English Premiership

Liverpool's hopes fade

2010-04-11 18:36
Rafael Benitez (AFP)

Liverpool - Liverpool's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League suffered another substantial blow as Fulham earned a 0-0 draw at Anfield on Sunday.

Rafael Benitez's side knew a victory over the Cottagers was vital if they were to keep alive their already fading dreams of overhauling Manchester City and Tottenham in the race for fourth place in the Premier League.

However, in a strangely subdued encounter between two sides who could meet in the Europa League final next month should they win their respective semi-finals, Liverpool could not break down the resilient London side, who had Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to thank for a string of fine saves.

The pre-match discussion at Anfield was mainly concerned with the news that Barclays Capital, the investment arm of the bank, are being drafted in by Liverpool to help the club find new owners.

It is the first move in what is likely to be a protracted affair but it is the strongest indicator yet that the club's unpopular American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are finally getting ready to sell the club.

On the field, Liverpool also had to contest this encounter without Fernando Torres who picked up a knee injury during his sublime display against Benfica in Liverpool's 4-1 Europa League victory on Thursday.

The Spanish forward had scored nine goals in his last seven appearances for Liverpool and 18 in just 22 Premier League encounters this season and his absence certainly affected the Reds' attacking threat.

David Ngog replaced Torres as the lone striker but he lacked his team-mate's cutting edge, shooting wide twice early on well placed.

In terms of possession, Liverpool were by far the better side but in the opening 20 minutes they did little with it.

Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard linked up well several times on the right wing but the final killer ball was absent as Liverpool failed to shine.

After 22 minutes, Alberto Aquilani has one ambitious overhead kick comfortably stopped by Schwarzer just 60 seconds before the Australian was called into action again as he brilliantly blocked a Maxi Rodriguez effort to keep the scores level.

Schwarzer was impressive again after half an hour as he clawed away a Javier Mascherano effort from outside the box that would have sneaked into the top corner.

Fulham were then given a let-off by referee Andre Marriner who allowed Jonathan Greening to remain on the pitch when he should have been dismissed.

He was booked early in the game for dissent and then chopped Johnson to the ground as the Liverpool defender tried to get forward in attack.

Although the Kop end called for Greening's dismissal, Marriner decided against sending him off.

After the break, Schwarzer was again on fine form as he tipped over a curling Aquilani effort.

Schwarzer provided further inspiration after 63 minutes, getting down low to a fine Ryan Babel effort to tip it around the post as the home side continued to pour forward.

Fulham's belief grew as the game progressed and they remained disciplined in defence, throwing themselves into the path of the ball whenever it was required.

They barely ventured into Liverpool's half as it became increasingly clear that they were only interested in obtaining a point, something they managed as they blocked a late flurry of attempts.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

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
30 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!
Fixtures
01 November 2014
Newcastle United v Liverpool, St. James' Park 14:45
Stoke City v West Ham United, Britannia Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Burnley, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 17:00
Leicester City v West Bromwich Albion, King Power Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Queens Park Rangers, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Hull City v Southampton, The KC Stadium 17:00
02 November 2014
Manchester City v Manchester United, Etihad Stadium 15:30
Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur, Villa Park 18:00
03 November 2014
Crystal Palace v Sunderland, Selhurst Park 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

How long will Mario Balotelli last at Liverpool?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

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

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

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

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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