Fulham recorded their first ever top flight league win on Merseyside in 42 attempts by a Martin Skrtel own goal, as the London club prevailed 1-0 over Liverpool in their Premier League clash. The home defeat barely represented Liverpool’s best promising groundwork for Saturday’s FA Cup Final date with Chelsea.
Liverpool’s wretched home league form continued as they failed to record a victory for the 13th time in 18 games, in a meeting between two of new England manager Roy Hodgson’s most recent employers. More alarmingly, for the first time since 1954, Liverpool could also end the season outside the top eight in the top division of English football.
A powerfully driven cross by John Arne Riise hit the standing leg of Skrtel and squirmed past goalkeeper Alexander Doni at the Kop end. Liverpool lacked any real incisiveness, although they dominated possession and chances, as usual at home. The hosts were short of star quality. They were without Captain Steven Gerrard, Pepe Reina and they had rested Luis Suarez, who scored a sensational hat trick at Norwich.
Andy Carroll headed a good opportunity wide and Dirk Kuyt volleyed just off target, Jonjo Shelvey had a shot cleared off the line for Liverpool. With substitute Karim Frei shooting against the post at the other end in the second half, the margin of defeat could have been worse for Liverpool.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said that he does not think that can be described as a performance and he thought it would be fair to give them an opportunity to get some minutes on the pitch with an important game on Saturday, but the performance and the attitude was very poor, very unlike his team.
In the past four home games, against Wigan, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, Liverpool has now picked up just one point. These were the teams that one would typically expect it to beat. Despite a dispiriting 1-0 home loss to Fulham in their last game before the Wembley showpiece, Liverpool manager insisted that his team would still enter Saturday’s FA Cup Final with Chelsea in confident mood.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes that when Chelsea walks out at Wembley for Saturday’s FA Cup final, they will not be distracted by thoughts of the Champions League.
There are two matches coming up for Liverpool and the betting odds are as follows:
8 May 2012 – Liverpool (8/5) vs. Chelsea (9/5)
13 May 2012 – Swansea (12/5) vs. Liverpool (11/10)