Fulham manager Roy Hodgson was delighted by his side’s resilience after they came from two goals down against Manchester City to draw 2-2 here at Eastlands.
Mark Hughes’s side threw away a two-goal advantage, handed to them by Joleon Lescott and Martin Petrov as impressive finishes from Damien Duff and Clint Dempsey helped the visitors gain a remarkable point in an enthralling encounter Premier League on Sunday.
All the action and talking points were condensed into one 20 minute spell after the break when firstly Bobby Zamora missed a staggeringly simple chance before City took their two goal lead – and then immediately squandered it.
Diomany Kamara had worked his way into the box to find Dempsey and although Shay Given did well to save his shot, the ball bobbled free to Zamora who somehow blasted over when he had the goal at his mercy.
But Hodgson was keener to discuss the positives of the result, despite admitting Zamora’s error will grab the headlines.
“It was a horrific miss,” he said. “But it’s a pity because Bobby played so well and unfortunately people who watch the match on TV will see the miss.
“But what they won’t see is the other 96 minutes and 45 seconds in which he was absolutely magnificent for us.
“His target-play was magnificent, he held the ball up well, he brought people into the game.
“You know when we come here that you have to work hard defensively and we did that,” Hodgson added.
“Full credit to the players, we came back again, scored two good goals and I think we can say that after the 97 minutes, which was a long match, we worked hard enough and deserved our result.”
Soon after Zamora’s error Lescott nudged home from less than a metre out before Petrov provided City?s second to seemingly end this match as a competitive fixture.
But Duff then intervened with a fine drive past a helpless Given from the edge of the box just two minutes after Petrov’s goal and then Dempsey brilliantly guided a Jonathan Greening delivery into the back of the net to truly stun City just 90 seconds later.
Both sides went frantically looking for a winner but it would not arrive.
City will see this result as a huge opportunity missed because a win would have sent them third in the Premier League whereas Fulham will just be delighted they managed to salvage anything from the encounter at all.
“At 2-0 we should see the game out comfortably but we have allowed them back into the game,” Hughes said. “But credit to them. Probably the two games we have had the most difficulty here have been against Fulham.
“They get everyone behind the ball and make it difficult for the opposition.
“We started really well [this season] in terms of defensive work but we have conceded goals and we are working hard on that.
“There are always areas and elements of our that we need to focus on and we do that as a matter of course,” Hughes added. We will hopefully learn from the mistakes we made.”
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