Premier League

December 5, 2011



1 - 0


Premier League

20:00 +00:00, December 5, 2011

Craven Cottage, England

Referee: K Friend


    I've been @JamesDallESPN. Until the next time.


    Goodness me. A game of one goal, and one controversial sending off. Reina was at fault for the decisive goal, let's not forget that, but Spearing felt massively hard done by for being given a straight red. He went in boldly, and Friend saw fit to dismiss him. That's Jol's first win over Liverpool as a manager. There will be more on this, of that there is no question. Stay with us for post-match reaction, including that of Dalglish.


    FULL-TIME: Fulham 1-0 Liverpool.

  • 90'

    Johnson scampers on a counter, hits a rasping effort wide. Is that full-time?

  • 90'

    Straight into the wall.

  • 90'

    Murphy is crocked. He is carried off, and Gecov (me neither) comes on.

  • 90'

    Free-kick about 20 yards out for Liverpool...

  • 90'

    Fulham lump it forward, but it is straight to Reina.

  • 90'

    Fulham are trying to keep the ball, keep things calm, but are failing.

  • 90'

    Liverpool are throwing their nine outfield bodies forward.

  • 90'

    Three minutes of added time will be played.

  • 90'

    Riise hacks clear. Pressure mounting.

  • 89'

    Ruiz does well, holding up the ball and drawing a foul from Enqrique.

  • 88'

    Liverpool press. Adam has one teed up for him, and slaps it. The ball zooms past the post, but the wrong side of it.

  • 88'

    Fulham aren't keeping the ball well enough for a team a man up. Liverpool smell a leveller.

  • 87'

    There's still time for Liverpool. You feel there will be one more chance for them.

  • 86'

    Murphy jinks past Johnson and shoots. Reina is behind it, but spills it. It's a poor piece of goalkeeping and Dempsey pounces, tapping from just yards out. Wow.

  • 86'

    GOAL!!! Dempsey scores for Fulham!

  • 85'

    My word, in the words of Ray Wilkins. Downing fires one. And he fires it good. Schwarzer tips it onto the post and it bounces back out. Inches in that. Inches.

  • 85'


  • 84'

    Aaaah. Dembele darts forward and does really well. He looks to bend one, but his shot, under pressure, flashes a few yards wide.

  • 83'

    Reina makes another save, but he shouldn't have been allowed to. Riise cut in a cross and Dembele shot first time. Yet he managed to put it straight at Reina, when either side of him it is definitely a goal.

  • 82'

    Dempsey has his head in his hands. Fulham's most effective player opens up his body and bends one past the rooted Reina. But the ball bangs back off the crossbar. Still 0-0.

  • 81'


  • 80'

    Fulham not looking like a team with more men at the moment.

  • 79'

    Corner to Liverpool...

  • 78'

    This was there for the winning for Liverpool, and they could still win it. But there will be a sense of injustice from the red half of Merseyside that their impetus was curtailed.

  • 77'

    Carroll is the man to make way for Kuyt. Downing also on, for Bellamy.

  • 76'

    Kuyt is coming on. Regarding red card, one argument is he didn't have full control of the challenge. Other is, he won the ball. Didn't seem malicious.

  • 75'

    Seen a few replays now. Seems a pretty harsh red.

  • 74'

    That's a three game ban for Spearing, of course.

  • 73'

    Spearing makes a sliding tackle, cleaning the ball away. But his momentum takes him into Dembele, the studs clashing into the forwards' ankle. Friend dishes out a straight red. Tough one to take for Liverpool.

  • 72'


  • 71'

    Andrew Johnson comes on for Zamora, who has been rather ineffective.

  • 70'

    Suarez gets angry, biting his gloves after being penalised for a tangle of legs.

  • 69'

    Agger embarks on a solo run, beating a couple of players. But Fulham eventually got enough numbers around the Dane to halt the surge.

  • 68'

    Will Liverpool score? They should have by now. They've attacked well enough. They lack that final punch.

  • 67'

    It's offside. Suarez makes a quality run off the ball and is found. He shoots, but Schwarzer gets a hand to it. Suarez reacts to scissor in with class. But the flag is up for offside. It looked very tight.

  • 66'

    Carroll hits a disappointing shot that flicks along the turf and way, way wide. Maxi is warming up.

  • 65'

    Big header from Skrtel. Kelly swings in a teasing free-kick but the Liverpool defender was well positioned to head away from danger.

  • 64'

    Henderson slides in a lovely pass to Bellamy, who takes it first time. It's rather rushed though and the ball whips wide of the far post.

  • 63'

    Cripes. That was shocking. Some woefully worked set-piece comes to zip.

  • 62'

    Now it's Fulham's turn for a free-kick, near the corner of the box. Didn't look a foul.

  • 61'

    Bellamy spanks it and the ball clips off the wall and wide. The Welshman has his hands on his head.

  • 60'

    Here comes the free-kick...

  • 59'

    Senderos, you crazy man. The Swiss chops down Adam, JUST outside the box. Was it a pen? Some might have given it. Either way, it was a right surge from Liverpool, where it was four v three. Adam should have passed it, before being fouled.

