By Ollie Irish
Juventus 3-1 Fulham, Europa League
I don’t like to say it about a side managed by the great Woy Hodgson, but Fulham were crap in Turin last night. I lost count of the number of times they gave the ball away, and in the end I thought they were very lucky not to lose by more than two goals. As the ITV commentary team noted, the absence of Danny Murphy in central midfield was a major factor in Fulham’s inability to keep possession for more than three seconds. Bobby Zamora tried his heart out up front, but he didn’t get much support.
Juventus played some tidy stuff, but I didn’t think they were all that either, especially in defending set pieces, and I wouldn’t say Fulham are out of the tie, though I’d rate their chances only at about 25%. Juve will be ultra-defensive at the Cottage, but as long as Fulham can keep in mind their 3-0 home win over Man Utd, it’s not mission impossible – a 2-0 win would be enough to progress, after all.
The one plus for Fulham was the early return of Clint Dempsey. Deuce came off the bench but didn’t make much of an impact. He will have more of a say in the second leg, I’m sure.