Premier League - Fulham claim first win at Liverpool

Tue, 01 May 21:42:00 2012

Martin Skrtel's own-goal condemned Liverpool to a 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Anfield, the first time the Whites have won there, although Reds boss Kenny Dalglish rested most of the first team ahead of the weekend’s FA Cup final.

Liverpool 0 Fulham 1

The Slovakia defender knew little about his fifth-minute intervention, which came from the first of Fulham’s exceptional counter attacks, as a mostly second-string Liverpool toiled, with Andy Carroll particularly disappointing.

The Reds did have chances to level, their finishing wasteful with Mark Schwarzer not called into any saves of note, but Fulham should have added to their lead, with Kerim Frei hitting the post and Liverpool goalkeeper Doni making outstanding saves from Pavel Pogrebnyak and Clint Dempsey.

The result means Fulham go level on 49 points with eighth-placed Liverpool, who have now only won five of 18 home games this season and slip three points behind Everton, who drew at Stoke City.

Winning away - let alone at Anfield - is not one of Fulham’s strengths, but they tend to do well in May and Liverpool’s home form has been shaky at best this season.

Dalglish’s side were almost insultingly under-strength with the FA Cup final against Chelsea in mind, although the fact they stood to lose most from a Fulham victory means a Premier League charge is unlikely to be forthcoming.

Pepe Reina, Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Glen Johnson, Jose Enrique, Jamie Carragher, Dan Agger, Stewart Downing and Craig Bellamy were all missing from the starting XI, with only Jonjo Shelvey and Jordan Henderson retained as Dalglish kept both eyes on Wembley.

Fulham took an early lead to complicate matters when, on five minutes, Dempsey’s strong run allowed John Arne Riise to torment his former club with a vicious low cross: another ex-Red, Alexander Kacaniklic, got a faint touch, Skrtel unfortunate to divert the ball past stand-in keeper Doni, although Pogrebnyak would almost certainly have scored but for the Slovakian’s intervention.

The visitors were by far the more threatening in the early stages, Doni pulling off a fantastic save to deny Pogrebnyak, whose flying volley almost finished off a sweeping move started by Kacaniklic with Dempsey also involved.

But, midway through the first half, the unfamiliar Liverpool XI started growing into the match, as Dirk Kuyt - linked heavily with Hamburg in recent weeks - pinged a volley just wide.

Brede Hangeland had to clear Shelvey’s low drive off the line after Schwarzer flapped at a high ball, while Maxi Rodriguez headed over after a powerful flick-on by the busy but poor Carroll.

Carroll was having a surprising amount of joy in the air given Hangeland’s presence, and one such flick allowed Shelvey to hold the ball up for Maxi, who again put his finish off target.

Shelvey was also doing well, popping up on the left to blast a drive across goal that Schwarzer palmed away, while Fabio Aurelio - making a rare start - put in a fine cross that Carroll once more beat Hangeland to, but the England striker could only head at Schwarer.

It was more of the same at the start of the second half, although Fulham had the best early opportunity when Dempsey’s powerful header flew just wide.

That seemed to provoke the hosts into action as they started a sustained assault on the Whites goal: Maxi could have gone down when tugged by Aaron Hughes but he showed great honesty to stay on his feet, allowing Stephen Kelly to block the finish; Carroll, meanwhile, failed to anticipate Hangeland missing a cross, the ball dropping in front of him when he should have been alert to pounce.

Fulham were still dangerous on the break, Frei firing a warning shot off the pos with a superb effort from range after Dempsey picked him out, while Riise forced a smart stop from Doni after Moussa Dembele split the defence with a now-typical pass.

Similarly, Liverpool were still wasteful, as Carroll headed wide from a good position, blaming everyone but himself for getting his angles wrong, before mis-hitting his finish as he slipped following a smart turn past Hangeland.

Fulham sensed the danger so opted for a more cautious, possession-based finale and it almost reaped dividends when Danny Murphy brilliantly turned to find Frei, whose through-ball sent Dempsey clean through: you would bet property on the American to score, but he telegraphed the low finish which was kept out in style by Doni.

In their enthusiasm to equalise Liverpool - who brought on exciting youngster Raheem Sterling for a 15-minute cameo - were making defensive misjudgements. Skrtel almost handed Fulham a second with a woefully undercooked back-header, but Doni made himself big to deny Dempsey.

