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Page last updated at 19:01 GMT, Monday, 5 December 2011

Monday football as it happened

All the latest from Monday's game


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By Phil Dawkes
BBC Sport

2240: And now, I'll leave you all to your heated debate. Be sure to join Sam Lyon for what promises to be a gripping final round of matches in the Champions League this Tuesday and Wednesday. For now, though, I'll see thee.

2236: Other matters will no doubt occupy the coverage and conversations about this game tonight, in tomorrow morning's press and beyond, but let us not forget it was also an entertaining game between two committed sides. Regardless of whether it was deserved or not, Fulham have the win that could propel them to better things, while Liverpool have some serious work to do to achieve their top four ambitions.

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From Dave, West London, via text: "Poor decision from the ref but not enough creativity in the liverpool midfield. Johnson is not a defender, Kenny should play him right wing. "

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From Max from London, via text: "Liverpool fan walking back from the game now. Both teams had their chances. Credit to Fulham for finishing off the game when Liverpool could not."

Full time
FULL-TIME Fulham 1-0 Liverpool
Arindam Rej reports: "It was an action-packed, balanced game that was changed by Jay Spearing's sending off - which was harsh. The goal came from a poor mistake by Pepe Reina but Clint Dempsey - an important influence throughout - deserved it."

Ryan Heatly on Twitter: "Football isn't about getting what you deserve. It's about hard work and graft. Well done Fulham"

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish: "He won the ball, but upset the referee with the follow-up. Sometimes it's a red, sometimes it's not. The problem we have is the level of acceptance and interpretation among different referees."

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish: "For us we didn't play as we have been but we did enough to come away with something from the game. But we didn't and we can't feel sorry for ourselves. Even when we went down to 10 men we kept pressing, and I can't fault that."

2224: Tonight is something of a personal victory for Martin Jol, who has claimed his first Premier League victory over Liverpool as a manager in seven attempts.

Ali Benham on Twitter: "If we are following the rules of the game, Dempsey should of been sent off for shoving his head into Bellamys face!"

Richard Thomas on Twitter: "If the league was decided by hitting the woodwork the most times, we'd be absolute shoe-ins for the title this season "

Johnny Magrinho on Twitter: "Etuhu take a bow. Won the ball, kept order between the defence & midfield & worked his socks off. Best player out there tonight"

Ian Marks on Twitter: "why do I hear people saying 'pool deserve the win? it was a very even game even before the red. #bitter"

2216: As for Liverpool, they remain seventh, but are five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

2215: What a big win this is for Fulham, who have leapt up to 13th, five points clear of ther relegation zone. After having played so well to earn a point at Arsenal last week, this determined and commitetd performance gives them a huge platform to build on for the rest of the season.

Jack Evripidous on Twitter: "Stop talking about Liverpool's poor fortune and congratulate Fulham for their win!!"

ArchieMiller11 on Twitter: "Liverpool deserved the victory, very questionable decision by the ref"

FreemanNoone on Twitter: "Liverpool play like Spurs did last season. Great against the top, but not able to get enough points from the lower table teams"

Arsalaan Iqbal on Twitter: "The sooner Gerrard comes back, the better. Just shows how we nees to improve against mid-table teams before we become one."

Fulham's Stephen Kelly: "We have been playing well but not getting the rub of the green. As soon as their player got sent off, we created more chances and got at them."

Fulham goalscorer Clint Dempsey: "Any points now are big because the table is so tight. For the goal, Danny got a good shot in. Sometimes you get lucky. After the red card, we had more space and got the goal so we're excited."

2204: However, Fulham competed well, had their own chances and hot the bar once themselves. If you stay competitive there's a chance you'll be rewarded. That Liverpool handed the Cottagers their reward on a plate courtesy of Reina's mistake will only frustrate the visitors further.

2203: Liverpool were also unlucky hitting the woodwork twice during a game they had the best of.

