English Premiership

Dempsey grabs winner

2011-12-06 06:56

London - United States midfielder Clint Dempsey brought Liverpool's eight-match unbeaten run in the Premier League to an end on Monday, pouncing on a late error by goalkeeper Pepe Reina to earn Fulham a 1-0 at Craven Cottage and ease his team's relegation worries.

The Spain 'keeper failed to hold a speculative shot by former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy in the 85th minute, and Dempsey slotted home the rebound from close range for Fulham's third win of the campaign to lift the London club five points clear of the bottom three.

The visitors had been reduced to 10 men by that point after defensive midfielder Jay Spearing was sent off in the 72nd minute for an overzealous tackle on Moussa Dembele, at a time when they were on top and threatening a win that would have lifted them above Newcastle to sixth.

Liverpool hit the goal frame twice, through Jordan Henderson in the first half and substitute Stewart Downing just before Dempsey's winner, while Luis Suarez had a goal harshly disallowed for offside in the 67th.

But Spearing's dismissal was the turning point in a fractious match. There was nothing wrong with the youngster's initial full-blooded tackle but he followed through by catching the Belgium forward's leg, leading referee Kevin Friend to brandish the red card.

"He has won the ball but he has probably upset the referee with his follow-through," said Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, whose team lost for the first time since Sept. 18 to dent its hopes of keeping pace with its rivals for the Champions League positions.

Fulham manager Martin Jol said the sending-off was the pivotal moment in the game, which threatened to boil over a number of times - particularly when Dempsey went forehead-to-forehead with Craig Bellamy at the start of the second half.

"After the sending-off, we had a little bit more space and took advantage of that," Jol said. "I thought it was a bad tackle. I thought it was a sending-off."

Dempsey's 37th goal in the Premier League made him the most prolific American scorer in England's top division, surpassing the record he shared with former Fulham striker Brian McBride.

He nearly gave Fulham the lead minutes prior to eventually grabbing the winner, curling a shot against the bar before Downing went up the other end and smashed a fierce drive that was touched onto the post by goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer in the 84th.

"I think we would have taken something from the game if we had been left with all our men," Dalglish said. "I think we did enough to come away with something."

Spearing was only playing because Liverpool's first-choice midfield anchorman, Brazil international Lucas Leiva, was ruled out for the season last week with knee-ligament damage.

He took his enforcer role too far, though, leaving his team with an uncomfortable final 20 minutes to see out and spoiling an otherwise impressive display at the heart of a Liverpool midfield that dominated the second half.

With the match featuring two of the five meanest defenses in the league, the shortage of goals came as no surprise although Liverpool had come away from Craven Cottage with a 5-2 victory last season.

Maxi Rodriguez, the scorer of a hat trick in that match, was left out as Dalglish opted adventurously for a front three of Andy Carroll, Bellamy and Suarez. However, it was only in the second half that the trio came to life.

While Carroll was largely anonymous, Suarez was again lively and was denied a penalty when he tangled with Brede Hangeland. That incurred the wrath of a home crowd already unhappy with what it considered as playacting by the Uruguay striker on a number of occasions in the match.

Read more on:    epl  |  clint dempsey
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Hodgson wary of Pirlo threat

2014-04-17 21:01

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
19 April 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham, White Hart Lane 13:45
West Ham United v Crystal Palace, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Cardiff City v Stoke City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Swansea City, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 16:00
Chelsea v Sunderland, Stamford Bridge 18:30
20 April 2014
Norwich City v Liverpool, Carrow Road 13:00
Hull City v Arsenal, The KC Stadium 15:05
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 17:10
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.