Down at the other end Sterling was making a name for himself with some mazy runs and whipped crosses, but his team-mates were not exactly showing for him and Fulham held on for a historic victory and one that leaves them one win short of seventh with two games left.

Martin Skrtel's own-goal condemned Liverpool to a 1-0 Premier League defeat to Fulham, the first time the Whites have won at Anfield. - 2

Reda Maher - on Twitter @Reda_Eurosport / Eurosport

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  1. After spending £135m & only having the mickey mouse­ cup to show for it , not even finishing in the top­ 6th...liverfook fans.....keep on dreaming

    From Politician Stole My Money, on Thu 3 May 22:19
  2. Stick to winning the mickey mouse cup after spending­ £135m hahahahahahaha hahaha hahaha hahaha haha­ haha

    From Politician Stole My Money, on Thu 3 May 22:18
  3. We will win the league next season .,.. PMSL!!!!

    From Deluded Dippershyte Muppets Gayson And Rogy PMSL, on Thu 3 May 2:56
  4. Kenny should really be sacked. Roy Hodgson was­ producing similar results and he was straight out the­ door. Liverpool are putting their faith in the wrong­ person.

    From Leo, on Thu 3 May 2:45
  5. Lets all laugh at Liverpool

    From MancRed19, on Thu 3 May 2:25
  6. When is someone going to give Kenny Dalglish a charisma­ transplant?

    From Laura G, on Thu 3 May 0:49
  7. Well played L'poo - Everton and Fulham always have­ had the nicest fans - keep it going Everton please­ finish above L'poo who with Man U are two of the­ most boring teams with the most boring supporters in­ Europe !

    From Just me!, on Wed 2 May 22:32
  8. Now dont be greedy - is the mickey mouse cup not­ enough?

    From Politician Stole My Money, on Wed 2 May 20:12
  9. Is it true that livefool fielded their strongest team­ in a competition that wigan , bolton , west brom,­ sunderland fielded their third string team ha ha­ ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha­ ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha­ ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    From Politician Stole My Money, on Wed 2 May 20:11
  10. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha stick with­ the mickey mouse cup Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha­ ha ha ha ha

    From Politician Stole My Money, on Wed 2 May 20:10
  11. Stick to the mickey mouse cup me thinks

    From Politician Stole My Money, on Wed 2 May 20:07
  12. 197 So add your runners-up medal from this years­ Champions League final to your trophy cabinet and how­ many European titles do you have?

    From John Dru, on Wed 2 May 19:41
  13. The Fans Should All Get A Refund For All The Reserve­ Players On The Field. Am I Wrong To Think That Teams­ Should Always field Their STRONGEST Teams, Otherwise It­ Is ROBBING The Fans.

    From MICHAEL, on Wed 2 May 19:12
  14. now that hodgeson has been choosen as the england­ manager and west brom are looking for a replacement, i­ wonder if west brom will consider offering daglish the­ job after all they are a middle of the league team and­ kenny's a middle of the league manager

    From SCOUSER, on Wed 2 May 19:01
  15. i would have assumed all those wonderful signing kenny­ made would have made the team unbeatable, what a­ plonker paying £35 mil for an idiot who had one­ successful season the premiership, to me it's not­ keeny running the club it's stevie g and carragher­ who pull the strings and their best mate kenny goes­ along with what they say, am i right in saying that­ liverpool have only won 2 games when gerard was in the­ starting 11

    From SCOUSER, on Wed 2 May 18:57
  16. For those saying LFC would be relegated there is truth­ in that if you look at LFC form over the second half of­ the season. Going off that record LFC would be at the­ bottom of the table. Clearly things are wrong with the­ club and the team is on the decline with aging players­ no longer able to raise the standard week in week out. ­ More worrying are the new players brought in not doing­ a good enough job. Downing to me is a great example of­ an underperformer who once played for England. On his­ current showing there would be no way he'd get into­ the England side.

    From Mark, on Wed 2 May 17:50
  17. lucky its the end of the season definitely relegation­ form

    From Noel, on Wed 2 May 17:48
  18. king kenny my a**e

    From Noel, on Wed 2 May 17:46
  19. Well done Fulham and its going 2 b a win against­ Sunderland

    From thomas, on Wed 2 May 17:34
  20. Fortress Anfield

    From southdown, on Wed 2 May 17:10
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