2201: Well, there'll be plenty of fall-out after this, particularly amongst Liverpool fans. Over the red card and over penalties not given. I think the red card was possibly a touch harsh, but when your feet are off the ground you take that risk with the laws.

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From Will in Hertford, via text: "It's all very well liverpool beating the big boys in the league but with out beating lesser sides they'll go nowhere."


George Holden on Twitter: "Dreadful second half of decisions, not a red, suarez was onside, kevin friend has proved he shouldnt ref in the premier league"

2154: And that is full-time. Fulham take it 1-0.

2154: No, it's not quite that as Andy Johnson breaks down the other end, but his shot from 25 yards is wide. Still, it's wasted some time.

2153: It's Suarez... straight into the wall. That could be that.

2152: Here's a Liverpool chance, though, as Phillipe Senderos fouls Luis Suarez in a dangerous area. It's 22 yards out and a clear shooting opportunity.

2151: Fulham holding strong at the back at the moment. They are clearing everything Liverpool throw at them as far down the other end as they can.

2149: We're into injury time. There's going to be three minutes. Craven Cottage is a nervous place right now.

2148: Sensing the need to diffuse the Liverpool threat Bryan Ruiz holds onto the ball down the touchline in the Liverpool half and gets a free-kick out of Jose Enrique. Smart stuff from the Fulham man.

2146: We're likely to see a Liverpool charge now. They have five minutes to salvage something. With the Reds having 10 men, though, the odds are firmly stacked in Fulham's favour.

Fulham goal: A goal had been threatened all half and finally one comes. Danny Murphy beats Glen Johnson on the edge of the 18-yard box then shoots low. Jose Reina spills the ball embarrassingly, allowing Clint Dempsey a simple finish from close range.

2144: GOALFLASH Fulham 1-0 Liverpool (Clint Dempsey)

2144: This is really end-to-end now as Liverpool threaten and are once again denied by the woodwork with Mark Schwarzer tipping Stewart Downing's 20 yard shot onto the post and wide.

2143: Dembele again... and he is inches from giving Fulham the lead as his shot curls round the outside of Jose Reina's far post.

2142: And now Moussa Dembele threatens with a shot from 15 yards following a cross from John Arne Riise. Unfortunately for the Belgian striker his effort is straight at visitor's keeper Jose Reina, who is able to palm away.

2140: Liverpool struck the woodwork in the first half, now Fulham have evened the count in the second. Clint Dempsey cuts inside past Glen Johnson and curls a superb shot against the bar from the edge of the area. So unlucky for the American.

KoloKennethK on Twitter: "liverpool down to 10 with a harsh, harsh red card to spearing after clearly winning the ball against dembele"

JamesCushion on Twitter: "are they finally outlawing the tackle completely then? Shocking decision. Referee has had a woeful second half.!"

aliogg on Twitter: "after such a good game for the ref he's let himself down by that decision!!!"

2136: Dalglish's response to the red card is to withdraw strikers Andy Carroll and Craig Bellamy and introduce Stewart Downing and Dirk Kuyt. Liverpool now operating in a 4-4-1 formation.

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From Farrell, via text: "Happened right in front of me. Didn't think it was a red. And I'm a Fulham fan."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live pundit Steve Claridge at Craven Cottage: "The follow-up by Jay Spearing was reckless. He did take the ball but it was reckless. And by the letter of the law, he had to go."

2134: Of course, Spearing's dismissal also gives Liverpool problems beyind this game. He was Kenny Dalglish's chosen replacement for long-term injury victim Lucas, but now it's back to the drawing board with Spearing suspended for three matches.

Red card
Liverpool red card: This is going to cause some debate. Jay Spearing flies into a tackle with Moussa Dembele. He wins the ball but with momentum behind him catches Dembele's leg with his studs. Having looked the better side and clearly pushing for a win, Liverpool now have 17 minutes to navigate a man light.


