American Football Athletics: European Championships 2024 Basketball Cricket Cycling Darts Esports Football Golf Horse racing Ice Hockey Motorsport Olympics 2024 Poker Politics Rugby Union Snooker Tennis WWE Yachting Other sports Other odds Old odds Casinoranker

Remembering Fulham's iconic Europa League run of 2009/10

Fulham's form this season has been exceptional so far as the likes of Aleksandr Mitrovic and Joao Palhinha have put the Cottagers firmly in the battle to secure European football next season. Fulham is no stranger to European football they have played in the UEFA Europa League twice and were once participants in the now-extinct Intertoto Cup. The West London side holds a unique record of never losing at home in European competition and they could get the chance to extend that run next season.

Strong league form this season

Fulham's remarkable rise to the higher end of the Premier League this season has seen them climb above local rivals Chelsea who have spent a huge amount of revenue on transfers in the past few windows. In the outright Premier League betting odds, Fulham is offered at 16/1 to finish in the league's top six positions, which would award them a third-ever Europa League qualification.

The capital is set to be well-represented in European competitions next season with the likes of Brentford also vying for continental qualification alongside regulars Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Chelsea has experienced the most success of any London club in Europe having won the UEFA Champions League twice, but their rivals Fulham also have great stories of their European journeys to tell.

Fulham's road to 2009/10 Europa League final

Fulham's journey to qualifying for the Europa League in 2009/10 began with a relegation battle in 2007/08 in which they secured Premier League survival on the final day under Roy Hodgson's guidance. Fulham was a transformed side the following season as they developed into a formidable defensive unit that conceded less than a goal per game in the league in 2008/09. Fulham finished seventh in the league, which secured them a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds.

In the first tie against FK Vetra of Lithuania, Hodgson's side progressed with ease winning both the home and away fixtures by three goals. In the following playoff round, they comfortably beat Russian side Amkar Perm 4-1 over the two legs which earned them a place in the group stage of the competition. Fulham was placed in a group alongside Roma, CSKA Sofia and Basel and despite a poor opening draw in Bulgaria, they progressed to the knockout stage in second place mainly owing to the strong goalscoring form of Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera.

Shakhtar Donetsk awaited in the round of 32 and they boasted many stars of the future including Brazilian's Willian Borges and Douglas Costa. The Cottagers narrowly progressed with a 3-2 lead over the two fixtures, Norwegian Brede Hangeland got the decisive goal in Ukraine after Gera and Zamora set up a first-leg lead. In the round of 16, Craven Cottage saw what was probably its most famous night ever as Juventus came to town with a 3-1 first-leg lead, which Fulham remarkably overturned. Zamora and Gera were on the scoresheet yet again and American Clint Dempsey scored the goal that knocked the Old Lady out late on.

Fulham then defeated two German sides in VFL Wolfsburg and Hamburger SV to set up a final with Atletico Madrid, with Gera and Zamora continuing their hot form up until the date. Forlan gave Atletico the lead early on but Welshman Simon Davies swiftly equalised for Fulham. The legendary Uruguayan forward eventually broke the Cottagers' hearts in extra time.

The campaign was still huge for Fulham despite the disappointment at its culmination. Craven Cottage had witnessed some of the biggest nights it had ever seen, and the West London outfit reached a stage they likely never believed they could in making a European final.