Johnson at the double for Fulham
Former England striker finds his and Fulham's best form
Last Updated: September 29, 2011 8:40pm
Johnson: Celebrating his opener against Odense in the Europa League
Andy Johnson's double for Fulham gave them their first win in nine games to beat Odense in the Europa League.
The Fulham striker gave his team the lead eight minutes before the interval when his low drive found a way under former Everton goalkeeper Stefan Wessels.
Johnson made the game safe two minutes from time with a sweet curling effort as they confirmed their superiority over their Danish hosts, who had gone close twice through Djiby Fall earlier in the half.
Kalilou Mohamed Traore was sent off in stoppage-time for his second bookable offence but his dismissal made no difference to the scoreline.
The hosts had only lost one of their previous 15 home games in European competition, but the west Londoners remained resolute to secure victory.
Heading into the Group K encounter, Johnson was named as lone striker in a 4-4-1-1 formation and was one of six changes made to the side that started Saturday's 0-0 draw with West Brom.
Fulham's Danish opponents named four players with Premier League experience in their starting XI, including former Manchester United and Aston Villa midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba.
Odense came into this evening's match on a poor run of form having lost three successive matches, including a 4-1 home defeat to FC Midtjylland on Sunday.
However, Henrik Clausen's side have impressed in Europe and had their first shot within a minute when Bashkim Kadrii skewed a volley wide.
While Odense goalkeeper Wessels was forced to save goalbound efforts from Pajtim Kasami and Clint Dempsey within the opening 10 minutes, the home side dominated the early exchanges.
Djemba-Djemba fired a 20-yard drive just wide and only a superb one-handed Schwarzer save prevented Fall breaking the deadlock in the 12th minute.
The latter again came agonisingly close to scoring eight minutes later but the Senegal international's acrobatic volley from Andreas Johansson's cross went just wide.
Fulham were being pinned back by their hosts but looked dangerous on the counter-attack, going close in the 27th minute.
After neat play between Philippe Senderos and Johnson, the ball fell kindly to Dempsey in the six-yard box and only Tore Reginiussen's last-gasp block prevented a certain-looking goal.
The Cottagers were beginning to find their feet as the first half wore on and, after Dempsey blazed over, Wessels had to thwart Brede Hangeland from a corner.
The visitors were getting ever closer and a powerful Dempsey header was sneaking in before Djemba-Djemba's goalline clearance.
Fulham's pressure eventually paid dividends in the 36th minute when Johnson latched onto a ball from Dempsey and struck a shot that snuck under Wessels.
Fall and Kadrii both blazed wide attempts to equalise wide shortly after, allowing the visitors to go in boasting a half-time lead.
Odense looked rejuvenated after the break and, aside from a Kasami drive, dominated the first 10 minutes.
Djemba-Djemba thrashed over and Johansson saw a shot flash just wide after Schwarzer saved well from Kadrii.
Damien Duff managed to wriggle free and force Wessels to save at the other end, before the home side returned to the attack.
Senderos was booked for a 63rd-minute foul on Fall as the home side threatened to break, before the striker was replaced four minutes later by Peter Utaka - brother of former Portsmouth forward John - in a bid to force an equaliser.
Shortly after the change, Kalilou Traore received a yellow card for a two-footed challenge on Matthew Briggs that saw the left-back receive treatment.
The youngster recovered from the injury and had to defend immediately as Odense pressed for an equaliser.
Schwarzer was forced into action to stop substitute Utaka before Johnson wrapped up victory with his second of the evening.
The striker showed a good touch to control a long ball before curling the ball past Wessels in the 88th minute.
Odense's evening got even worse moments later when Traore was sent off for a second booking.
|Odense Boldklub||Team Statistics||Fulham|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|4||Shots on Target||6|
|11||Shots off Target||4|
Thu 29th Sep - Group A
Rubin2 - 2PAOK S'nika
Tottenham3 - 1Shamrock
Thu 29th Sep - Group L
Lokomotiv0 - 2Anderlecht
AEK Athens1 - 2Sturm Graz
Thu 29th Sep - Group G
Metalist1 - 1AZ Alkmaar
Malmo FF1 - 2Austria Vienna
Thu 29th Sep - Group H
Braga1 - 2Club Brugge
Maribor1 - 2Birmingham
Thu 29th Sep - Group I
Rennes1 - 1A Madrid
Celtic1 - 1Udinese
Thu 29th Sep - Group J
Schalke3 - 1Maccabi Haifa
AEK XI1 - 1S Bucuresti
Thu 29th Sep - Group K
Twente4 - 1Wisla Krakow
OB Odense0 - 2Fulham
Thu 29th Sep - Group B
Vorskla1 - 2Hannover
S Liege3 - 0FC Cop'hagen
Thu 29th Sep - Group C
Leg Warsaw3 - 2Hap Tel-Aviv
Rapid Bucuresti1 - 3PSV
Thu 29th Sep - Group D
FC Vaslui2 - 2FC Zurich
Sporting2 - 1Lazio
Thu 29th Sep - Group F
Salzburg3 - 0Slovan
Ath Bilbao2 - 0PSG
Thu 29th Sep - Group E
Mac Tel Avi1 - 1Dynamo Kiev
Stoke City2 - 1Besiktas
Europa League Group A
Europa League Group B
Europa League Group C
|1||Red Bull Salzburg||5||15|
Europa League Group D
Europa League Group E
Europa League Group F
|2||Maccabi Tel Aviv||5||8|
Europa League Group G
Europa League Group H
Europa League Group I
|3||Vitoria de Guimaraes||5||5|
Europa League Group J
Europa League Group K
|3||Sheriff Tiraspol (Mol)||5||3|
Europa League Group L
|3||Maccabi Haifa (Isr)||5||2|