After The Match 

            


Fulham-Liverpool 2-4 (2-0)              Sat Oct 16.                 Premier League
Goals: Knight og (49), Baros (72), Alonso (81), Biscan (90)
Boa Morte (23, 29)
Team: Kirkland, Josemi, Hyypia, Carragher, Traore, Riise, Hamann, Diao, Garcia, Cisse, Baros
Subs: Alonso (Diao 45), Warnock (Garcia 88), Biscan (Baros 90)
Not used: Dudek, Pongolle
Yellow: Josemi, Garcia, Traore                 Green
Red: Josemi
Referee: S. Bennett
Attendance: 21,884

                                                            FIXTURES & RESULTS 
TEAM STATS
Shots on target: 3-3
Shots off target: 2-7
Fouls conceded: 12-14
Corners: 3-6
Yellow: 1-3
Red:

 

0-1

HEADLINES

"Xabi is a good
player and made
a big difference..."

             Rafael Benitez

1810: Sami: We're on our way
1610: Benitez praise for Alonso
1610: Reds comeback stuns Fulham

 

OCTOBER 18
Sami: We're on our way

Liverpool Echo

Sami Hyypia believes banishing one of the most unwanted records in Anfield history will transform Liverpool's season.

By overturning a 2-0 deficit at Fulham on Saturday, Liverpool ended a 13-year run during which they have failed to win away from home when trailing at half-time.

The sequence included 84 games in all competitions, 71 defeats and 13 draws, totalling 7,560 minutes.

It was September 7, 1991 when Mark Walters converted an 88th minute penalty to give Graeme Souness' Liverpool a 2-1 win over Notts County, having been 1-0 down at half-time.

Neither Roy Evans nor Gerard Houllier achieved the feat.

Earlier this season, Rafa Benitez ended a similar record at Anfield.

When Liverpool beat Manchester City in August, it was the first time in five years they had trailed at Anfield at half-time and still won.

Stand-in skipper Hyypia admits there were strong words in the dressing room during the break at Craven Cottage.

"Yes, there were some comments made at half-time," revealed Hyypia. "It was mainly that we had to start showing more pride in the fact we were playing for Liverpool Football Club.

"In the second half, I think everyone showed that.

"I think this win could be a turning point for us for the rest of the season. At half-time, we knew it was a bad game for us. We tried to be more aggressive at the start of the match but it wasn't working and we were very sloppy on the ball.

"We lost a lot of possession. But at half-time we knew we still had 45 minutes to turn it around and we did it."

Hyypia had no doubt who inspired the comeback.

"When Xabi came on he was amazing for us," said Hyypia. "He's a quality player who's capable of performances like that. As a team we knew we had to show far more than we did in the first half and Xabi helped us to do that.

"We were all delighted at the end as you could see on the pitch, but we still have to be patient. We're learning all the time about what the manager wants, but it won't happen over-night.

"If we can continue playing as we did in the second half we'll win more than we lose."


OCTOBER 16
Benitez praise for Alonso

ITV Football

Rafael Benitez walked off the Craven Cottage pitch in animated discussion with Liverpool comeback hero Xabi Alonso - but he was serenity itself, explaining his team's stunning revival from 2-0 down to a 4-2 victory at Fulham.

"We had a stronger mentality and much more confidence - that was all," said the Spaniard following their first Premiership win away from home this season.

But it was 10million signing Alonso, relegated to substitute for the first half, who was the catalyst for the dynamic recovery after the break.

He steadied a rocky ship in midfield, set up the equaliser with a superb cross and then made it 3-2 with a stunning 25-yard free-kick, just three minutes after Liverpool had been reduced to 10 men by full-back Josemi's second yellow card.

It saved Benitez more blushes after consecutive defeats on the road at Bolton, Manchester United, Olympiakos and Chelsea.

But he said: "All I told them at half-time was that if we got an early goal we still had a chance to win the game. We just had to be a bit more aggressive.

"I thought we controlled the first 20 minutes but then we lost two balls and conceded two goals. I cannot think exactly when but I've been involved in games like this a few times before.

"Xabi is a good player and made a big difference, but we have other players who can win games. I had to pick a team remembering that many of our players had travelled a lot during the week and were tired after international matches.

