EPL: Day 11, Part 2 (Fulham 1 – Liverpool 2)

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
November 2nd, 2003 • 2:22 am

I suppose that Gérard Houillier will once again claim that his team has wonderfully recovered from their recent slump or whatever — but surely every neutral viewer will agree that Liverpool are extremely fortunate to come back from Loftus Road with all three points.

Liverpool probably deserved to take the lead in the first half, but then were once again guilty of sitting on their 1-0 lead instead of trying to increase it. And Fulham made them pay for it by getting level at the end of the half. Fulham came back even stronger in the beginning of the second half and were extremely unfortunate not to take the lead. They were also not helped by some highly dubious refereeing decisions against them, including an imaginary offside against Saha and an even more puzzling offside decision when the ball had been hit by a Liverpool players. In both cases, they might have had a very good scoring chance.

Then Liverpool’s Danny Murphy tried to kill the game in his own way by stomping Steed Malbranque’s knee. The Frenchman was obviously in pain for a long stretch and, given how influential he is in this Fulham side, this was a serious blow to the team. Malbranque eventually recovered, but the team as a whole had suffered a mental blow and never fully recovered from it. Liverpool failed to create any further chances, and it’s only because Fulham had become increasingly frustrated (and justifiably so) with the referee that things went awfully wrong for them in the last ten minutes, first with a penalty decision against them which gave Liverpool the lead, and then with the straight red card against Boa Morte, which effectively killed the game before it was actually over.

These last two refereeing decisions were fully justified, but they cannot hide the fact that the game was actually won by the referees on behalf of Liverpool rather than by the Liverpool players themselves. Michael Owen was completely absent, Kewell was very ordinary, Heskey was just above average. This is simply not a team that will challenge for the title any time soon.

I suppose that, as a Arsenal supporter, I should be happy that Fulham have suffered a setback and will not get too close to the top. But I simply cannot be pleased when the better, more exciting team loses against a terribly dull side with no class and no spirit.

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.