Johnson inspires thoughts of another magical Fulham run

Fulham 4 Wisla Krakow 1

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The Independent Football

Martin Jol was spot on in his analysis of Fulham's first three goals as his players' performances on the pitch and Wisla Krakow's raucous fans off it reminded everyone why the Europa League is not such a bad competition after all.


"The first one was a great move," the Dutch manager mused. "The second was amazing and the third one was clever. If you could come up with ideas like that every week you would be like Real Madrid in the golden days."

Fulham's progress from Group K, where they are currently in second place, is not yet assured but is now looking likely after two goals from Andy Johnson, currently in dispute with his employers over the length of a new contract, and one each from Damien Duff and substitute Steve Sidwell added up to a comfortable victory. Add in the sideshow that was Gervasio Nunez, the man whose play-acting engineered a red card for Moussa Dembélé in the reverse fixture, and it was a night to remember at Craven Cottage.

Duff scored the first, beginning and then finishing a swift, once-touch move involving Johnson and Bobby Zamora. Wisla then equalised after Dickson Etuhu had been caught in possession, with Andraz Kirm's shot needing a hefty deflection off John Arne Riise to fox Mark Schwarzer but Fulham were back in front on the half hour with the goal of the game.

Johnson volleyed Danny Murphy's delivery in off a post so crisply that inevitably the question of the possibility of an England recall after four years in the wilderness followed. The 30-year-old's second was one of the best too, a training ground free-kick routine that caught Wisla flat-footed. Zamora flicked on Murphy's low pass to enable Johnson to convert at the near post. Sidwell completed the scoring late on, on the rebound after his header had hit the bar and the Fulham fans also had fun booing Nunez.

Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Kelly, Baird, Hangeland, Riise; Duff, Etuhu, Murphy (Sidwell, 63), Dempsey; Johnson (Kasami, 76), Zamora. (Frei, 72). Substitutes not used Etheridge (gk), Gecov, Grygera, Briggs.

Wisla Krakow (4-2-3-1): Pareiko; Lamey, Jaliens, Brud (Iliev, 60), Junior Diaz; Wilk, Nunez; Paljic, Gargula (Genkov, 61), Kirm; Biton (Jovanovic, 88). Substitutes not used Jovanic (gk), Kurto, Boguski, Czekaj.

Referee H Ozkahya (Turkey).