Thursday, 9 April 2009

Fulham 0 -1 Liverpool

Despite being mostly outplayed for this match, the final result was absolutely gutting. True Liverpool sliced Fulham open time and time again in the first half - hitting the woodwork an impressive four times in the process - but having failed to make a breakthrough endured a tougher second half with few shots on target and it looked like the scousers would go the way of Sunderland - utterly dominant but with only one point to show from the game.
However two minutes into a preposterous four minutes injury time and Yossi Benayoun made some easy space around Paul Konchesky and dispatched the only goal, which woke up the Liverpool fans and put their team two points top of the league - a situation only possible thanks to Fulham's defeat of man United a fortnight before.
It appeared to be a different team to that performance though. Where the players all had bite in that game, few appeared to be as dynamic against Liverpool. In fact there were only 3 shots all game from the Cottagers, with only a speculative effort from Konchesky on target. A far cry from the 24 that rained in on Edwin van Der Sar.
Although Liverpool controlled the ball and the match effortlessly, they were more dangerous on the break. After a while I was hoping that Fulham wouldn't win any more corners as that was when they looked most vulnerable to conceding goals. Gerrard and Torres are an awesome counter attacking force. In fact, when married with Pepe Reina's distribution, Liverpool were at times nothing but a long ball team - but an extremely effective one. How Schwarzer stopped them scoring was a bit of a mystery. I reckon he'd covered the goals in cling film.
Still the last minute winner was a sickener, but there was a bright side - this was a team who put four past Man United and Real Madrid and five past 'big4' pretenders Aston Villa, yet they could only edge out Fulham by a solitary injury time goal. If that's not progress on last year, I don't know what is.

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