Dempsey winner sends Cottagers into dreamland

Fulham 4 Juventus 1 (Fulham win 5-4 on aggregate)

A scoreline that will reverberate around Europe, a night that will never be forgotten by those who were there – including a stunned Fabio Capello. One west London club, it seems, can best an Italian giant, and how.

When David Trezeguet scored after 90 seconds to put Juventus 4-1 ahead on aggregate last night Fulham's European adventure looked set for an ignominious end. But Bobby Zamora quickly scored to restore hope, and when Fabio Cannavaro was controversially dismissed for a professional foul after 27 minutes the Old Lady of Turin crumbled. Zoltan Gera struck either side of the break to level the aggregate scores before Clint Demsey, eight minutes from time, put Fulham into dreamland, and one of the great clubs of Europe into despair.

And disgrace. Juventus ended with nine men, Jonathan Zebina also being dismissed as they lost their discipline. Caretaker coach Alberto Zaccheroni can now forget any aspirations of a permanent role, which may have ramifications for Liverpool.

Fulham's night began inauspiciously. As Diego and Stephen Kelly tussled for a loose ball Brede Hangeland hit his clearance against the pair. The ball rolled to Trezeguet 12 yards from goal. "Trezugol" has been one of the great goal poachers of his generation and his finish put Juventus ahead.

But Roy Hodgson has imbued this Fulham side with a doughty spirit. Beforehand Zamora spoke disparagingly of Cannavaro, captain of Juventus and Italy, and former World Player of the Year. Having talked the talk, he walked the walk. Zamora brushed Cannavaro over as he rose to chest down Paul Konchesky's cross then lash in a volley. Game on.

Cannavaro's response was to wrestle opponents, but when Zamora slipped a pass through to Gera Cannavaro grappled once too often. For once the contact seemed slight but the referee Bjorn Kuipers had no hesitation in sending off the man who lifted the last World Cup.

Antonio Chimenti, Juve's 39-year-old third-choice keeper, made a flying save to deny Zamora from the free-kick that followed Cannavaro's exit but was motionless 10 minutes later when Simon Davies curled a dead ball on to the bar. From Davies' corner Dickson Etuhu headed against the post.

Juventus were unable to maintain possession in the face of Fulham's pressing, or restrain the home team who played with verve and panache. Felipe Melo will be Brazil's holding midfielder at the World Cup alongside Gilberto Silva. He is still coveted by Arsenal. Yet sitting in front of the Juventus back four last night he appeared overwhelmed by the movement and energy in front of him.

The pressure finally told six minutes from the break. Konchesky rolled a pass into Zamora whose first-time flick over his marker's head released Davies. The Welshman cut the ball back and Gera turned his cross into the roof of the net.

Playing against 10 is sometimes difficult, but Fulham's tactics were perfect, using the width of the pitch and rotating the ball swiftly. This paid further dividends as Gera released Duff with a neat backheel. Diego stuck out a hand to block Duff's cross, Kuipers saw it, and Gera converted the penalty.

Trezeguet then escaped to disturb Mark Schwarzer and remind Fulham to be careful, though Chimenti was stretched by Davies, Dempsey and Gera. With extra time looming Dempsey delivered the coup de grâce with a disguised lob that stranded Chimenti.

Juve took defeat badly, Zebina being sent off for aiming at kick at Duff and Melo lucky not to follow him for hacking at Zamora. When the final whistle came the celebrations were lengthy. This was not the club's most important victory, that was at Portsmouth two years ago when they escaped relegation, but it is the most startling.

Fulham (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Kelly (Dempsey, 71), Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky; Duff, Baird, Etuhu, Davies; Gera (Riise, 84); Zamora. Substitutes not used: Zuberbühler (gk), Nevland, Smalling, Marsh-Brown, Dikgacoi.

Juventus (4-1-2-2-1): Chimenti; Salihamidzic, Zebina, Cannavaro, Grosso (Del Piero, 85); Felipe Melo; Camoranesi (De Ceglie, 51), Sissoko; Candreva (Grygera, 28), Diego; Trezeguet. Substitutes not used: Pinsoglio (gk), Iaquinta, Poulsen, Marrone.

Referee: B Kuipers (Netherlands).

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
Clarke Carlisle
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'