Fulham Vs. Liverpool, 2011 Premier League: Dempsey Punishes 10-Man Liverpool

Fulham edged out Liverpool after an entertaining if slightly deranged match which saw the visitors reduced to ten men before Clint Dempsey's close-range finish condemned them to a surprise loss. It wasn't a particularly impressive performance by either side, with each team repeatedly making critical mistakes, but it was fun and there were several great chances for both teams before Fulham finally managed to score.

The first half was exceptionally open, with Moussa Dembele being denied when played clean through by Bryan Ruiz and Andy Carroll making a mess of two golden opportunities to put Liverpool ahead. Jordan Henderson rattled Mark Schwarzer's post with a lovely move and clipped finish that was worthy of a completely different game, and Dempsey had a few long-range attempts saved rather unconvincingly by Pepe Reina. All in all, though, it was an incredibly sloppy performance. The ball was given away too easily by both sides' midfields time after time, and that contributed immensely to the number of chanced at both ends.

After the break, things were calmer. At least, they were until a) Phillipe Senderos brought down Charlie Adam about half an inch outside the penalty area and Kevin Friend did not give a penalty and b) Jay Spearing was sent for going in very high with studs showing on Moussa Dembele. Those two decisions were each questionable, and each will be argued for and against rather vociferously, depending on which team one happens to support.

Following the red card, Fulham dominated save for one heart-stopping moment when Schwarzer just about parried a superb effort from Stewart Downing onto the post. Dempsey, who probably deserved a goal for a sublime chip earlier on which beat Reina but rattled the post, took full advantage of a horrible error from the Liverpool goalkeeper, whose save from a near-post shot by Danny Murphy was spilled straight into the Texan's path for him to sweep into an empty net.

With only ten men, Liverpool found it difficult to attack - about all they managed in the final few minutes was to injury Murphy, whose loss (depending on the severity) will take some of the gloss off a big 1-0 win for Fulham. If they had played sensibly with eleven, Liverpool would have had the three points. As it was, they didn't.

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