The teams at the top of the league were playing today and soaking up most of the limelight, but in a rather dimly lit area of the Premiership, was a fixture between Fulham and West Ham, two sides who have had big seasons for one reason or another.
Fulham have played tremendously in the Europa League, beating the holders Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian giants Juventus and hosts Hamburg to get through to the final later this month. Their League form hasn’t been great, with many players sitting out the League games so that they wouldn’t get injured for the European campaign, but they have managed to scrape a few results.
West Ham on the other hand have been through hell. Having hired former star player Zola to manage them, they were then sold to the two ex owners of Birmingham City and then they had to fight to narrowly avoid relegation; following some shocking results.
A poor, lifeless game seemed to be on the cards with neither side really having anything to play for, but that prediction seemed far from the truth.
Fulham were the first to strike when American striker Clint Dempsey, who struck the memorable winner against Juventus, slipped the ball in on the stroke of halftime. Fulham doubled their lead with an hour to go when a shot struck Carlton Cole and rebounded into his own net.
It looked all over for West Ham at that point but just a couple of minutes later Cole redeemed himself by heading in from a crossed freekick, but with ten minutes to go Okaka scored to open the lead back up to two goals and dampen any threat of a West Ham comeback. The Hammers did pull one back in stoppage time, with Franco getting his name on the scoresheet, but it wasn’t enough. On a day that was focused on the games between Chelsea/Liverpool and Manchester United/Sunderland, Fulham – the only English hope of European glory – claimed three points.