Atletico end trophy drought

2010-05-12 23:29

Hamburg - Diego Forlan scored with just four minutes of extra time remaining to give Atletico Madrid a 2-1 win over Fulham in Wednesday's Europa League final and end the club's longest ever spell without a major trophy.

Forlan got his second goal of the game when he flicked Sergio Aguero's cross under his standing leg, the ball rolling past goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer via a deflection off Fulham defender Brede Hangeland.

Man-of-the-match Forlan, who also hit the post and put Atletico ahead in the 32nd minute, was the only Atletico player not to celebrate at the final whistle as the club won its first trophy since the Spanish league and cup double in 1996.

The Uruguay international instead shook hands with the exhausted Fulham players, who had been trying to clinch the west London club's first major title.

Forlan's goals earned Atletico only its third win from 15 European games this season but still gave his club the distinction of being the first to win the title in its latest guise.

The tournament was known as the UEFA Cup until it was revamped and renamed for this season at the behest of UEFA president Michel Platini.

Forlan scored his first goal by redirecting a mis-hit shot by Aguero, but Fulham equalized just five minutes later through Simon Davies' fierce right-foot volley.

Aguero was dangerous throughout for the nine-time Spanish champions and the Argentina international almost scored himself, shooting into the sidenetting, before setting up Forlan for the winner.

Striker Bobby Zamora helped set up Fulham's equalizer but was forced from the field early in the second half with the Achilles' injury that kept him out of England's initial World Cup squad.

Fulham began to struggle up front without a focal point for its attack, but it almost withstood all of the nine-time Spanish champions' best efforts - even after Atletico coach Quique Sanchez Flores replaced tiring wingers Juan Antonio Reyes and Simao Sabrosa.

Zamora's 55th-minute exit gave Clint Dempsey the opportunity to become the first American player to appear in a European final, but the United States striker struggled to make an impact.

With Erik Nevland coming on up front in place of Damien Duff, who only played after a late recovery from a leg injury, Fulham lacked a cutting edge despite some neat play in midfield.

Atletico's central defense of Mariano Pernia and Alvaro Dominguez was mostly untroubled for the last hour.

Team Lineups:

Atletico Madrid: David de Gea, Antonio Lopez, Mariano Pernia, Alvaro Dominguez, Tomas Ujfalusi, Simao Sabrosa (Jose Manuel Jurado, 68), Raul Garcia, Paulo Assuncao, Juan Antonio Reyes (Eduardo Salvio, 78), Sergio Aguero (Juan Valera, 119), Diego Forlan.

Fulham: Mark Schwarzer, Paul Konchesky, Brede Hangeland, Aaron Hughes, Chris Baird, Simon Davies, Danny Murphy (Jonathan Greening, 118), Dickson Etuhu, Damien Duff (Erik Nevland, 84), Zoltan Gera, Bobby Zamora (Clint Demspey, 55).


  • Supafly - 2010-05-13 08:47

    Yeah! Talk $#it now! No, @ all of you (bloggers), but some few ignorant fools who seems to think that football is only played in England! They are the same football geniuses who seems to believe that England has a G@d anointed right to win the world cup. Yeah right! In their wet dreams! No, it's not Engalnd and its football I can't stand but it's their arogance and that of its commentaters. As I much as I believe that the EPL is a great league, but is it the best? If one of their star players is John (The Donkey) Terry, and then these fools start to think they'll win anything, beats me. This arogance amounts to us (SA) claiming to have the best league in Africa. No, until we can win and possibly dominate Africa both at league and national team level, we jsut can't make that claim. "Diego Who?" Now you know, motherf$%#! It's the same reason (as a SAfrin) I'm worry of Uruguay as a team, come wc. England are just the same as our cricket team, which always go itno evry tourney as favorates, but when the cream rises to the top, they miracurously aren't part of that. Hey maan, John Terry is an Aron Mokoena in a Chealsea shirt, with an English birth certificate and little more paler than our own Arron, period! Get over yourselves!

  • tony sollons - 2010-05-13 08:50

    Unlucky boys u tried ur best but FORLAN & AGUERRO 2 GUD 4 U...a bridge 2 far try again next year.Gud luck Hodgie & fullies

  • Ricky Bobby - 2010-05-13 10:12

    @SUPER - look at the level of competition on the league - the gap nt 2nd and 3rd in epl and la liga then you'll know why they say the epl is the best- welll done ATL MDRD

  • Thami, Kempton Park - 2010-05-13 11:35

    Diego Forlan is hot property at the moment [you can ask the likes of Liverpool in the semi's]; I trust that Aaron Mokoena was watching; I would be sleeping a lot better if we had O J Mabizela to look after this striker... but then again, I guess Pareira knows a lot more than I do when it comes to these things.

  • @Ricky - 2010-05-13 12:12

    Question 4 u, becoz the PSL #1,2,3,4 are close on points, will u say our leauge is da best in Africa? it's jst a question seeing the logic u just used. IMO English is good, but sometime it overrated, ppl will speak as if Fullnham or Postmouth r powerful teams, while we knw they r just average teams.

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