1 users online

The Time Is Now

Liverpool 0-1 Fulham Prem36 Daily Telegraph

last updated Thursday 03rd May 2012, 1:05 PM
Daily Telegraph Logo
Chris Bascombe at Daily Telegraph

Liverpool (0) 0 Fulham (1) 1

An almighty crack could be heard as Liverpool's supporters headed home from the latest abject Anfield defeat last night.

It was the sound of Kenny Dalglish's patience finally snapping.

After 36 Premier League games in which the unwanted records have been accumulating by the week, Dalglish let rip, condemning his players following their 1-0 loss to Fulham.

Not before time, many on Merseyside will argue, but six months of Premier League ordinariness is too late for many others.

To describe this display as mediocre would be an insult to previous Anfield performances which, in retrospective, looked encouragingly average in comparison.

It was the Londoners' first win on Merseyside in their top flight history, but other statistics were more damning.

Liverpool, still a home win behind QPR and Blackburn, are on course for their worst Anfield sequence since 1948-49 and need to score five against Chelsea to beat their worst goalscoring record on the own turf since 1903.

As they prepare for a visit to the venue they dub 'Anfield south' this weekend, it is the image of Anfield north which is taking a battering.

Ahead of the FA Cup final, he said: "With the game coming up on Saturday, the attitude and performance was very poor," said Dalglish.

"The message was for people to take pride in themselves and the club but we got what we deserved, nothing.

We tried to be fair and give everyone an opportunity.

Maybe that was wrong.

I partly take the blame.

" Dalglish's resting of senior players backfired horrifically.

Luis Suárez, Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger were given the night off.

Even Pepe Reina was protected, presumably to remove the possibility of another Wembley ban, as Brazilian Alexander Doni was handed another start.

He made a series of second half saves, most notably from John Arne Riise and Clint Dempsey, which kept the margin of victory slender.

Fulham's Kerim Frei also struck a post.

By then, Martin Skrtel's fifth minute an own goal made another humiliating defeat seem inevitable given the dearth of talent in a red shirt.

Riise, the former Liverpool left-back, made the kind of overlapping run familiar to the home fans.

His cross was flicked on by another ex-Liverpool player, Alex Kacaniklic, striking the shoulder of the Slovakian defender before bouncing past Doni.

Liverpool's response was pitiful.

Dirk Kuyt volleyed wide and Maxi Rodríquez was denied by a Brede Hangeland tackle.

The absence of Fulham manager Martin Jol, at home due to a chest infection, made no difference.

His assistant, Billy McKinlay, believed the performance was a reaction to a weekend drubbing across Stanley Park a few days ago.

"The response to Saturday's poor performance was evident," he said.

Aside from Jol, the legacy of an absentee manager who worked for both clubs was inescapable.

For the second successive Anfield fixture, Roy Hodgson's name chimed from a section of the ground.

And for the second successive Anfield fixture, it was emanating from the away end.

Just like WBA, the Fulham branch of the Hodgson Appreciation Society triumphed against the Merseyside stain on his CV.

There are some ex-managers who are ghosts on the wall.

Liverpool must feel like they're being haunted by a poltergeist dressed in a smart new England blazer.

If it wasn't for cup successes, Dalglish's own position would look as untenable as Hodgson's before he left Anfield.

At least the Kop has found salvation in the palatable fact that Dalglish wins trophies and could be holding another in four days time.

Source .
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"