Fulham take points from Anfield

PA Sport
Martin Skrtel (centre)
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Martin Skrtel (centre)

Fulham recorded a first win at Anfield in their history as Liverpool's FA Cup final warm-up felt decidedly flat as they suffered a 1-0 defeat.

The Cottagers' previous 30 visits had failed to produce a victory and Merseyside, in general, has been an unhappy hunting ground having failed to win in the league in 48 trips to the city of Liverpool.

But all that changed courtesy of Martin Skrtel's fifth-minute own goal against a severely-weakened Reds line-up as manager Kenny Dalglish made nine changes to protect his major stars.

Liverpool have now dropped an astonishing 30 points at Anfield in the current campaign, having won just five times in 18 matches.

Liverpool did not even have the chance to get into their stride before they were behind. It was a goal created by two former Reds as left-back John Arne Riise crossed to ex-youth team player Alex Kacaniklic, who deflected the ball on to captain-for-the-night Skrtel who diverted it past Alexander Doni.

It took until midway through the first half for the home side to get going with Maxi Rodriguez shooting well over before Dirk Kuyt volleyed wide.

They would have equalised in the 28th minute had Brede Hangeland not stopped Jonjo Shelvey's shot on the goal-line.

The woodwork, struck 30 times, has been Liverpool's nemesis this season but it rescued them just past the hour when substitute Kerim Frei's shot hit the post with Doni at full-stretch.

The introduction of 17-year-old reserve-team prodigy Raheem Sterling with 15 minutes to go gave the crowd a lift but they were holding their breath when Frei cut open the defence only for Doni to deny Clint Dempsey with a sharp save.

But there was no sign of a rousing finish as Liverpool signed off before Wembley with a whimper.

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