  • 58'

    Enrique bombs forward and Kelly slides in to block the ball out for a corner. Great burst from the Spaniard.

  • 57'

    Suarez goes down - no shock there. He is eased off it by two players, Hangeland one of them. Not sure Suarez was looking for the pen, more his momentum took him down. Friend waves away appeals from the away fans. Suarez shouts something.

  • 56'

    Now it's Fulham's turn to attack, but Dempsey's backheel is optimistic. Wait, a penalty shout...

  • 55'

    Super claim from Schwarzer, the Australian leaping to pluck the ball out of the air.

  • 54'

    Another corner for Liverpool. Fulham under the cosh here.

  • 53'

    Ah! Enrique rifles a sweet volley from outside the box. Schwarzer gets there, but only just, meaning a bicycle kick is needed to clear. Liverpool are well on top.

  • 52'

    It's a third corner in a row for Liverpool...

  • 51'

    Almost. Carrolls gets his bonce to it, but the ball doesn't quite fall right for the Reds. Very nearly Skrtel had a chance to twist home.

  • 50'

    It's tight out there,. Liverpool are squeezing to restrict the space. Groans emerge from the mouths of the home fans as an attack breaks down. Meanwhile, corner to Liverpool.

  • 49'

    And back on with the football. That clash is worth keeping an eye on though.

  • 48'

    Dempsey is squaring up with Bellamy, the men face-to-face. Friend is calm about it - apt. He books them both. Dempsey was a little over-zealous, really barking in Bellamy's 'grill'.

  • 47'

    An early Liverpool foray, but Fulham stand firm. Just. Suarez looked to wriggle through. The door was closed.

  • 46'

    KICK-OFF: Fulham start the second period.


    Some awful song rings around the stadium. Let's get this back under way, please.


    They're emerging from the Cottage!


    The second half is approaching. Liverpool really must win this, with all their rivals having triumphed at the weekend. Jol will be content thus far, but wary. Hard to imagine a wary Jol, but he will be wary. That I promise.


    Not a bad half in terms of chances. Henderson went the closest, his dinked shot clipping the post and coming back out. Fulham have been in great areas, just haven't picked the right pass. More of the same in the second half, please, but with goals. Lots and lots of goals.


    HALF-TIME: Fulham 0-0 Liverpool

  • 45'

    One minute of added time will be played.

  • 44'

    First card of the game goes to Dembele after he caught Suarez. Think he then kicked the ball away.

  • 44'

    Zamora is the next to be penalised. He shoved over his opponent. Nothing sneaky about it. Was a blatant push.

  • 43'

    Adam lumps the free-kick forward, Carroll wins it, but the header is garbage. Attack fizzles out.

  • 42'

    Dempsey fells Adam. Poor tackle. Free-kick, but no card. The right call.

  • 41'

    Maxi dons a seat on the bench, smothered by a puffa jacket. Surely he will get a run out tonight. Surely?

  • 40'

    Dembele is the latest to try his luck, but a deflection takes it into the hands of Reina. Liverpool are lacking a shield in front of the back four.

  • 39'

    Fulham shoot, AGAIN - it's wide. Liverpool's backline has been exposed all too often, but Fulham have yet to make them pay, often opting for the wrong option.

  • 38'

    Suarez the subject of boos following some aggression from the Uruguayan.

  • 37'

    Awkward for Reina! Dempsey has a crack, and the ball appears to swerve a little, or maybe Reina goes down too early. The Spaniard claws it away at the last second.

  • 36'

    Still goalless, somehow. There have been chances, but, as a caveat, wastefulness. Liverpool have been guilty of that all season, no?

  • 35'

    Fulham haven't given away a penalty in their last 49 league games, apparently.

  • 34'

    Suarez is a beast of a player when he wants to be. He skins his marker and cuts back for Carroll, who is only denied by a fine block by Hangeland. Terrific defending, really.

  • 33'

    Why won't they pass it? Again Fulham have a gaping chance to slip the ball to a team-mate, but they delay and thunder a shot into a Red leg.

  • 32'

    Classic route one from Liverpool. Spearing pings it to Enrique, who lifts the ball high into the sky to Carroll. The big man wins the header and lays it to Suarez, whose resulting shots dribbles wide.

  • 31'

    Massive opportunity for Fulham, but Dempsey, inexplicably, choose to shoot rather than pass to the unmarked man. Shocking.

  • 30'

    My, my, my. Henderson sees some space and charges into it. He then teases the ball with a flick of the boot. The ball slowly beats Schwarzer, and looks destined to drop home, but instead hits the foot of the post and bounces out. Agonising.

  • 29'


  • 28'

    Enrique swings over a cross, and Riise concedes a corner. Decent transfer of pressure from the Pool.

  • 27'

    Corner to Fulham, and Liverpool deal with it well. They look to break...

  • 26'

    Bellamy's angry after being penalised for a foul. It was a foul, Craig.