2129: In many ways, Fulham's problems tonight match Liverpool's. They've managed to get players on the ball between Liverpool's midfield and defence, particularly Clint Dempsey, but he's had no options ahead of him as Bobby Zamora, like Andy Carroll, is marked out of the game. Clearly, Martin Jol realises this as he brings on Andy Johnson for Zamora.

2126: Liverpool fans celebrate as the ball hits the net. But not for long as the assistant's flag rules Luis Suarez offside before he can (superbly) finish from an angle.

2123: And straight away, we're back down the other end as Craig Bellamy is released into the box at an angle but he can only flash his shot across goal and wide. It's entertaining stuff right now, but remains 0-0.

2122: Now it's Fulham's turn with a free-kick on the edge of the box. Unlike Craig Bellamy, though, Danny Murphy opts to be clever and messes up a pass into the box before firing tamely into Jose Reina's arms from a deflection back into his path.

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From Alex in Manchester, via text: "These are the games that will define Liverpool's season. Too often end up dropping two points and falling behind. We just need to be calm and clinical."

2120: Craig Bellamy opts to blast the free-kick but it strikes the wall and goes well-wide. From the resulting corner Daniel Agger rises above Dickson Etuhu but can only head wide.

2119: From the aformentioned chance Liverpool break and Charlie Adam is hauled down just on the edge of the area by Phillipe Senderos. This will be a very good chance from the free-kick...

2118: Fulham's turn to threaten as Moussa Dembele tees up Bobby Zamora but he dwells and his shot is blocked.

SisyphusWins on Twitter: "Game crying out for the introduction of Downing. Get some class on the flanks."

2115: It's end-to-end stuff as Fulham's attack breaks down allowing Liverpool to drive forward. Craig Bellamy feeds Luis Suarez in the box where he tries to get round Brede Hangeland before tumbling to the ground. The Uruguayan thinks it's a penalty. Nobody else, including referee Kevin Friend (and me) agrees with him.

2112: Liverpool stepping it up now and they threaten again as Jose Enrique fires at goal from 30 yards. Mark Schwarzer is able to block low down before his defenders help him out with a clearance. Fulham hanging on.

2111: Carroll almost has a chance to open the scoring as Martin Skrtel just fails to find him with a pass in the box following a corner. The defender apologises to his team-mate.

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From Luke in Cornwall, via text: "I would love it if Carroll banged in a hatrick. Everyone is so quick to judge he didn't ask to join one if the best teams in the world. He was sold. Any of u try coming to anfield and not being nervous. He will find his form then watch out."

2107: Bit of aggro in the middle of the pitch between Clint Dempsey and Craig Bellamy. The former is not a happy chap and squares up to the latter, forcing his face into Bellamy's. Both get a booking.

2105: Liverpool with a bit of early pressure but the impressive Dickson Etuhu ends this with a firm tackle on Luis Suarez.

2103: The players are back out on the pitch... and we have a second half under way, courtesy of a Fulham kick off.

Joseph Emslie on Twitter: "Can a shout out go to Kevin Friend...great reffing, barely seen him which is great! No clangers in the 2nd half please!"

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From Peter in Airdrie, via text: "The media love to bash an Englishman. I look forward, when Carroll finds form again, to their attention turning to Rooney's mediocrity of the last few months. "

Johnny Magrinho on Twitter: "This game needs someone who is going to work their socks off to be the difference & make something happen. Where's Kuyt?"

2058: If much of the correspondence we've been receiving tonight is anything to go by, Andy Carroll would be Dick Dastardly right now. While I admit the striker hasn't been good so far, you do have to sympathise with him a bit as his team-mates have given him little to work with. Whether this is the formation or a too many weak links is the conundrum Kenny Dalglish must resolve during this break.

Adrian Donohue on Twitter: "if Liverpool are the Army Surplus Special then Spurs are clearly Peter Perfect over the last 11 games"

2054: Never has it been said about any game of football that it couldn't do with a goal. This is no exception. It's screaming out for one. The likely source of potential goals may be from midfield, though, as they are the ones finding space to shoot behind two front lines been largely marked out of the game. Keep the faith though, we've got a whole 45 minutes yet.

