Monday, December 05, 2011

Live Thoughts: Fulham vs Liverpool (Premier League)

I covered this match live, here are my thoughts on the match between Fulham and Liverpool.
Welcome to another live thoughts feed with me, Johnny Mercyside. We're doing quite well at the moment. Undefeated in 11 games, 6 wins in a row away from home, Carlign Cup semi finals. Things are going very very well. Let's hope we can win at Craven Cottage again, like last season!

Here are the teams... 

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

Nice to see John Arne Riise and Daniel Murphy again. Great players for us. This is a decent Fulham side that can cause problems, and under Martin Jol they have a good manager and spirit. Expect a battle today. 

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

Still no Carra in the starting lineup. I get the feeling Kenny wants to concentrate on a partnership between Skrtel and Agger and use Carra less often now. Interesting. Carroll gets another chance to impress, will he do well today? Let's hope so, he's had a lot of chances already this season. I'm glad Bellamy is starting. Maxi on the bench is another interesting move.

2' - Wow, this is Fulham's 28th match this season, in comparison to Liverpool who are playing their 18th. It shows you how strenuous their season is this year. Kudos to Fulham. 

4' - Liverpool are playing 4-3-3 today, with Bellamy joining Carroll and Suarez up front. I think that's an interesting set up, it gives Carroll more support. 

5' - Liverpool are almost caught out when a neat ball lets in Dembele but Reina comes off his line nicely. Great reactions from our Spanish legend. 

7' - CARROLL! Straight at Schwarzer! A lovely ball from Suarez who goes down the left wing and cuts back to Carroll but he shoots straight down the middle. Should have done better. 

10' - It's a good little game at the moment, both sides going for it. There's a "I Just Can't Get Enough of Suarez" chant going on which is always good. 

12' - Adam takes a shot at goal and it's saved to the bottom right by Schwarzer. We had a good spell then. 

15' - We're starting to get more possession now. Putting Fulham under the cosh slightly. We're not dominating or anything, just enjoying the game more than Fulham for the moment. 

18' - Dempsey! Good save by Reina. We're being a little too sloppy all of a sudden in our third, and Dempsey almost took advantage. 

21' - What a ball from Suarez to Bellamy! It was just too long and Bellamy couldn't control it, but it was about 40 yards in total, from the left wing near the center of the pitch, to the outside of the penalty area on the right. True quality. 

24' - The game is settling a little now, neither side really making many chances. 

27' - HENDERSON! IT HIT THE POST! Jeez! There was a gap for Henderson on the left wing, he cuts into the box and curls a shot to the right post but it just clips the inside and out! So close! 

28' - Some good counter attacking football from both sides now, it's a very good game so far. 

30' - Some good movement leads to a chance for Suarez, who doesn't make the most of it. A diagonal ball from the left wing finds Carroll who was on the right hand side of the penalty area, he heads it back to Henderson who passes the ball square to Suarez in space who has a tame shot go wide.

32' - Carroll! Nice block from Schwarzer! Suarez works his socks off, to many boos from the Fulham faithful, who works nicely again with Henderson to get a snap pass to Carroll who tries to clip it past Schwarzer but there wasn't enough space. Good chance.

34' - Nostalgia sorry, just seeing Riise go for a throw in for Fulham reminded me of how good he was at throw ins. We've not replaced that quality Riise had since.

36' - DEMPSEY! Lovely save by Reina! He's had a good match so far the American. 

39' - Fulham starting to get on top of us for the moment, finding space in the final third. 

41' - Possession is 54%-46% in Liverpool's favour. It's been a good game so far, and the possession shows that it's been relatively close. 

44' - Yellow card for Dembele. Luis Suarez uses his trickery against Dembele, who brings down the little Uruguayan. He goes in the book for kicking the ball away, not for the challenge.

45'+1' - Half time after a minute of added time.

Well it's been very entertaining for the unbiased fan. As a Liverpool fan we've had some good chances, not as much as we would have liked. Defensively we haven't been great, we gave Fulham a lot of space and if they were more clinical they could have scored. Henderson had the best chance of the half with a lovely run and curling shot that hit the outside of the right post, but other than that the chances haven't really been great in numbers. But the game has been good to watch. Let's hope we can become clinical and a threat in the second half, and pin them back to their goal and score.

47' - Dempsey and Bellamy having a face to face encounter, I don't know what provoked that. Dempsey goes in the book I think. Bellamy never reacted, which is good. Bellamy got a yellow card too, I think that was for his reactions to the referee more than anything else. 