  • 25'

    Jamie Carragher is on the bench. The camera zooms in on him to provide us with evidence.

  • 24'

    Liverpool keeping the ball amongst the back four, looking to take the sting out of the game after a difficult period of play.

  • 23'

    Before making the pass, Suarez did this brilliant dragback that made Kelly fall on his backside.

  • 22'

    Spearing makes a timely interception, and then Suarez hits a gorgeous ball to Bellamy, but the Welshman doesn't meet it and the move breaks down.

  • 21'

    Murphy is super. He keeps things ticking over, plays the right pass.

  • 20'

    Riise v Bellamy. A good battle. Saw the former at Westfield shopping mall once. I didn't say hello.

  • 19'

    Liverpool under pressure! Adam makes a mistake, which goes unpunished, then Dempsey lets fly. It's a tasty shot, but Reina is well positioned. The canny Spaniard.

  • 18'

    A save! Dembele hits a rasping effort, the ball skimming along after being struck with his left peg. Reina springs to his left and palms away. Decent game.

  • 17'

    Spearing, there, nipping away. Broke up play, and that will please Dalglish.

  • 16'

    That was an awful pass from Senderos. Just gave it back to Liverpool.

  • 15'

    Carroll clips a ball to Suarez, who opts to take it with his right, not let, which means the shot is awkward and loopy. No goal.

  • 14'

    Stat: Liverpool have had 63% of the possession.

  • 13'

    Liverpool pressing now. Adam threatens a shot, but thinks better of it. A minute later, he does shoot. Schwarzer is equal to it, claiming to his left. No deflection for Adam this time, like against City.

  • 12'

    Fulham want a corner after Kelly's cross goes out. Nope, turns out it was just a rubbish cross.

  • 11'

    A fact! Via Infostrada: "Jay Spearing has been on the losing side in each of the last three Premier League matches he has played for Liverpool."

  • 10'

    It's got a nice flow to it this game now. Liverpool attack, then Fulham, etc. Ruiz is buzzing about, picking off Zamora's lay offs, too.

  • 9'

    Ah, Carroll. Suarez picks up the ball on the wing and drives in a low cross. Carroll is there, and slides in to connect. His effort is straight at Schwarzer though, to keep it goalless.

  • 8'

    Liverpool then go up the other end and send a cross over to the left channel. It is hit first time, but Kelly makes a vital intervention to deflect over.

  • 7'

    Oh! Fulham work the ball really, very well. Dembele is threaded through, and must pull the trigger. He does, but Reina is out quickyl to block. A golden chance.

  • 6'

    Well, there you go. Zamora is running now. Looks like he has run it off.

  • 5'

    All Liverpool in terms of possession, but they are yet to penetrate. Zamora is hobbling awfully.

  • 4'

    Zamora is limping. Not good news for Fulham, as if that needs saying.

  • 3'

    Liverpool have lined up in a 4-3-3, with Bellamy on the right and Suarez on the left.

  • 2'

    Suarez rolls his man. As will be common tonight. He passes, looking for Carroll. Carroll stands still. Keeper has it.

  • 1'

    KICK-OFF: Liverpool get the game under way. Let's play football.


    A minute's silence/applause for the late Gary Speed.


    Out the players march. They play this tempo-increasing tune at Craven Cottage in the lead up to kick-off. All quite exciting. Makes you do things too fast though, like drink your tea too swiftly. You burn your mouth, and consider a lawsuit.


    The teams are in the tunnel. It is bitterly cold in West London. We should know, our offices are nearby. Oh look, there's a Christmas tree, and some decs hanging on the Cottage. Lovely.


    Attacking Fulham side, this. Zamora's a handful, everyone says, and Dembele will float around just off him, occupying that magic space in-between the defence and midfield. Duff's out injured, which is a blow.


    Big night for Spearing then, eh. Is he the ball-winning tiger Liverpool fans hope he is? Or is he just a bit average? We shall see. In other news, Maxi does not start, which is odd, because he has been excellent of late. And he scored three in this fixture last season: a hat-trick.


    Of course, much will be made of how Liverpool 'cope' without Lucas, who has been ruled out for the remainder of this term. Some will have you believe he's only recently been brilliant for his team, despite winning the club's Player of the Season award last campaign.


    Good evening. Welcome to our live coverage of Fulham's clash against Liverpool, this corresponding match last season a cracker after it finished 5-2 in the Reds' favour. I (@JamesDallESPN) am hoping for another feast of goals.


    The referee for tonight's game is Kevin Friend.


    Fulham team: Schwarzer; Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise; Ruiz, Etuhu, Murphy, Dempsey; Dembele, Zamora. Subs: Etheridge, Briggs, Hughes, Gecov, Kasami, Frei, Johnson.


    Liverpool team: Reina, Johnson, Enrique, Skrtel, Agger, Henderson, Adam, Spearing, Bellamy, Carroll, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Maxi, Coates, Kuyt, Downing, Carragher, Kelly.


    ESPNsoccernet will bring you live minute-by-minute commentary of Fulham against Liverpool, which kicks off at 2000 GMT.