An opportunist's finish from Diego Forlan gave Atletico Madrid the lead over Fulham, but Simon Davies' equaliser sees the scoreline level at half time in the Europa League Final at the HSH Nordbank Arena in Hamburg.
The Spanish narrowly side had the best of what was a largely even opening period, but both goalkeepers had their save to make, much to the delight of the large contingent of neutral fans.
Despite their giant-killing credentials, Fulham struggled to assert themselves early on in the face of Atletico pressure.
The Spaniards, who achieved mainly draws on their path to the final, played swift, attacking football, culminating both in a series of corners and also a strike that hit the post from the effervescent Diego Forlan within the opening ten minutes.
Dickson Etuhu's rash challenge on Tomas Ujfalusi outside the area belied the pressure on the Cottagers, but Mark Schwarzer was on hand to prevent a Jose Antonio Reyes goal with a fine save on the quarter-hour mark.
Fulham enjoyed their first true chance five minutes later, Davies firing hard and high from the edge of the area, but young Atleti 'keeper David de Gea showed strong hands to hold it.
Sergio Aguero and Forlan looked to be the most dangerous men on the pitch, and thus it proved just after the half-hour when the latter took the lead. Indeed, it was borne of the former's scuffed shot from 16 yards, but Forlan was on hand to nip between the dozing defense and side-foot it home first time - a true striker's finish.
But anyone who's watched the Europa League this season knows not to write Fulham off too early. Just five minutes later they were on level terms, Simon Davies concluding a brief moment of Fulham pressure against a disorganized Atleti backline with a tight-angled, close-ranged finish. The highly-rated Bobby Zamora was the architect, as so often he has been this season.
Atleti closed the half with a penalty appeal against Paul Konchesky, who appeared to handle a Reyes shot, but referee Nicola Rizzoli saw nothing, and the scoreline is level heading into the second half.
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