over stars attitude
By Chris Bascombe - Liverpool Echo
Livid Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez staged a Melwood
summit yesterday where he told his under-performing
players "We need to change our attitude."
The Reds boss says no-one should be absolved from blame
for a lack-lustre first half display - including himself
and his staff.
Benitez held a Melwood summit on Sunday and forced his
players to watch their 45 minute horror show again.
"We had more determination in the second half, but the
first half was the same kind of performance away from
home as last year," conceded the manager.
"Everyone must understand these kinds of games are
important. It's acceptable to play at the same level as
Chelsea and lose, but it's not acceptable to play
Fulham, whom we know we are better than, and come away
"It was as though we didn't understand the importance of
the game in the first half. Only in the second was there
a response, and then I felt it was a question of time
whether we would score, but their keeper made a lot of
"Last season we made a lot of mistakes and I thought we
were learning from them. We've started strongly in other
away games and I didn't expect to see us play like this
again after last year.
"This is our first defeat away this year and we can't
afford to make the same mistakes in future.
It's important the players under-stand we can't approach
games in this way."
Benitez has questioned the commitment of his team in the
first half at Craven Cottage.
"It's not just the players who need to improve, but all
of us. I include the staff, the players, everyone," said
"We all know we need to change the attitude,
particularly after European games. Yesterday we all
spoke and watched the match again. The performance of
the team was bad in terms of the aggressiveness of the
"We had a lot of the ball, and controlled the play, but
didn't show enough until the second half. We've had
these problems before after a Champions League game.
"We've all seen the big mistake we made with our first
half performance and now we need to correct it."
cure for travel sickness
By Andy Proudfoot - Daily Post
As they say in the X-Files, The Truth is Out There.
Eight games in, and we're entitled to review what
progress has been made against our stuttering
Premiership form of last season. On the evidence so far,
the answer is - precious little..
A team containing perhaps just one player who would get
into our side managed to cope with everything we could
throw against them and converted two of three chances
against our none from six. Sound familiar?
The Premiership still seems a foreign place to most of
our side, continually surprised by the spirited
resistance they encounter and unable to find the spark
of creativity that will breach the defensive wall.
Kewell gave a reasonable performance, especially given
that he played in at least three positions during the
match, but Morientes gave a display that may soon see
his terrace chant changed from "More, More, More" to
Once again, Josemi and Traore proved they're just not
good enough - why Warnock is not getting a run is beyond
Riise has returned to his wayward form of two seasons
ago, making Zenden's absence, even from the bench, more
difficult to understand given his first-half performance
against Blackburn. Has Rafa lost faith already?
Up front the only threat appears when Cisse moves out to
the wing. There's no aggression in the box, no
intelligent movement, no pressure exerted on opponents.
In the first half, the players were content to fool
themselves they were in control just because they had
the majority of possession.
In truth, you're only in control once you've troubled
the scorers. Our problem is, we don't have any.
Rafa bemoans missed chances
By Alex Dunn - Sky Sports
Rafa Benitez feels his side had enough chances to get
something other than a 2-0 defeat on their trip to
Liverpool were poor in the first period but rallied in
the second half, as Fulham substitute Tony Warner
excelled in goal with a string of saves.
Benitez believed his side were unfortunate, whilst
explaining Steven Gerrard's absence in light of the fact
his talismanic captain was expected to start.
''I felt that the result was not good but in the game
they had perhaps two chances and scored two goals,''
''We created a lot in the second half, when the best
player was their goalkeeper.
''We had plenty of possession and opportunities. We
tried and continued to go forward until their second
''Steven was almost fit but yesterday he felt something
again after training for two days.
''It was impossible to use him but hopefully we will be
able to in the next game.''
Benitez also believed that Fulham's second goal, in
which Luis Boa Morte netted, was offside but he did not
feel it affected the game's overall outcome.
''I think so, but it changed nothing,'' he concluded.
''I think the most important thing is to keep our heads
Coleman delight at win
By Alex Dunn - Sky Sports
Fulham boss Chris Coleman was full of praise for his
side after watching them beat Liverpool 2-0.
On an emotional day at Craven Cottage tributes were paid
to Johnny Haynes and then Fulham put on a display
befitting of their favourite son.
Fulham were deserving of their success and Coleman was
in raptures about his side's attacking play and in
particular, the display of first goalscorer Collins
''It was always going to be hard for us, we were playing
a good side but also playing tribute to not only a
Fulham legend but a football legend, in Johnny Haynes,''
''We are trained to attack, we are built to attack. We
had two wide boys and they were joined, at the right
time, by people coming through the middle.
''We knew they'd have a lot of possession and we'd have
to be patient.
''But when we attacked we attacked with purpose and
there was a good vibe there. I thought we deserved the
''He's (John) a talented kid, still learning - we know
that - but his all round game is much better now and
that's three goals in three games.''
Reds slump, Fulham triumph
By Alex Dunn - Sky Sports
Those present at Craven Cottage paid their respects
to Johnny Haynes and then saw Fulham do a favourite son
proud as they outbattled Liverpool in an impressive 2-0
Collins John scored his third goal in as many games on
the half hour mark before Luis Boa Morte doubled Rafa
Benitez's woes when he grabbed Fulham's second in
Much has been made of Liverpool's lethargic domestic
displays in comparison with their clinical European
raids and never was it more so apparent than on their
latest trip to the capital.
The first period did nothing to dispel any notion that
suggests Benitez has created a side for the continent
but not The Premiership, as Liverpool's players played
with a complete lack of wit, vitality or spark.
It was a truly leaden performance, Harry Kewell toiled
on his return but understandably looked ring-rusty,
Fernando Morientes continues to look a pale imitation of
the colossus that reigned in Spain and without Steven
Gerrard, Liverpool lack a heart.
Fulham should have been ahead within five minutes but on
his first Premiership start, Australian Ahmad Elrich
failed to read the script and contrived to sky the ball
over when left unattended five yards from goal.
Better than results have suggested, Fulham were eager
and crisp in the tackle and whilst their passing at
times lacked a cutting edge, their desire to keep the
ball on the floor would have pleased Haynes.
When the goal arrived it will be Josemi who has to take
responsibility, as he failed to come out in unison with
the rest of Liverpool's back-four, allowing John to take
the ball on his chest and finish calmy from the penalty
If Liverpool created not a single chance worthy of note
in the first period, then at least after the interval
they caused occasional consternation, for first Mark
Crossley and then Tony Warner, who replaced the veteran
when he pulled-up midway through the half.
Kewell's forty yard lob threatened to embarrass a
stranded Crossley when he punched meekly, but the ball
landed on the top of his goal, before Warner - albeit
inadvertently - became a super-sub.
An outstretched glove denied Morientes on the volley and
then Liverpool substitute Luis Garcia thought he had
scored but Warner was equal to the Spaniard's curling
effort with a fabulous sprawling tip wide.
Sami Hyypia, thrown forward, connected well with a
volley but Warner again did well at his near post before
the industrious Djibril Cisse threatened again but his
snapshot from the angle was parried over.
Into stoppage and Malbranque's clever approach on the
left caught Liverpool flat-footed, Boa Morte was played
in with a disguised pass and from eight yards he crashed
the ball high and past Jose Reina at his near post to
earn Fulham a deserved three points.