Hodgson: Our best European win

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson cannot believe how far his side has come after watching them beat last season's UEFA Cup winners Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 in the first leg of their last-32 Europa League clash at Craven Cottage.

Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora netted for the Cottagers to leave the Premier League side with a slender advantage going into next Thursday's second leg in Ukraine.

It is all a far cry from two years ago when Fulham were staring relegation to the Championship in the face.

The veteran manager said:"We're very happy to get a victory against such a good team. It was a very exciting cup tie played in the right spirit and it was very competitive. Both teams tried to pass the ball.

"I'm pleased to have taken such an important scalp. It's a big game for Fulham and we've come an awful long way.

"If someone had said to me during my first season here when we were battling to stay in the Premier League that we'd beat Shakhtar in a couple of years, I'd have thought they were taking the mickey.

"We've done it and are very proud of it. There's an awful lot left in this tie because we saw how skilful they are, but we still have a chance to make a name for ourselves. This was a very good victory – probably our best in Europe.

"It was a wonder strike from Bobby (Zamora). He's got two feet, I don't know which is his best and neither does he.

"Apart from his typically accomplished performance as a target man setting things up and working hard, his strike was of real quality. We're now talking about a striker who has scored 14 goals in 31 starts.

"It's an excellent strike rate. I hope he can get over the 20-goal mark to crown his season."

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