Nikolainnit on Twitter: "I've rarely seen a striker so out of touch in so many games, such as Carroll is. Looks a bit like that chap Chelsea signed..."

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live pundit Steve Claridge at Craven Cottage: "No one has dominated or taken control of the game. At times it was hard work. I think there's better to come and maybe a change of system from both teams for the second half. Maybe getting Suarez into a more central position."

Greg Caine on Twitter: "The fact all Fulhams attempts have come in between the back four and the midfield shows how much we're missing Lucas"

Half time
Fulham 0-0 Liverpool
Arindam Rej's HT snapshot: "It's been high-tempo football - and often untidy - with both goalkeepers having made alert saves. Liverpool's passing looks sharper but Fulham are discomforting their opponents with long-range hits. "

2047: And there is half-time.

2046: Both teams will feel frustrated by this half. Each has had chances but neither has managed to put fluent periods of play together with any regularity. One minute of injury time to play. Still 0-0.

2044: Andy Carroll hasn't been in this game at all so far. He's even dropping deep to try and find the ball. If Liverpool's plan was to have Craig Bellamy and Luis Suarez wider to supply for their fellow striker it has not worked so far.

Footy1st on Twitter: "Bellamy could be the signing of the season. Tenacity, energy, pace and always a threat. Exactly what Suarez and Carroll needed!"

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From Matt, via text: "Henderson is a great player. Along with wilshere, rodwell, jones and cleverley, englands future midfield looks good, no?"

2039: Clint Dempsey is looking like Fulham's best route to a goal here. He again tests Jose Reina from distance but once more the keeper is equal to it, diving to his left to palm away.

f90 on Twitter: "It's refreshing to see a game flowing and not being interrupted by a fussy referee."

Kimmy_Arsenal on Twitter: "Hangeland vs Carroll ..Hangeland is winning!"

2034: Interesting little fact for you from Infostradalive: Jordan Henderson's shot was the 11th time Liverpool have hit the woodwork this season. That is four more than the next nearest team.

2033: And now it's Luis Suarez's turn to threaten from a knock-down from Andy Carroll. However, the Uruguayan can only curl his shot from just inside the area past Mark Schwarzer's far post. It is still 0-0 but if it carries on like this it probably won't be for long.

BBC Radio 5 live pundit Steve Claridge at Craven Cottage: "The game is really congested down the centre. There isn't anyone in the Fulham side offering any width."

2030: My word, that was millimetres away from being a goal! It's Liverpool's chance and Jordan Henderson specifically who skips into a shooting position in the box and shoots with his laces. The ball beats Mark Schwarzer but not the post.

2024: It's not an original comment, but Luis Suarez is world class. He drags back to completely stuff Stephen Kelly out of sight on the right before firing a 40-yard pass that just skips out ahead of the charging Craig Bellamy. The Uruguayan is a genuine pleasure to watch.

Robin Lees on Twitter: "re:2018. Don't know, but if he scores, I guess the joke is on the other foot."

2021: Reina again in the action as Clint Dempsey chests down on the edge of the area and shoots goalwards. The keeper is able to calmly palm down and gather. Fulham showing a bit more intent now.

2019: Jose Reina has his second thing to do as Moussa Dembele shoots low from 25 yards. The Spaniard, though, again performs his duties well to push the effort away from danger.

2018: Andy Carroll has been briefly off the pitch to change his boots. Insert mocking joke here.

TwitShugz on Twitter: "Pepe Reina is fast becoming one the best and most consistent goalkeepers in the world!! #Fact"

2017: Poor stuff from Fulham. They've seen little of the ball so far. So what does Brede Hangeland do when he has it at his feet? He punts it aimlessly forward to be easily reclaimed by the Liverpool defence.

2015: Little period of pressure from Liverpool sees Craig Bellamy put two crosses in but neither have the lift to reach intended target Andy Carroll. Charlie Adam does manage a shot though, but Mark Schwarzer is equal to it low down to his left. The away side dominating possession so far.

