After The Match 


Fulham-Liverpool 2-0 (1-0)              22.10.05                      PL
Goals: John (30), Boa Morte (90)
Team: Reina, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Josemi, Sissoko, Alonso, Riise, Cisse, Kewell, Morientes
Subs: Garcia (Traore 59), Crouch (Kewell 76)
Not used: Carson, Hamann, Warnock
Yellow: Josemi (53), Sissoko (86)
Red: None
Referee: M Atkinson
Attendance: 22,480 
Shots on target: 3-5
Shots off target: 3-8
Possession: 41-59
Fouls conceded: 10-15
Corners: 3-8
Yellow: 0-2
Red: 0-0


HEADLINES ''I think the most important thing is to keep our heads up.''
      Rafael Benitez

2410: Benitez fury over stars attitude
2410: Still no cure for travel sickness
2210: Rafa bemoans missed chances
2210: Coleman delight at win
2210: Reds slump, Fulham triumph


Benitez fury 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 with nothing.

"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 saves.

"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 Benitez.

"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 players.

"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."

Still no 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 "Fernando's Hideaway".

Once again, Josemi and Traore proved they're just not good enough - why Warnock is not getting a run is beyond me.

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 Fulham.

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,'' bemoaned Benitez.

''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 goal.

''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 up.''

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 John.

''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,'' said Coleman.

''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 points today.

''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 victory.

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 stoppage time.

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 spot.

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.

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Thor Zakariassen