50' - Liverpool on the front foot, it leads us to a corner.

51' - ENRIQUE! Lovely deflection from Schwarzer! That was the result of a total of three corners. 

53' - Yet another corner. A fourth corner in three minutes, we're absolutely attacking their final third, with some good pressure from Carroll and Suarez in that rally. Schwarzer deals with that fourth corner and the pressure subsides.

54' - Penalty claims from Liverpool, Suarez tries to take the ball round the defender and fails to reclaim the ball and goes down. I don't think that was a penalty, Suarez was looking for it and the ref didn't fall for it. 

55' - Possession for the second half - 78%-22% in Liverpool's favour. It says it all really. Come on the Pool! 

57' - A lovely run from Jose Enrique wins another Liverpool corner. That guy is an awesome left back, he should be playing for Spain really. 

58' - A free kick JUST outside the penalty box for Liverpool, I'm sure that was in the box but whatever. Yellow card for Senderos on Charlie Adam. 

60' - Bellamy takes it and smacks the ball, it deflects for a corner. 

60' - Agger heads the ball towards goal but it hit the front of his head and bounces downwards, going for a goal kick. 

62' - BELLAMY! Wide. He should have done better. He was played onside into the box on the right hand side, and tries to shoot it into the bottom left corner but it goes well wide. Shame. 

65' - Suarez is flagged offside, what a damn shame as that was a lovely bit of movement from Suarez to get in the box and great vision from Enrique. That's really debatable, I'm sure that might have been onside. 

68' - Agger has a mazy run down the middle of the pitch, and is eventually stopped on the outside of the Fulham penalty box. I miss those runs, he barely does them nowadays. 

70' - Fulham Substitution: Andy Johnson comes on for Bobby Zamora, who has been quite transparent today. 

71' - RED CARD! Jay Spearing is off the pitch! He got the ball but there was a lot of venom in the tackle, and Dembele player made a meal of it. I think that is unjustified. 

74' - It was a two footed tackle, that's what made it an instant red. But it's frustrating as he got the ball and Dembele just made such a dramatic jump. It's silly. 

76' - Double Liverpool Substitution: Dirk Kuyt and Stewart Downing come on for Craig Bellamy and Andy Carroll. Bellamy has been good today, and so has Carroll for portions of the game. Carroll looked interested today, something that he's guilty of not looking at times.

79' - Despite being a man down we're still going forward which is a good thing. That being said it's naturally harder to defend against Fulham. 

79' - DEMPSEY! Crossbar! So close, and Johnson tries to follow up and it goes for a Fulham corner, which is dealt with. 

80' - DEMBELE! Saved by Reina! He should have done better, it was a lovely cross and he had loads of space, he shoots it straight at Reina. Fulham are now on the front foot and it's not looking good. 

82' - Dembele has a lovely run from the start of the final third to just outside the box, passing Liverpool players, and he tries to curl the ball into the bottom left corner but it's just wide. 

83' -DOWNING! OFF THE POST AGAIN! It's hit the woodwork three times in this match so far! 

84' - GOAL! Fulham score. Danny Murphy takes a quality shot outside of the box and Reina spills it to his feet, only for Dempsey to react quick to shoot it straight into the net.

87' - ADAM! Just wide! A lovely strike form the Scot, he smashes it from 25 yards and it's low and driven, just wide.

90' - Three minutes of added time, we're making some late rallies at the moment. Let's hope one goes in. 

90+1' - Free kick just outside the box again. Suarez uses his body against the Fulham player to his advantage. Come on, make this count Liverpool! 

90+2' - Danny Murphy has gone down. Not good for the ex-Red. He's being subbed off. 

90+3' - Fulham Sub: Marcel Gesov comes on for Danny Murphy. Gutted for him. The free kick will be last moment in the match. Suarez takes it and it hits the wall.

90+4' - Andy Johnson counter attacks and he's on his own up front! Thankfully Glen Johnson catches him and deals with the danger. 

90+4' - Full time.

And our 11 matches unbeaten can't continue as we lose tonight. We played very well today, a mixture of Fulham's confidence, our lack of finishing and the debatable red card for Spearing made us lose today. It's another frustrating match in terms of our effectiveness in front of goal, but we did play well. It's not good though, when we play well and don't win. We have drawn too many matches like that, and now we lose another one. We need to be more clinical in front of goal in the second half of this season or we'll not get Champions League football. It's as simple as that. But, the performance was otherwise good, the game was great, and hopefully we can learn from this defeat. That's it from me tonight, take care.

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