BBC Radio 5 live
BBC Radio 5 live pundit Steve Claridge at Craven Cottage: "The problem Fulham have is that they are giving the ball away too much and inviting pressure from Liverpool. They have got to be better in possession."

2012: Well, it could easily be 1-1 here instead of 0-0. However, despite the misses, it bodes well for the game that we've already seen two clear-cut chances.

2010: And now Liverpool get in on the action with a couple of chances in as many minutes. First, Charlie Adam sees a shot deflected over the bar. Then, Adam finds Luis Suarez who crosses for Andy Carroll, but his volley from 10 yards is straight at Mark Schwarzer, who saves. The second chance was a glorious opportunity and Carroll should probably have done better.

2008: The first chance goes to Fulham and it is a great one as well. Bryan Ruiz feeds a superb ball through to Moussa Dembele but Jose Reina is quick off his line to block the Belgian's shot.

2006: It appears as though Liverpool are playing 4-3-3, with Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy and Luis Suarez the front three. Fulham have opted for 4-4-2, with Moussa Dembele supporting Bobby Zamora.

Da Zubair on Twitter: "If Liverpool want to finish top 4 then these are the kind of games they should look to win..."

2003: Few sloppy passes in the early moments see possession squandered by both sides. Most of the game played in the middle third so far.

2002: And we're under way.

2001: As with so many games this weekend, chants of Speed's name are heard.

2000: Before the game we are going to have a tribute to Gary Speed - a fitting minute of applause.

Stevy Martin on Twitter: "Liverpool have come up against goalkeeping heroics more than once this season. What odds on the goalie being man of the match?"

1957: We have players making their way out onto the Craven Cottage pitch, and they do not look warm. Of course, it doesn't help that the design of the Cottage "tunnel" means players have to stand outside twiddling their thumbs for five minutes.

Ian Cox on Twitter: "Andy 'worst transfer in football history' Carroll has something to prove tonight, as does Bryan 'Steve Marlet' Ruiz. Big tests."

1954: I've got a little bit of non-Fulham v Liverpool news to bring you. Aston Villa keeper Shay Given will be out for a month after suffering a small tear in his left hamstring during the Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Manchester United. Looks like Brad Guzan is going to be busy in the next four weeks.

JoeyJohnson on Twitter: "Would be silly to expect Shelvey to be in the team after such a short time back. Give Spearo a chance"

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From Laurence, via text: "Has anyone else noticed that liverpool have scored only two more goals than fulham and less than two sides in the relegation zone? Problems finishing?"

1950: Still, while Hodgson's reign have been a frustrating time for Liverpool fans at least it ultimately resulted in the return of King Kenny and a whole new wave of Anfield optimism with him. Fulham have had two managers since Hodgson - Mark Hughes and current boss Martin Jol - and neither have successfully filled the no-doubt practical and well-polished shoes left by Roy (at least not yet, in the case of Jol).

1947: Of course, Liverpool haven't always successfully raided Fulham. Take Roy Hodgson for example. Prizing the man who had led Fulham to the Europa League final was seen as a coup for the Reds in July 2010, but such notions quickly faded over six months of stagnation that ultimately ended in his departure. Cue schadenfreude at the Cottage.

Kimberley on Twitter: "Why is everyone crying about loosing Lucas having him not there will make u realise you have enough talent in the squad 2 cope"

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From Anon, via text: "Kenny Dalglish is quickly becoming Benitez....rotation, rotation, rotation! Why change?"

Fulham v Liverpool
Arindam Rej reports: "The pressure on Fulham manager Martin Jol has grown following their cruel Europa League defeat to FC Twente. Jol argues Liverpool have been boosted by not being in Europe, saying: "I think Liverpool are quite happy not to play in it, and maybe Spurs as well." Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is happy to keep rotating his squad, saying: "We made seven changes [against Chelsea] and there is not one of them who let themselves or us down."

