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Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Sunday, 11 April 2010 16:57 UK

Liverpool   0 - 0   Fulham

Alberto Aquilani and Mark Schwarzer
Schwarzer frustrated Liverpool saving from Aquilani on several occasions

By Marc Vesty

Liverpool's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League took another huge blow as they failed to break down resolute Fulham despite dominating possession.

Alberto Aquilani fashioned Liverpool's best chances but found Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer in inspired form.

The Australian thwarted Aquilani's early overhead kick and palmed away the Italian's curling 20-yard effort.

And Schwarzer was again equal to Ryan Babel's fierce strike as Fulham defended deep and frustrated Liverpool.

This game could have been a dress rehearsal for the Europa League final in Hamburg - if Liverpool and Fulham are able to overcome their respective semi-final opponents.

606: DEBATE
jason

But if that is the case, the neutral will hope for a far less one-sided affair - as Liverpool attacked relentlessly but lacked the necessary guile to open the scoring.

Rafael Benitez's Liverpool side will take on Atletico Madrid after overcoming Benfica 4-1 at Anfield to win 5-3 on aggregate, while Fulham won 1-0 at German champions Wolfsburg for a 3-1 aggregate victory and will face Hamburg in their last-four encounter.

But, there were no signs that Liverpool were feeling the effects of their exertions in the week as they started brightly with chances falling to David Ngog, Maxi Rodriguez and Aquilani.

The home side had received an attacking blow prior to kick-off when talismanic 22-goal striker Fernando Torres was ruled out with a knee injury.

And Liverpool missed the Spanish international's cutting edge as they dominated, Ngog lashing a half-chance high and wide after being put through by Javier Mascherano early on.

Benitez admits defeat in race for fourth

Liverpool found joy down the flanks and an inventive piece of play by Aquilani almost brought the opening goal.

Glen Johnson's cross was headed back across goal by Steven Gerrard and Aquilani, with his back to goal, teed himself up an overhead kick but the shot flew straight into the hands of Schwarzer.

Seconds later Maxi was set loose in the box but he fired into the feet of the impressive Fulham stopper.

Schwarzer was again tested by Mascherano, who found space 25 yards out and looped a vicious half-volley towards goal which the keeper just managed to palm away to his right, as Liverpool threatened to run riot.

Hodgson delighted with Fulham persistence

Despite their stunning form in Europe, Fulham have not won on the road in the Premier League since the opening day of the season and their lack of attacking intent at Anfield gave an inkling as to why.

A double chance for Aquilani at the start of the second half suggested the second period would again be dominated by the home side.

First the Italy international's curled effort from 20 yards was touched over the bar by Schwarzer, before Aquilani drove a left-footed effort wide.

Fulham continued to defend deep and invite Liverpool on to them and Babel took the opportunity to test Schwarzer again with a fierce low drive which was pushed around the near post.

It began to feel like it would not be Liverpool's day when Greece defencer Sotirios Kyrgiakos headed over the bar when he really should have done better from five yards out after being set up by Dirk Kuyt.

Liverpool missed Torres - Carragher

And as the seconds ticked by Liverpool could not find the urgency or ingenuity to carve open the robust Fulham defence leaving the Anfield crowd frustrated and having to contemplate next season without Champions League football.

The result may also mean that if these two sides do meet again this season it would represent Liverpool's best chance of taking something out of a disappointing campaign.


Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:

"I am a little bit disappointed, normally when you control the game and have chances you can score. We know the fourth position is a little bit far away.

"They were deep, they were well organised and we had to score. We had one or two chances, their keeper was good, but it's not easy to find space when they have players behind the ball.

"We needed to be patient and it was not easy to find the final pass in the final third.

"I am disappointed because I feel that we had plenty of possession."

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson:

"There is no doubt Liverpool dominated the game and we were forced on to the back foot but at the same time we stood our corner very well and fought very hard.

"We stopped them getting clear-cut chances and it was really when we just lost Daniel Agger for a corner at the end that I was concerned the ball was going to go in the back of the net.

"On the occasions when they got good strikes in Mark Schwarzer was equal to it. It is another excellent clean sheet.

"I have got to be very satisfied with what the team has done because Liverpool are a very difficult team to take points off home or away."

