Fulham record historic win over Liverpool

Skrtel own goal adds to Reds' miserable home form

A Martin Skrtel own goal allowed Fulham to record their first ever top flight league win on Merseyside in 42 attempts as the London club prevailed 1-0 over Liverpool on Tuesday in their Premier League clash.

The home defeat hardly represented Liverpool's best possible preparation for Saturday's FA Cup Final date with Chelsea.

In a meeting between two of new England manager Roy Hodgson's most recent employers, Liverpool's wretched home league form continued as they failed to record a victory for the 13th time in 18 games.

More alarmingly, Liverpool could also end the season outside the top eight in the top division of English football for the first time since 1954.

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Manager Kenny Dalglish elected to leave four potential Wembley starters out of his line-up - goalkeeper Pepe Reina, plus Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez - and his decision looked a costly one when Fulham took the lead after only five minutes.

From the game's first attack, Clint Dempsey's pass sent former Liverpool full-back John Arne Riise down the left-hand touchline and his cross into the six-yard box was met by another former Anfield player Alex Kacaniklic.

The 20-year-old's mishit shot bounced against Skrtel's legs, wrong-footing Doni on its way into the net.

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Liverpool responded in reasonably impressive fashion, Skrtel quickly trying to make amends as he headed wide from a Fabio Aurelio free-kick, although Fulham might have doubled their lead on 15 minutes when Dempsey threaded through for Pavel Pogrebnyak whose first-time shot was well parried by Doni.

Maxi Rodriguez collected Dirk Kuyt's lay-off and sent a shot soaring over the Fulham bar although Andy Carroll was becoming the most impressive attacking presence in a red shirt.

After 23 minutes, Kuyt latched onto a loose ball after Carroll's progress was blocked and volleyed inches wide.

Before the half-hour, Mark Schwarzer mis-handled a cross under pressure from Carroll, allowing Maxi to square the ball for Jonjo Shelvey whose shot beat the Fulham keeper but not defender Brede Hangeland who cleared off the line.

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Dalglish brought on Stewart Downing and switched to a 4-4-2 formation at the interval with early second half signs looking promising as Shelvey volleyed over and Jay Spearing dispossessed Dempsey before testing Schwarzer with a 20-yard shot which the goalkeeper kept out at full-stretch.

Hangeland was also required to make an impressive and timely tackle to halt the progress of Maxi as he surged into the area and bore down on Schwarzer's goal.

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But Fulham began to exploit some of the gaps created by Liverpool's increasing attacking urgency.

Dempsey headed just wide from Damien Duff's 53rd minute corner, substitute Kerim Frei created room for himself on the edge of the area and saw his well-hit shot impressively touched onto the post by Doni. 

English Premier League

Results

Liverpool  0 Fulham  1   
Stoke City 1 Everton 1  

Standings               P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts  

1   Manchester City         36 26 5  5  88 27 83   
2   Manchester United       36 26 5  5  86 33 83   
3   Arsenal                 36 20 6  10 68 44 66   
4   Tottenham Hotspur       35 18 8  9  59 39 62   
5   Newcastle United        35 18 8  9  53 46 62   
6   Chelsea                 35 17 10 8  62 39 61   
7   Everton                 36 14 10 12 47 39 52   
8   Liverpool               36 13 10 13 43 38 49   
9   Fulham                  36 13 10 13 46 48 49   
10  West Bromwich Albion    36 13 7  16 41 47 46   
11  Sunderland              36 11 12 13 44 43 45   
12  Swansea City            36 11 11 14 43 49 44   
13  Stoke City              36 11 11 14 34 50 44   
14  Norwich City            36 11 10 15 47 63 43   
15  Aston Villa             36 7  16 13 36 50 37   
16  Wigan Athletic          36 9  10 17 38 60 37   
17  Queens Park Rangers     36 9  7  20 40 63 34   
18  Bolton Wanderers        35 10 4  21 41 69 34   
19  Blackburn Rovers        36 8  7  21 47 75 31   
R20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 36 5  9  22 38 79 24   
R - Relegated                                              
1-3:   Champions League / EC I             
4:     Champions League preliminary round  
5-6:   Europa League                       
18-20: Relegation                         

Next Fixtures (GMT):                                    

Wednesday
Chelsea                 v Newcastle United     (1845)   
Bolton Wanderers        v Tottenham Hotspur    (1900)   

Saturday
Arsenal                 v Norwich City         (1145)   

Sunday
Newcastle United        v Manchester City      (1230)   
Aston Villa             v Tottenham Hotspur    (1300)   
Bolton Wanderers        v West Bromwich Albion (1300)   
Fulham                  v Sunderland           (1300)   
Queens Park Rangers     v Stoke City           (1300)   
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton              (1300)   
Manchester United       v Swansea City         (1500)   

Monday

Blackburn Rovers        v Wigan Athletic       (1900)  

 

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