Reds comeback stuns Fulham
By Peter ORourke. Last Updated: 16/10/04 4:57pm
Liverpool came from two goals down to beat Fulham 4-2 at Craven Cottage to record their first Premiership away win of the season.
Fulham looked set to inflict another away day defeat on Liverpool after two first half goals from Luis Boa Morte, but the visitors roared back in the second half to claim an unlikely victory with Xabi Alonso the catalyst for the comeback.
After a quiet start from both sides Fulham created the first real chance of the game on 21 minutes with Mark Pembridge flashing a well-worked free kick from the edge of the area just wide of the post.
Fulham broke the deadlock three minutes later with Boa Morte netting from close range.
Salif Diao needlessly gave the ball away in midfield to Steed Malbranque who sent Brian McBride racing clear down the left and he fired the ball across the box for Boa Morte to tap home at the back post.
Liverpool came within inches of drawing level on 28 minutes with John Arne Riise out-jumping Moritz Volz to Josemi's cross and he was unlucky to see his powerful header fly just wide of the target.
Fulham doubled their lead two minutes later with Boa Morte netting his second of the game after another Liverpool mistake.
Luis Garcia was guilty of losing possession to Malbranque and the Frenchman capitalised on the mistake by sending Boa Morte racing clear on goal and the Portuguese international kept his cool to slot the ball through the legs of Chris Kirkland.
Liverpool huffed and puffed in a bid to get back into the match before half time, but failed to create any real goalscoring opportunities.
Liverpool gave themselves hope by pulling a goal back five minutes after the restart with an unfortunate own goal from Zat Knight.
Milan Baros picked up the ball and fired in a shot from the edge of the area which took a wicked deflection off Knight and looped over Edwin Van der Sar into the net.
Boa Morte almost got through on goal from Malbranque's incisive pass on 58 minutes, but Jamie Carragher got across quickly to snuff out the danger for Liverpool.
Djibril Cisse had a half chance for Liverpool on 66 minutes when he arrived to meet Baros' corner at the front post, but he could not direct his volley on target.
Liverpool drew level on 71 minutes with Baros reacting quickest to score from close range.
Second half substitute Alonso sent over an inviting cross for Garcia who saw his header brilliantly saved by Van der Sar, but Baros was on hand to fire home the rebound.
Liverpool suffered a blow on 76 minutes when Josemi was sent off for his second bookable offence for a foul on Boa Morte.
The visitors made light of their numerical disadvantage three minutes later with Alonso seeing his free kick from the edge of the area take a slight deflection off Papa Bouba Diop before flying into the net.
Diop came close to grabbing an equaliser for Fulham two minutes from time when he ghosted into the box to get on the end of a long ball, but he could not get enough power in his shot to trouble Kirkland.
Alonso should have put the game beyond doubt a minute later with Cisse picking the Spaniard out six yards out, but with the goal at his mercy he somehow blazed his shot over the top.
Liverpool did make sure in the dying seconds by grabbing the fourth goal from substitute Igor Biscan who notched his first Premiership goal for the club.
The Reds caught Fulham on the break and substitute Stephen Warnock laid the ball into the path for Biscan on the edge of the box who fired his shot past Van der Sar with his second touch of the game.
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|Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||3||3|
|Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||1||5|
|Total Fouls Conceded||12||14|
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Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||17||31|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||17||17|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||17||17|