Germany failed to make it two for two in the European finals.
Zoltan Gera, the ex Baggie will be part of the history making Cottagers that ironically returns to Nordbank Arena for the Europa Cup final. Gera’s sniper like strike iced a come from behind victory. Can he be the best Hungarian export since Ferenc Puskas?
But Hamburg, the present Arena inhabitants were the ones to go up first from a Mladen Petric free kick which whilst loaded with power and precision could have been dealt with if Mark Schwarzer had shown more alacrity. (video)
It came early which meant Fulham had time to look for an equalizer but the Cottagers lost a struggling Bobby Zamora, aggravating an Achilles heel injury in the second half. Their main weapon gone, Fulham now in desperation pressed on harder. With every passing minute, Hamburg a club undergoing their share of domestic angst looked like it would bequeath caretaker coach Ricardo Moniz, a glorious debut victory.
But Roy Hodgson has made believers out of this Fulham squad and after beating Juventus and Wolfsburg, one can never count them out.
In the 69th minute, Danny Murphy lofts a ball in the direction of Simon Davies, who showed two delectable touches, controlling the ball with his right foot before turning around Guy Demel and as the ball bounces fires it with his left foot past Frank Rost. Craven Cottage erupts (video).
Seven minutes later, it was Gera’s heroics that sealed them the win booking them their first ever passage to an European final. Hodgson deserves every kudo for this singular achievement. Congratulations, Cottagers!