Johnson finds the edge to end Fulham's winless run
Odense BK 0 Fulham 2
Friday 30 September 2011
Fulham may have finally generated some momentum last night, as they earned to an away win at Odense. Martin Jol's side have endured a draining start to the season; this was their 17th competitive match, and their 10th in the Europa League alone. The insistence of their schedule has prevented them from building much rhythm – last night ended an eight-game winless streak – but their performance was good enough to suggest that improvement is imminent.
Andy Johnson scored the two goals, one at the end of each half, both calm right-footed finishes as he cut in from the left. "He is the top scorer in Europe if you count qualification matches too," said Jol. "He was a handful tonight."
Odense had started the game sharper than their visitors, Senegalese striker Baye Djibi Fall forcing one brilliant sprawling save from Mark Schwarzer. Towards the end of a half of alternating breaks and chances, Fulham found the net. Johnson cut past centre-back Anders Moller Christensen and shot fiercely beyond Anders Wessels.
Once ahead, Fulham were free to play a different game. They kept the ball when they had it, and defended deep when they did not: Brede Hangeland, Danny Murphy and Schwarzer all showed the assurance of experience.
With Odense so far up the pitch in the hope of an equaliser, the second goal was simple. Philippe Senderos played a long pass upfield, Johnson took it down, moved inside Christensen and curled a shot into the net.
Odense BK (4-4-2): Wessels; Ruud, Christensen, Reginiussen, Mendy; Andreasen, Johansson, Traoré, Djemba-Djemba (Skoubo, 84); Kadrii (Gislason, 79), Djiby Fall (Utaka, 69). Substitutes not used Toppel (gk), C Sorensen, Larsen, Hoegh.
Fulham (4-2-3-1): Schwarzer; Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, Briggs; Kasami (Sa, 84), Murphy (Sidwell, 77); Duff, Etuhu, Dempsey; Johnson. Substitutes not used Etheridge (gk), Riise, Baird, Frei, Grygera.
Referee M Layushkin (Russia).
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