a national television audience, memories of a Mark Pembridge piledriver, when the late Papa Bouba Diop sealed a famous comeback and how Hugo Rodallega lifted the Whites off the bottom of the Championship table back in 2014. I’m sure you have plenty more memories – so feel free to share those in the comments.

Birmingham City 1-3 Fulham (18 August 2000)

This was one of the first indications that Jean Tigana’s Fulham were set to be something special. Trevor Francis lauded the Whites’ wonderful performance as the best he’d ever seen at St. Andrew’s. In a clash billed as Geoff Horsfield’s opportunity to remind Fulham what they were missing out on after the cult hero was shipped out of Craven Cottage shortly after Tigana’s arrival, it was the visitors who made all the running in front of the Sky cameras. John Collins crashed home a first minute opener from the edge of the box before Louis Saha intercepted a dreadful pass from Darren Purse to double Fulham’s lead and, although Danny Sonner halved the hosts’ arrears, a quick free kick from Sean Davis restored the two-goal cushion.

Birmingham City 0-1 Fulham (27 October 2004)

This clash wouldn’t live long in the memory in terms of quality but, at a time when Chris Coleman’s side were struggling to pick up results, Fulham showed real resilience to complete a serious smash and grab raid to reach the fourth round of the League Cup. Mark Crossley made several outstanding saves to deny Dwight Yorke, Julian Gray and Jesper Gronkjaer as Blues dominated the contest, but it was Fulham who progressed despite barely threatening the home goal. The decisive goal was worthy of winning any game as veteran midfielder Mark Pembridge darted in from the left flank and curled an unstoppable 30-yarder past former Fulham keeper Maik Taylor.

Birmingham City 1-2 Fulham (22 January 2005)

Papa Bouba Diop’s late header secured all three points for Fulham as the Whites came from behind to win a fiery fixture at St. Andrew’s. Chris Coleman’s men scored twice in five second half minutes as time ticked away and Birmingham looked to be heading for a crucial home win. The visitors shrugged off the setback of conceding Moritz Volz’s own goal after Edwin van der Sar had saved from Emile Heskey, but the home crowd were furious with referee Phil Dowd after he adjudged that Damien Johnson had brought down Luis Boa Morte inside the box. Andrew Cole converted the penalty and, with the locals still fuming, Diop rose majestically at the back post to head home Mark Pembridge’s free-kick to steal all three points.

Birmingham City 1-2 Fulham (27 September 2014)

This was a meeting of two former Fulham team-mates with Lee Clark in charge of Blues, whilst Kit Symons had been handed the Craven Cottage hotseat following the end of Felix Magath’s disastrous tenure. A late strike from Hugo Rodallega earned Fulham’s first win at the ninth time of asking and Symons’ side showed great character to battle their way to three points after trailing to David Cotterill’s beautiful curling effort. German full back Tim Hoogland rifled home an equaliser just after the hour when Nikolay Bodurov’s effort fell kindly for him at a corner, before Rodallega punished some sloppy home defending to steer home the winner from a tight angle – sparking scenes of unbridled joy amongst the travelling support.

Rodallega among nine released by Fulham

Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega is the most high-profile of nine players who will be released by Fulham at the end of their contracts.

The former Wigan Athletic forward joined Fulham on a free transfer in July 2012 but struggled for regular first-team opportunities until new manager Kit Symons restored him to the starting line-up once he took over from the sacked Felix Magath. The 29 year-old made 90 appearances for the club, scoring 24 goals.

Midfielder Chris David, who spent the second half of last season on loan at his old club FC Twente, has also been released having featured prominently at the start of Magath’s reign. Brought to the club by Martin Jol in January 2013, David was handed his Fulham debut by Rene Meulensteen in an FA Cup tie at Norwich City by Rene Meulensteen, before scoring an injury-time equaliser in the 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace when Fulham were already relegated. He barely featured under Symons, playing for Fulham’s under-21 side before being loaned out.

Three of Magath’s summer signings have also left Craven Cottage. Goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly departs having made just four appearances since an August move from 1860 Munich. The experienced Hungarian international was eclipsed by the emergence of Marcus Bettinelli, who firmly established himself as Fulham’s number one. Full-back Tim Hoogland, who arrived on a free transfer from Schalke, has been released after an injury-hit season which had began with much promise. The German defender made 25 appearances and scored four goals but was sidelined with knee, groin and back problems, which saw on-loan Jazz Ricards and Academy graduate Jack Grimmer step in.

Moroccan winger Adil Chihi, who made a single substitute’s appearance against Cardiff City, will also be on the move when his contract expires at the end of the month. Fulham are also releasing Academy graduates Josh Passley, Soloman Sambou, Jonathan Buatu and Noe Baba. Full-back Passley was also handed a club debut during Meulensteen’s brief tenure at Craven Cottage but spent last season on loan at Portsmouth, whilst midfielder Sambou’s development was hindered by injuries and the promotion of fellow youngsters Lasse Vigen Christensen and Emerson Hyndman into the first-team squad.