"We also had to consider a very important match against Deportivo in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"But winning away now is going to be very important to our season. When you play well at home - as this team does - and then you win away it tells you you can win in any stadium."

Milan Baros and a Zat Knight own goal put Liverpool back in the game after Luis Boa Morte's two brilliant first-half strikes.

Substitute Igor Biscan's stoppage-time strike made it an appropriate 4-2 scoreline, bearing in mind Fulham have not beaten Liverpool at Craven Cottage since 1966.

Cottagers boss Chris Coleman said: "We need to wake up and smell the coffee and we have to learn to be at the races.

"Sure, Liverpool got two lucky goals to put them back in the match - but you can't make that an excuse. We never seem to get lucky goals, only difficult ones.

"I'm very disappointed. You shouldn't lose any match if you are 2-0 up at half-time. But signs of panic set in after they got their first off Zat's backside.

"We were still in it at 2-2 when Josemi was sent off. It is not good enough to say we were unlucky. Our heads went down, and that's a shame because largely they are all good honest pros.

"I'm still convinced our system is right and I am going to stick with it. I won't make excuses about suspensions or injuries."


OCTOBER 16
Reds comeback stuns Fulham

By Peter ORourke - Planet Football/Sky Sports

Liverpool came from two goals down to beat Fulham 4-2 at Craven Cottage to record their first Premiership away win of the season.

Fulham looked set to inflict another away day defeat on Liverpool after two first half goals from Luis Boa Morte, but the visitors roared back in the second half to claim an unlikely victory with Xabi Alonso the catalyst for the comeback.

After a quiet start from both sides Fulham created the first real chance of the game on 21 minutes with Mark Pembridge flashing a well-worked free kick from the edge of the area just wide of the post.

Fulham broke the deadlock three minutes later with Boa Morte netting from close-range.

Salif Diao needlessly gave the ball away in midfield to Steed Malbranque who sent Brian McBride racing clear down the left and he fired the ball across the box for Boa Morte to tap home at the back post.

Liverpool came within inches of drawing level on 28 minutes with John Arne Riise out-jumping Moritz Volz to Josemi's cross and he was unlucky to see his powerful header fly just wide of the target.

Fulham doubled their lead two minutes later with Boa Morte netting his second of the game after another Liverpool mistake.

Luis Garcia was guilty of losing possession to Malbranque and the Frenchman capitalised on the mistake by sending Boa Morte racing clear on goal and the Portuguese international kept his cool to slot the ball through the legs of Chris Kirkland.

Liverpool huffed and puffed in a bid to get back into before half time, but failed to create any real goalscoring opportunities.

Liverpool gave themselves hope pulling a goal back five minutes after the restart with an unfortunate own goal from Zat Knight.

Milan Baros picked up the ball and fired in a shot from the edge of the area which took a wicked deflection off Knight and looped over Edwin van der Sar into the net.

Boa Morte almost got through on goal from Malbranque's incisive pass on 58 minutes, but Jamie Carragher got across quickly to snuff out the danger for Liverpool.

Djibril Cisse had a half chance for Liverpool on 66 minutes when he arrived to meet Baros' corner at the front post, but he could not direct his volley on target.

Liverpool drew level on 71 minutes with Baros reacting quickest to score from close-range.

Second half substitute Alonso sent over an inviting cross for Garcia who saw his header brilliantly saved by van der Sar, but Baros was on hand to fire home the rebound.

Liverpool suffered a blow on 76 minutes when Josemi was sent off for his second bookable offence for a foul on Boa Morte.

The visitors made light of their numerical disadvantage three minutes later with Alonso seeing his free kick from the edge of the area taking a slight deflection of Papa Bouba Diop before flying into the net.

Diop came close to grabbing an equaliser for Fulham two minutes from time when he ghosted into the box to get on the end of a long ball, but he could not get enough power in his shot to trouble Kirkland.

Alonso should have put the game beyond doubt a minute later with Cisse picking the Spaniard out six yards out, but with the goal at his mercy he somehow blazed his shot over the top.

Liverpool did make sure in the dying seconds grabbing the fourth goal from substitute Igor Biscan grabbing his first Premiership goal for the club.

The Reds caught Fulham on the break and substitute Stephen Warnock laid the ball into the path for Biscan on the edge of the box who fired his shot past van der Sar with his second touch of the game.


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