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Home   /   Retro Revisit | Fantastic Forlán at the double: Atlético Madrid 2-1 Fulham – 2009-10 Europa League Final

Hello everyone, Lee Jackson here presenting another edition of Retro Revisit and this time we travel back to 2010 and in particular the HSH Nordbank Arena in Hamburg, which hosted a special night in UEFA Europa League history. Two clubs with contrasting history and stature go head to head in the form of Atlético Madrid and Fulham FC. This was the first encounter between the sides with Atlético Madrid hoping to rectify a poor Champions League campaign after crashing out in the group stage. On the other hand, Fulham was in just their second season of European football and looking to cause an upset on the big stage.

The experienced Atlético Madrid side came into the match as favourites whereas Fulham looked to make history by winning a European competition for the first time in their history. The first meeting between the pair boosted the anticipation for the clash as both sides come into the match in good form notably for Fulham recording a special 4-1 victory over Italian giants Juventus.

Diego Forlán of Atlético Madrid and Bobby Zamora of Fulham were in good goal scoring form coming into this one with both players finding the net six times throughout the competition.

Atlético Madrid fell out of the Champions League in the group stage and managed to record narrow victories over Galatasaray AŞ, Sporting CP, Valencia CF and Liverpool FC. The iconic night at Craven Cottage will go down as one of the best nights in Europa League history after Fulham beat Juventus 4-1 in the round of 16. The results set the eagerly anticipated match up to be a cracker but who would come out on top? The lineups for that special night…

Atlético Madrid









Fulham FC









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KICK OFF ’01 – The whistle blows and a monstrous roar from the crowd vibrates around the arena.

’09 – Fulham are keeping the ball in exemplary fashion here in the opening exchanges with Danny Murphy zipping a ball into the Fulham frontmen. Luis Perea’s interception is hampered as Zoltán Gera nicks in front of the Columbian and slides the ball through to Bobby Zamora who bears down on goal only to be denied by the linesman’s whistle.

CHANCE! ’12 – Despite Fulham’s early dominance a mistake nearly unravels it all. A passing exchange between Dickson Etuhu and Murphy in midfield goes wrong as Sergio Agüero latches onto the wayward pass and plays in his strike partner Diego Forlán whose left-foot effort clips the outside of the post and goes out of play.

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’15 – Etuhu is lucky not to see the book after a poor challenge on Tomáš Ujfaluši results in a free-kick from the right side. José Antonio Reyes and Simão Sabrosa are stood over it but a long range stinger from Reyes meets the hands of Mark Schwarzer.

’20 – Zamora proving to be a handful for the Atlético defence as he shrugs off Perea with ease and lays it nicely to Simon Davies who lets fly from the edge of the box with beautiful technique but David de Gea is equal to it as he plucks it out of the air with confidence.

’24 – Agüero finds himself in acres of space out wide left and proceeds to drive towards the box with Aaron Hughes and Murphy doubling up on the Argentine. A feint to shoot on his right followed by a daisy-cutter of a pass across the box is narrowly met by Brede Hangeland’s boot to clear just nicking in front of Forlán.

GOAL! (ATLÈTICO MADRID 1 – 0 FULHAM) ’32 – It just had to be him! So often does he do the business against English clubs and tonight is no different. Forlán’s quick thinking serves him well as he adjusts and side foots a scuffed Agüero effort putting the Spanish outfit ahead in the final.

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GOAL! (ATLÈTICO MADRID 1 – 1 FULHAM) ’37 – Such an incredible tempo this final is being played at. An equaliser out of nowhere for Fulham and it’s Davies who gets it. Zamora is putting on a clinic on how to play target man tonight with an angelic touch to Gera. A chip to the back post is clipped on by Paulo Assunção which aids Davies who takes the chance and levels the game at 1-1.

’44 – A short corner finds Forlán free at the edge of the box who arrows a powerful effort towards goal but Schwarzer denies him his brace with a well parried save.