Rodallega injury relief

Fulham boss Kit Symons says Hugo Rodallega’s leg injury is not as serious as first feared.

The Colombian striker, who is the club’s leading scorer this season, suffered major swelling after coming off in the closing stages of the 3-0 defeat to Wolves on Tuesday.

He is likely to miss Saturday’s visit of Championship leaders Derby but Symons believes he will return to full fitness quickly.

The Whites boss said: “When he came off on Tuesday and took his boot off, his leg just swelled right up.

“He felt nothing during the game but when he came off it started flaring up and he had a large amount of swelling.

“That’s gone down dramatically now and he came out and did some light training today.

“It’s certainly not a bad one, whereas at one time, certainly on Wednesday morning, it looked like it could be quite serious.”

Symons furious after Fulham winner disallowed

Kit Symons was furious after Hugo Rodallega’s late winner at Millwall was wrongly disallowed for offside.

The Colombian striker lashed home clinically and began to celebrate believing he had ended Fulham’s barren run without a win, but he was denied by an offside flag. Television replays showed the Fulham striker was level with the home defence and Symons were unhappy afterwards.

Kit Symons said: “In my opinion it should have stood. I’ve watched it again. Hugo’s level with the man marking him but I think the other defender is probably a yard deeper.

“The linesman’s flag went straight up and the referee had to go off that but it was the wrong call. These things happen, but it’s disappointing as it would have capped off a fantastic day. A clean sheet away from home and all three points would have been perfect. It wasn’t quite to be but it was hard-fought with a lot of endeavour and effort.”

“It was probably about the right result in the end,” added Symons. “They had the better possession and a lot of pressure in the first half but I thought we were the team pushing in the second half. I was disappointed not to get the win but a point in this division is precious so we’ll take that.

“I thought we looked very dangerous on the counter-attack; maybe we just lacked that extra little bit of quality on a couple of occasions that could have earned us a couple of goals.”

Rodallega denied in Millwall draw

Fulham striker Hugo Rodellega was denied a late winner for Fulham by the linesman’s flag as the Cottagers’ winless run stretched to seven games with a 0-0 draw at Millwall.

Lee Gregory missed the best chance for the hosts in the first half, somehow firing over from close range after Jimmy Abdou’s dangerous cross.

Rodellega thought he had won it for the visitors with four minutes left after turning home Kostas Stafylidis’ left-wing cross at the second attempt, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

The result means Fulham are still looking for a first win on the road since December 13 while Millwall remain in the relegation zone and have not won at home in the league since October.

It was a bright start from the hosts and Aiden O’Brien tested Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli with an early cross from the right.

The Lions continued to dominate the opening exchanges and should have gone ahead on 12 minutes, but Gregory turned over the bar from close range after Abdou’s right-sided cross.

Fulham responded and nearly went ahead just after the quarter hour, but Alex Kacaniklic’s shot was pushed away by David Forde after Lasse Vigen Christensen’s counter down the right.

Millwall hit back but the dangerous Diego Fabbrini’s cross narrowly evaded the head of Martyn Woolford after brilliant skill from the Italian to beat his marker down the left-hand side of the box.

The Cottagers slowly took control of the game and fashioned a number of good opportunities.

First Kacaniklic curled an effort just wide of Forde’s right-hand post before Rodallega then rippled the side-netting from the edge of the box after being picked out by captain Scott Parker.

Former Leeds man Ross McCormack then fired a long distance effort straight at Forde, before skewing an acrobatic effort over the bar.

Millwall had one final chance in the half, but Abdou’s cross was safely collected by Bettinelli.

The Lions began the second half well and Woolford’s cross just missed the head of Fabbrini, before the Italian’s cross was cleared away.

Millwall continued to have the better of the half but a lightening counter almost ended with Rodallega converting Ryan Tunnicliffe’s pass, but it was cleared for a corner.

Kit Symons threw on Bryan Ruiz for a first appearance since a January loan switch to Spanish club Levante fell through. Lions boss Ian Holloway responded by giving Gary Taylor-Fletcher his debut after the 33-year-old joined on loan from Leicester on Friday until the end of the season.

But it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous and Rodallega almost found space in the box but his effort was blocked.

The Colombian was then denied a winning goal on 86 minutes as the two strugglers had to settle for a point apiece.

Millwall: Forde,Abdou,Dunne,Hooiveld,Harding,Tonge (Upson 86), Williams,Woolford (Fuller 69),Fabbrini, O’Brien (Taylor-Fletcher 58),Gregory.
Subs Not Used: Beevers,Nelson,King,Maierhofer.

Booked: Abdou. 72

Fulham: Bettinelli,Richards,Hutchinson,Bodurov,Stafylidis, Parker,Christensen,Tunnicliffe (Fofana 81),Kacaniklic (Ruiz 57), Rodallega,McCormack.
Subs Not Used: Kiraly,Roberts,Woodrow,Kavanagh,Burn.

Ref: Keith Hill (Hertfordshire).

Att: 12,707