1943: In case you didn't know why Lucas is not playing tonight, or indeed won't be playing for quite some time, he injured his anterior cruciate ligament in last Tuesday's 2-0 Carling Cup win over Chelsea. It's a huge blow for the Reds, for whom the Brazilian was player of the season last campaign. As many of you have already Tweeted in to say, Jay Spearing has big boots to fill.

Amanda O'Shaughnessy on Twitter: "It's funny how a year ago I was dreading having Lucas on the pitch and now i'm dreading him not being there. Go Reds!"

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From MauJ in Darlington, via text: "Good luck to Jay Spearing, he has a massive gap to fill as Lucas has been immense! Jay will do just fine if he remembers you'll never walk alone! C'mon red men in Kenny we trust."

Fulham v Liverpool
Arindam Rej reports: "How will Liverpool's midfield cope without injured Lucas Leiva? It's a question that could decide whether they make the top four. Tonight we'll start to find out the answer with Jay Spearing poised to fill that defensive-midfield gap. Liverpool are eyeing fifth spot tonight as they face a struggling Fulham side who have won just one in eight league games at Craven Cottage - a run started by their 5-2 hammering against Liverpool in May."

Liam Ketley on Twitter: "Our (Fulham's) GD shows we should be further up the table. With Hughes we were 18th at Xmas and finished 8th, we'll come good."

willpaul25 on Twitter: "It's time to Jol to step up his act- we've been poor this season. Not asking for a win, but a good display at least. Progress."

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish: "Fulham are impressive at home. Their results are an indication of how strong they are. But it's up to us to try to impress ourselves on the game."

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From Anon, via text: "Why recall Jonjo and not even put him on the bench? What a waste of talent!!"

1934: With all the top five but Newcastle winning, along with three points for Arsenal, Liverpool could do with a win themselves tonight to keep pace in what is one of the wackiest Champions League qualification races of recent years. Think of the Reds as Sergeant Blast and Private Meekly in the Army Surplus Special.

InfostradaLive on Twitter: "Martin Jol has never won in six previous PL matches as manager against Liverpool, losing three and drawing three."

btsg8 on Twitter: "Jay Spearing has definitely big shoes to fill. Replacing one of the best midfielders in the Premier League."

Fulham v Liverpool
Arindam Rej reports: "Jay Spearing starts in the Premier League for the first time this season following Lucas Leiva's season-ending knee injury. Yet again, Maxi Rodriguez scores but is dropped as Andy Carroll partners Luiz Suarez in attack, with Dirk Kuyt a sub too. Fulham's only change is at right-back where Stephen Kelly comes in as Chris Baird misses out."

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From Michael Harry, via text: "I see this as a turning point in Fulham's season! A narrow win for us."

Fulham manager Martin Jol: "If you play against good teams, they try to exploit space and they've got players to do that. But we've got experience across the board."

1929: Then again, Liverpool were pretty impressive themselves on their last league outing, which saw them become only the second team to deny Manchester City a Premier League win this season and arguably give the league leaders their sternest domestic test to date. If the Reds replicate that display Fulham are in for a test that would make Doogie Howser weep.

1926: Last time out in the league, Fulham pulled off a surprise draw at the Emirates, with only Thomas Vermaelen's 82nd-minute equaliser denying them all three points. Having watched that game I can tell you the Cottagers were good. Very good, in fact. If they can replicate the same organisation and effort tonight Liverpool are in for a test.

Injured Liverpool midfielder Lucas on Twitter: "Hello everyone, I will be one of the fans supporting the REDS tonight."

Fulham v Liverpool
Fulham: Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise, Dempsey, Murphy, Etuhu, Ruiz, Dembele, Zamora. Subs: Etheridge, Johnson, Kasami, Gecov, Hughes, Frei, Briggs.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Spearing, Adam, Bellamy, Suarez, Carroll. Subs: Doni, Maxi, Coates, Kuyt, Downing, Carragher, Kelly.
Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

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From David from London, via text: "I don't understand why Maxi Rodriguez isn't in the side 10 goals in 9 games should mean something."