’52 – Damien Duff lofts a delicate ball over the defence to find the foot of Gera whose poor touch lets him down and heads towards the hands of De Gea with Gera catching the Spaniard on the way through. No intention at all as De Gea squares up and looks for retribution but the referee is having none of it.

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SUBSTITUTION ’55 – It’s Zamora who looks like he’s taken a knock of some sort making way for Clint Dempsey who will be eager to influence on the big stage.

’60 – A quiet night offensively from Paul Konchesky springs into life whipping a dangerous cross into the near post completely catching Antonio López by surprise as the ball ricochets off the outstretched leg falling kindly into the path of Davies who pounces and fires an effort on goal but De Gea responds with a fantastic reflex save to deny Fulham once again.

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🟨 YELLOW CARD ’63 – The first player to go into the book surprisingly on the hour mark is Hangeland despite a number of cynical fouls from other players.

SUBSTITUTION ’68 – Simão is the one to be replaced with José Manuel Jurado coming on. An overall quiet night for the tricky winger as he struggled to get his foot on the ball much throughout the proceedings.

’74 – Etuhu is lucky to have escaped a card after cynically hacking down Agüero whose low centre of gravity comes into play turning the Fulham man with ease.

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SUBSTITUTION ’78 – Another Argentine forward graces the pitch in Eduardo Salvio who replaces Reyes.

’83 – A dubious-looking clearance raises questions of a possible handball after Ujfaluši delivers a hopeful cross into the box which isn’t dealt with confidently, as Hughes’ arms flail with the ball looking like it glances off one but the referee waved away any doubt.

SUBSTITUTION ’84 – Erik Nevland gets a chance to put his name in light as he replaces an exhausted Duff.

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’90+2 – An intriguing battle for most of the second half but this Ujfaluši comes out on top clipping a hopeful cross into the danger area and it gives the referee a decision to make. The ball comes in at the near post and like lightning, Agüero nips in front of the unsuspecting Hangeland who goes down with minimal contact. No penalty despite the appeals from Atlético Madrid manager Quique Sánchez Flores in the dugout.


‘100 – Forlán’s desire to keep the ball in almost reaps benefit as he controls and quickly plays the ball across the six-yard box but Schwarzer who has been solid all night denies with a good parry and Etuhu is there to mop up and clear the ball to safety.

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CHANCE! ‘105+1 – Agonisingly close for what looked to be the winner for Atlético Madrid. Forlán is once more at the centre of it skipping past a desperate challenge from Chris Baird, driving to the byline clipping a pass into the area with the outstretched Salvio glancing it slightly into Agüero who gets on the end of it and thinks he’s scored but ripples the side netting. A head in hands moment for Agüero.


🟨 YELLOW CARD ‘107 – A frustrated Salvio meets a yellow card after a needless foul.

🟨 YELLOW CARD ‘114 – Raúl García undoubtedly meets the book after committing a number of fouls throughout.

GOAL! (ATLÈTICO MADRID 2 – 1 FULHAM) ‘116 – Heartbreak for Fulham at the death as Forlán gets onto the end of Agüero’s beautifully weighted pass to flick it towards goal deflecting through Hangeland’s legs and trickling past the sprawling Schwarzer.

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🟨 YELLOW CARD ‘117 – A booking for taking off his shirt won’t bother him as Forlán gets a yellow card.

SUBSTITUTION ‘118 – Fulham manager Roy Hodgson looks like a dejected figure on the touchline as he brings on Johnathan Greening for Murphy.

SUBSTITUTION ‘119 – A mass round of applause from the fans as Agüero makes his way off for Juan Valera.


Reflecting on the Match

This match had everything with drama right until the end. Agony for Fulham as they come up short on what would’ve been a season to put on record but ecstasy for Atlético Madrid as they clinch the prize and in emphatic fashion with a fantastic brace from their hitman Forlán who so often destroyed English sides in Europe. Debate on whether this is the best Fulham team of all time continues but what cannot be questioned is their desire.

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