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Liverpool 0-0 Fulham FT
(HT 0-0)

      Liverpool

      Substitutes

      Fulham

      Substitutes

      Ref: MarrinerAtt: 42,331
      LIVERPOOL
      FULHAM

      Possession

      • Liverpool 55%
      • Fulham 45%

      Attempts on target

      • Liverpool 9
      • Fulham 2

      Attempts off target

      • Liverpool 9
      • Fulham 0

      Corners

      • Liverpool 10
      • Fulham 1

      Fouls

      • Liverpool 6
      • Fulham 16
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+3:19 The referee brings the game to a close.
      • 90:00+1:06 Erik Nevland fouled by Glen Johnson, the ref awards a free kick. Damien Duff takes the free kick.
      • 90:00+0:45 Shot by Damien Duff from 18 yards. Brilliant save by Jose Reina.
      • 89:39 Chris Baird crosses the ball, clearance by Glen Johnson.
      • 88:35 Chris Baird fouled by Yossi Benayoun, the ref awards a free kick. Mark Schwarzer takes the direct free kick.
      • 88:15 Corner taken right-footed by Glen Johnson to the near post, Chris Baird makes a clearance.
      • 88:10 The ball is sent over by Steven Gerrard, Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.
      • 87:42 Centre by Daniel Agger, clearance by Brede Hangeland.
      • 86:48 Jamie Carragher takes the free kick.
      • 86:48 Booking The referee cautions Damien Duff for unsporting behaviour.
      • 86:41 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Glen Johnson by Damien Duff.
      • 85:47 Daniel Pacheco has a drilled shot. Blocked by Kagisho Dikgacoi.
      • 84:22 Erik Nevland challenges Sotirios Kyrgiakos unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jamie Carragher takes the free kick.
      • 81:41 Substitution Bjorn Helge Riise joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jonathan Greening.
      • 80:26 Erik Nevland crosses the ball, Jose Reina makes a comfortable save.
      • 79:17 Rodriguez Maxi concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Konchesky. Paul Konchesky takes the direct free kick.
      • 78:24 Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Chris Baird.
      • 77:50 Substitution David Ngog leaves the field to be replaced by Daniel Pacheco.
      • 77:50 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Gerrard by Stefano Okaka.
      • 77:04 Sotirios Kyrgiakos fouled by Erik Nevland, the ref awards a free kick. Javier Mascherano takes the direct free kick.
      • 76:21 Sotirios Kyrgiakos produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
      • 76:10 Short corner taken by Yossi Benayoun.
      • 76:06 The ball is sent over by Glen Johnson, Chris Baird manages to make a clearance.
      • 74:53 Substitution Kagisho Dikgacoi comes on in place of Danny Murphy.
      • 74:26 Short corner worked by Yossi Benayoun.
      • 74:19 A cross is delivered by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Brede Hangeland.
      • 72:52 Dirk Kuyt crosses the ball, save by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 71:47 A cross is delivered by Jamie Carragher, clearance made by Chris Baird.
      • 71:40 Dirk Kuyt crosses the ball, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.
      • 70:54 Daniel Agger takes the direct free kick.
      • 70:54 Substitution (Liverpool) makes a substitution, with Yossi Benayoun coming on for Ryan Babel.
      • 70:54 Booking Danny Murphy goes into the book.
      • 70:43 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Steven Gerrard by Danny Murphy.
      • 69:49 The ball is crossed by Rodriguez Maxi, save by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 67:19 Substitution Stefano Okaka replaces Bobby Zamora.
      • 66:18 The ball is crossed by Ryan Babel, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.
      • 65:36 Glen Johnson delivers the ball, clearance made by Aaron Hughes.
      • 65:19 Dirk Kuyt fouled by Danny Murphy, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Dirk Kuyt.
      • 64:15 Substitution Dirk Kuyt joins the action as a substitute, replacing Alberto Aquilani.
      • 62:31 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the left by-line, Headed effort on goal by Sotirios Kyrgiakos from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the goal.
      • 62:05 Ryan Babel takes a shot from 18 yards. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 61:13 Daniel Agger produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.
      • 61:08 Steven Gerrard crosses the ball, Chris Baird manages to make a clearance.
      • 59:20 Foul by Dickson Etuhu on Alberto Aquilani, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Javier Mascherano.
      • 58:48 Daniel Agger sends in a cross, Damien Duff manages to make a clearance.
      • 57:51 Shot from 20 yards by Steven Gerrard. Blocked by Aaron Hughes.
      • 56:16 Ryan Babel delivers the ball, Chris Baird makes a clearance.
      • 55:58 Javier Mascherano fouled by Erik Nevland, the ref awards a free kick. Steven Gerrard takes the direct free kick.
      • 54:35 The referee blows for offside. Aaron Hughes takes the free kick.
      • 54:07 Paul Konchesky delivers the ball, Ryan Babel makes a clearance.
      • 53:26 Rodriguez Maxi is ruled offside. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.
      • 52:51 A cross is delivered by Glen Johnson, Chris Baird manages to make a clearance.
      • 51:44 Damien Duff is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Alberto Aquilani.
      • 50:39 Effort from outside the penalty area by Alberto Aquilani goes wide left of the goal.
      • 50:12 Steven Gerrard decides to take the corner short.
      • 49:55 Shot by Alberto Aquilani. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 47:38 Alberto Aquilani produces a drilled right-footed shot from 18 yards. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 47:33 The ball is crossed by Rodriguez Maxi, clearance by Brede Hangeland.
      • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+1:03 The first half comes to an end.
      • 45:00+0:17 Shot on goal by Daniel Agger from long range goes harmlessly over the target.
      • 42:41 The ball is crossed by Bobby Zamora, clearance made by Jamie Carragher.
      • 42:28 Glen Johnson sends in a cross, Dickson Etuhu manages to make a clearance.
      • 42:17 The ball is sent over by Glen Johnson, Damien Duff gets a block in.
      • 40:50 Drilled shot by Chris Baird.
      • 39:50 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Bobby Zamora by Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Danny Murphy takes the free kick.
      • 38:56 Alberto Aquilani fouled by Danny Murphy, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Javier Mascherano.
      • 37:24 The ball is sent over by Alberto Aquilani, clearance made by Chris Baird.
      • 36:12 Sotirios Kyrgiakos challenges Bobby Zamora unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Aaron Hughes.
      • 35:33 Alberto Aquilani delivers the ball, save made by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 34:34 Unfair challenge on Glen Johnson by Jonathan Greening results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Steven Gerrard, clearance by Dickson Etuhu.
      • 33:41 Javier Mascherano has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
      • 31:47 The ball is delivered by Daniel Agger, clearance made by Danny Murphy.
      • 31:26 Javier Mascherano has a drilled shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 30:01 Brede Hangeland gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Rodriguez Maxi. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Steven Gerrard.
      • 26:21 Paul Konchesky restarts play with the free kick.
      • 26:21 Booking Jamie Carragher booked.
      • 26:02 The referee gives a free kick against Jamie Carragher for handball.
      • 25:00 Bobby Zamora handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Javier Mascherano restarts play with the free kick.
      • 23:57 Alberto Aquilani produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
      • 23:11 Erik Nevland handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Sotirios Kyrgiakos restarts play with the free kick.
      • 22:42 Shot from 12 yards by Rodriguez Maxi. Save by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 22:18 The ball is swung over by Glen Johnson, Shot by Alberto Aquilani. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 19:07 Alberto Aquilani challenges Damien Duff unfairly and gives away a free kick. Aaron Hughes takes the direct free kick.
      • 18:36 Corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard, save by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 18:07 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Chris Baird.
      • 17:08 The free kick is delivered right-footed by Steven Gerrard from right wing, clearance by Paul Konchesky.
      • 17:08 Booking Jonathan Greening receives a yellow card.
      • 16:56 Jonathan Greening challenges Glen Johnson unfairly and gives away a free kick.
      • 16:01 Dickson Etuhu concedes a free kick for a foul on Javier Mascherano. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.
      • 15:32 Ryan Babel handles the ball and concedes a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Damien Duff from right wing, Steven Gerrard makes a clearance.
      • 14:49 The ball is swung over by Javier Mascherano.
      • 14:16 Foul by Paul Konchesky on Alberto Aquilani, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Steven Gerrard, save by Mark Schwarzer.
      • 12:50 Foul by Dickson Etuhu on Daniel Agger, free kick awarded. Shot on goal comes in from Alberto Aquilani from the free kick.
      • 11:39 David Ngog produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.
      • 10:44 The ball is delivered by Paul Konchesky, Jose Reina makes a comfortable save.
      • 10:08 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Jonathan Greening from the left by-line to the near post, Ryan Babel makes a clearance.
      • 8:37 Steven Gerrard takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post.
      • 8:16 Short corner taken by Steven Gerrard from the right by-line.
      • 6:56 David Ngog produces a lobbed right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
      • 5:52 Brede Hangeland challenges David Ngog unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Alberto Aquilani.
      • 2:44 Steven Gerrard takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Jonathan Greening.
      • 2:36 The ball is swung over by Ryan Babel, blocked by Damien Duff.
      • 1:37 Dickson Etuhu is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Javier Mascherano.
      • 0:00 The game gets underway.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Premier League results

      11 Apr 2010 23:59 UK


      Premier League table snapshot

      As it stood on 11 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Chelsea 33 54 74
      2 Man Utd 34 50 73
      3 Arsenal 33 41 71
      4 Man City 33 28 62
      5 Tottenham 32 26 58
      6 Liverpool 34 21 56
      7 Aston Villa 32 12 54
      8 Everton 33 8 50
      9 Birmingham 34 -8 46
      10 Stoke 33 -3 43
      11 Blackburn 34 -15 43
      12 Fulham 33 -2 42
      13 Sunderland 34 -8 38
      14 Wolves 34 -23 33
      15 Bolton 33 -25 32
      16 West Ham 34 -16 31
      17 Wigan 33 -34 31
      18 Burnley 34 -36 27
      19 Hull 33 -38 27
      20 Portsmouth 33 -32 14

      see also
      Torres tipped for early return
      13 Apr 10 |  Liverpool
      Sunday football as it happened
      11 Apr 10 |  Football
      Sunday's football photos
      11 Apr 10 |  Football



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