Liverweb Match Report
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Fulham 1 Liverpool 0A much changed Reds side went down to a second successive league defeat at Fulham. The Reds had plenty chances in the first half to score but failed to take them and ultimately paid the price at Craven Cottage.
Insua, Paletta, Hyypia and Arbeloa again made up the defensive back line with Gonzalez getting another chance up the left. Harry Kewell made the bench and ultimately got on for his first outing of the season after injury.
Fulham were eager for the points in this one but looked nervy. The Reds could have gone ahead inside five minutes with Bellamy forcing Niemi to concede a corner kick.
Three minutes later and Niemi was again forced to stop Bellamy scoring as the Reds looked to really hit Fulham early.
The play was all Liverpool and you wondered when a goal would arrive. Fulham had a glorious chance though midway through the half when Montella tried an acrobatic volley. It was on target but thankfully Alonso was in the way to force the ball out.
Robbie Fowler picked a booking minutes later for a hack on Brown on the edge of the area. The resulting free kick was deflected out for a corner off Hyypia.
Right on half time the Reds really should have taken the lead when Pennant blasted across the six yard box. Fowler stuck out a leg but somehow diverted it back where it had come from. I've had to watch this again to work out how he missed it and it looks like Robbie got the leg there just too quickly and it's come back off his leg.
Arbeloa picked up a booking just short of the half time whistle when he dragged Radzinski back as the striker drifted past him with ease.
The second half saw the Reds again have good possession but this time they did less with it. They should have been well ahead after the first half itself.
Diop picked up a booking on fifty three as he took Sissoko down from behind. Momo had got away from him and deservedly went in to the book.
Fulham were looking very nervy and it meant they rarely mounted anything like a decent attack.
Nabir El Zhar replaced Pennant on sixty six minutes which gave him a bit longer than normal to try and get into the game.
However the game was tipped on it ahead just three minutes later as Fulham took the lead. For one of the first times in the game they really got the ball down and played it on the deck and they scored from it.
Fulham picked the ball up in the Reds half and moved forward. Dempsey pushed it wide to Rosenior who played it back to him in the area and he managed to flip it past Reina before he could react. It's debateable for offside in the build up but having seen it again I've seen them go for us in the past so we can hardly complain.
The Reds changed things about a bit for the final fifteen minutes as Steve Finnan came on for Insua.
Michael Brown finally picked up a yellow card on seventy six minutes. He was lucky earlier in what seemed to be a dodgy coming together with Alonso which left the Reds midfielder needing treatment. I've watched this since and the dirty player has deliberately put his head in on Alonso. You expect no less from Brown to be honest. He's one player I really don't like.
Harry Kewell came on for the final thirteen minutes in place of Gonzalez who once again disappointed. He's clearly got pace but he can't seem to find any end product for us.
Kewell nearly set up Fowler for a goal but the Reds striker just couldn't quite get on the end of the cross shot. Split the difference between his two chances and Fowler could have had two with these.
The Reds did get the ball in the net six minutes from time as Alonso whipped in a neat free kick - shame he couldn't do the same with corners! Paletta raced in and nodded the ball home but the linesman had his flag up early.
As time went on it was all Liverpool but they just didn't create anything clear cut. Diop was sent off in the final minute for a second booking after a tackle on Sissoko. The Reds were ready to carry on if anything and the red card surprised me even though Diop had been fouling persistently.
Overall this was disappointing from the Reds. They did more than enough in the first half to win the match but if you don't score you don't win.
MotM : Xabi Alonso - tried to get the Reds going and set things up. Sami Hyypia also played really well at the back again holding the Reds together.
Position at Start of match day - 3 / Opposition Position at Start of match day - 16
League Stats at end of match day
Match number 56 of the season
Domestic Match number 42 of the season
Premiership Match number 37 of the season
Premiership Match number 581 of all time
League Match number 4105 of all time (excludes war time and Lancashire League)
Top Flight League Match number 3677 of all time (includes original Division 1 and Premiership)
Match number 5032 of all time (excludes war time matches and Friendly/Testimonials)
Match number 53 against Fulham
Away Match number 27 against Fulham
League Match number 40 against Fulham
League Away Match number 20 against Fulham
Premiership Match number 12 against Fulham
Premiership Away Match number 6 against Fulham