BREAKING TEAM NEWS: Fulham make one change. Stephen Kelly in at right-back in place of Chris Baird

1923: The Cottagers could really do with a win tonight. It's getting very congested down at the bottom of the Premier League with Fulham precariously placed 16th, just two points above the relegation zone. Unless they start picking serious points up soon, they're going to feel a predominantly Lancastrian breath down their neck.

Tom Dunn on Twitter: "Confident that Fulham can upset the odds, would be a morale boost against a team as strong as Liverpool's."

Matt Pugsley on Twitter: "Why doesn't Kenny stick with what was working, the movement of Bellamy,Maxi,Kuyt, Suarez. Seems desperate to justify Carroll"

1918: Let's not get carried away with Liverpool-favouring statistics. That's all in the past, like my realistic hopes of being a sheriff and Gary Barlow's credibility. Yes, Fulham have a newly shaken Etch-A-Sketch upon which to doodle fresh history tonight.

Dave Clements on Twitter: "Surprised Carroll gets the nod ahead of Maxi tonight. Hopefully he proves his doubters (myself included) wrong!"

Zain Patel on Twitter: "Despite his two recent goals against Chelsea and his hat-Trick at Craven Cottage back in May, Maxi Rodriguez is left out!"

1914: So, are we in for a repeat of last season or will Fulham hit back for the capital? As always, I want to know what you think. You can Tweet the commentary via #BBCFootball, Tweet me @phildawkes or text in via 81111 (UK).

1912: Yes, it's back to the smoke again tonight for Liverpool, to a west London hunting ground that proved very happy last season. The Reds were 3-0 up inside 16 minutes and ended up winning 5-2, with Maxi Rodriguez scoring a hat-trick, his second in 16 days. This was Liverpool's biggest ever win at Fulham and completed a season double over the Cottagers.

BREAKING TEAM NEWS: Jay Spearing starts in midfield for Liverpool, in place of the injured Lucas. Andy Carroll starts up front alongside Luis Suarez, with Maxi Rodriguez on the bench.

1908: Unfortunately, on paper Fulham cannot counter Liverpool's confident away swagger with a healthy dose of home comfort. They have just one win and seven points from their last eight league matches at Craven Cottage. In addition (look away now Fulham fans), they've won just three of 20 games with Liverpool since 2001 and have failed to score in six of the last eight league games with the Reds.

1904: In fact, Liverpool have enjoyed their trips everywhere since the aforementioned hammering at Spurs. They've won six on the bounce on the road. One more tonight and they will equal a club record they have achieved only twice before in their history. The last time they did it Aswad were number one with "Don't Turn Around".

1900: Liverpool have largely enjoyed their little sojourns to London this season. Putting September's quadruple-conceding visit to White Hart Lane aside, they bagged a first win at Arsenal in 11 years back in August and twice last month defeated Chelsea on their own patch. They're becoming a regular, little Dick Whittington. But without the cat.

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Premier League results

5 Dec 2011 23:59 UK

Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 5 Dec 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man City 14 35 38
2 Man Utd 14 18 33
3 Tottenham 13 13 31
4 Chelsea 14 14 28
5 Arsenal 14 7 26
6 Newcastle 14 4 26
7 Liverpool 14 4 23
8 Stoke 14 -9 18
9 Aston Villa 14 -2 16
10 Everton 13 -2 16
11 Norwich 14 -6 16
12 QPR 14 -10 16
13 Fulham 14 0 15
14 West Brom 14 -8 15
15 Swansea 14 -6 14
16 Wolves 14 -9 14
17 Sunderland 14 -1 11
18 Blackburn 14 -11 10
19 Bolton 14 -15 9
20 Wigan 14 -16 9

see also
Football commentaries
14 Feb 13 |  Football
Lawro's Premier League predictions
05 Jan 12 |  Football
Football on the BBC
10 Aug 11 |  separator

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