On this day: Fulham beat Arsenal for first time in 40 years

On this day at Craven Cottage in 2006, Fulham achieved their first win over Arsenal for 40 years.

Although at the moment in the Premier League Fulham appear unlikely to take points off anyone, there once was a time that Craven Cottage used to be a difficult place for opposing teams to visit.

When they hosted Arsenal on this day in 2006, not only did the Gunners have a tough schedule to deal with but there were two players in the hosts' lineup who used to be on the books of the visitors. Moritz Volz and Luis Boa Morte were both firm favourites with the Craven Cottage faithful and the latter in particular showed his old side what he could do.

Fulham had started the season well but having lost their last two in the league were beginning to look over their shoulders again in what was becoming a tight bottom half. Arsenal - runners-up in the league the previous season - had been inconsistent at the start of this one, but here was a good chance to get some important points on the board to lift them back into the Champions League spots.

Fulham's Tomasz Radzinski celebrates after scoring his teams second goal against Arsenal during their Premier League match on November 29, 2006© Getty Images

History was certainly in Arsenal's favour. Although there was a gap of some 33 years when the two sides were not in the same division, the Gunners had not been defeated by Fulham in 40. The last time Fulham had tasted victory over the Gunners was at the Cottage in a Division One match on New Year's Day in 1966. They won 1-0. They would have loved the same result here.

In their favour they had a lively crowd and a feisty atmosphere, which was reflected in the total of 10 yellow cards handed out to players on both sides by Lee Mason. They also had just the start they wanted. Now club hero Brian McBride did what he did best to head in from a sixth-minute Claus Jensen corner. Craven Cottage believed.

What was perhaps key was that the opener had come against the run of play. Arsenal started well but suddenly found themselves with an awful lot to do, but with the players they had on the pitch, such as Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie they remained a threat.

Arsenal's Robin Van Persie celebrates his goal against Fulham during their Premier League match on November 29, 2006© Getty Images

Fulham managed to double their advantage inside 20 minutes, with much of the credit for the goal going to Boa Morte. He jinked and turned on the left side of the box and then crossed to provide Tomasz Radzinski with the simplest of tap-ins. Fulham were suddenly cruising.

The hosts were also playing solidly at the back and Arsenal were being restricted to chances from set pieces as their usual flowing football was hampered. And that is exactly where their goal came from. With just nine minutes of the first half left Van Persie fired in a wonderful free kick to set up the second half.

Henry had a goal chalked off for offside, and then came a situation that the Fulham faithful have themselves become used to seeing in the last couple of seasons. Boa Morte, always looking to run, took on Philippe Senderos and was too much again for the big Swiss defender, who brought him down for his second yellow card and an early bath.

Arsenal's Philippe Senderos is sent off against Fulham during their Premier League match on November 29, 2006© Getty Images

From the resulting free kick Boa Morte's effort rattled the underside of the bar and came back out into play before Theo Walcott immediately went up the other end and hit the post with a deflected shot.

There was still time for Boa Morte to have a goal ruled out and Jens Lehmann to come up for a couple of corners but the Whites held on for what was a famous win to end the 40 years of hurt against the Gunners.

Rafael Benitez of Napoli looks on during the Emirates Cup match between Napoli and FC Porto at the Emirates Stadium on August 4, 2013
Read Next:
On this day: Liverpool overturn two-goal deficit at Fulham
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account