Liverpool FC, Miscellanous

Fulham 2-3 Liverpool – “We Are Not Title Contenders”

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

 

By Jonathan Carroll

 

Brendan Rodgers post match interview with Martin Tyler on Wednesday night included a reference from Tyler that Steven Gerrard’s winning penalty and the resulting celebration was one of possible title contenders. Rodgers didn’t agree with Tyler but instead wisely opted with the route “we’ve got to keep pushing”. While no direct acceptance was made in relation to Liverpool being contenders, a direct “We are not title contenders” would be a better approach. This Liverpool squad is young. Title run in experience is lacking. Rodgers needs to let the squad focus on playing without pressure so he can instill that belief that they can win the title behind closed doors but publicly alleviate pressure.

 

The football match itself was a roller coaster. Kolo Toure scored past Simon Mignolet with a horrendous mis-kick. The centre half continues to make big mistakes that need to be eradicated quickly. The return of Daniel Agger or Mamadou Sakho will be a welcome one for the confidence of Mignolet and all Liverpool supporters who now hold their breath whenever Toure is in possession at the back.

 

 

A sublime Steven Gerrard ball with the outside of his right foot put Daniel Sturridge through who finished with the calmness of a veteran striker. Liverpool toiled all night long in London. Fulham sat deep and denied Sturridge and Luis Suarez room in behind.

 

 

Another defensive shambles between Jon Flanagan and Martin Skrtel set up Kieran Richardson to tap in Fulhams second. The Slovakian defender tried to cut out a looping cross to the back post, Toure failed to transition across and Richardson was left with the easiest of tasks. Liverpool faced a huge uphill task. This was a must win game with Tottenham right on Liverpool’s heels.

 

 

Fulham were content to sit and absorb pressure. Liverpool looked a little tired from Saturdays game against Arsenal and the pace of the game slowed. A moment of individual creativity from Philippe Coutinho arrived when he out paced three Fulham defenders as he moved across the top of the eighteen yard box and curled low into the bottom left hand corner. Game on.

 

 

Rodgers decided to introduce Joao Teixeira to the attack. A promising youngster who put in a solid ten minutes in what was his first team debut. Five minutes added time was held up by the fourth official as Liverpool probed for a winner. They received a gift as Sturridge went to go past Sascha Riechter and was brought down. Phil Dowd had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Steven Gerrard converted the penalty and sent the traveling Kop into delirium. The captain celebrated as the importance of winning this game shone through. Fans and players alike celebrated with the hope that title number nineteen may be a possibility.

 

 

Liverpool face Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs at Anfield in their remaining fixtures. When the Champions League starts back up, other top four competitors will have midweek games. Liverpool do not from now until seasons end. It is most definitely on. Just don’t tell the media Brendan.

 

FULHAM

  • 01 Stekelenburg (Stockdale – 76′ ) – 6
  • 27 Riether (Booked) – 5
  • 03 Riise – 4
  • 06 Kvist (Booked) – 4
  • 04 Heitinga (Booked) – 5
  • 33 Burn – 6
  • 19 Tunnicliffe – 6
  • 07 Sidwell – 6
  • 39 Bent – 6
  • 10 Holtby – 7
  • 15 Richardson (Booked) (Kacaniklic – 71′ ) – 7

Substitutes

  • 05 Hangeland
  • 08 Kasami
  • 11 Kacaniklic
  • 13 Stockdale
  • 16 Duff
  • 21 Cole
  • 28 Parker

LIVERPOOL

  • 22 Mignolet – 5
  • 38 Flanagan – 6
  • 20 Cissokho – 6
  • 08 Gerrard (Booked) – 7
  • 37 Skrtel – 7
  • 04 Kolo Touré – 3
  • 10 Coutinho (Booked) (Agger – 92′ ) – 7
  • 14 Henderson (Booked) – 6
  • 15 Sturridge – 8
  • 31 Sterling (J. Teixeira – 82′ ) – 6
  • 07 Suarez – 7

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 05 Agger
  • 09 Iago Aspas
  • 12 Moses
  • 24 Allen
  • 34 Kelly
  • 53 J. Teixeira
Referee: Phil Dowd – 7
Attendance: 25,375
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