Liverpool strolled to a draw in a game in which only a couple of Liverpool players decided to show up.
The reds struggled in the first half, some poor build up from midfield was as much to blame as some poor finishing. Robbie Keane had the chance of the half when he fluffed his shot from about 5 yards out.
These missed chances gave Fulham belief and they too tested Reina on a couple of occasions, with both Andy Johnson and Jimmy Bullard having good chances.
Towards the end of the half, Torres pace against cut Fulham apart and he sent a great cross in but nobody was well placed enough to dispatch the ball in the net.
No changes at the half time interval but the reds come out with a bit more urgency. Torres sent a curling shot just over the bar and then minutes later danced through the defence sending his shot straight at the keeper.
As the minutes ticked on the fans awaited Alonso’s arrival which came on 65 minutes. What they probably weren’t expecting was that Mascherano would make way for the Spaniard.
Liverpool fell away as the half progressed and after the substitution of Mascherano, another shocker was on the way. Riera, arguably the reds second best player, was removed for Ryan Babel, who’s first touch was a shot that went way wide. Why Babel hadn’t replaced Keane to provide a bit of zip up front is anyone’s guess.
El Zhar came on for Kuyt who admittedly looked tired as the game wore on.
The clock ticked down and Liverpool looked less and less likely to score with each passing minute.
A hugely disappointing result, performance and the Anfield crowd should be ashamed at their poor performance as well.
Regrettably, games like this help shape Champions and the some Liverpool players proved yet again that they have a lot to learn in terms of desire and passion.
Post Match Reaction
“Clearly you can see that when the players arrive late, you don’t have time to prepare them and you have to push the player. Three or four did not have enough energy. The players are thinking: ‘It’s a bad day. It is cold’ so everything was against them.
“We couldn’t score against Stoke, but we were very dominant and against Fulham and we controlled the game.”
“It’s always difficult after an international week. The team can’t prepare properly, but we can’t use that as an excuse. The other teams have international players.
“We were playing at Anfield and these are the type of games we should be winning.
“And we can’t use Gerrard being missing as an excuse for us not winning. We played more than a month without Torres and we kept on getting the results, so we’ve shown we can do it without certain players.
“Steven is a great player and is important for us. But we had a lot of good players with quality on the pitch against Fulham.
“We have a big squad and we need to use that.”
Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard:
“We took it to Liverpool and gave it a right bash.
“But who do I think will win the league? Chelsea. And I think they’ll do it quite comfortably this year.
“Liverpool do have an outstanding squad of individuals. It’s awesome. But sometimes it’s not about individual players – it’s about the team.
“They were vulnerable on the break because Jamie Carragher was getting forward. Our front two did cause them a bit of aggro, but you can’t be unhappy about getting a point here.”
Liverpool: Reina, Aurelio, Agger, Arbeloa, Carragher, Riera (Babel 76), Mascherano (Alonso 65), Leiva, Kuyt (El Zhar 81), Torres, Keane
Subs not used: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Benayoun, Dossena
Fulham: Schwarzer, Konchesky, Hughes, Hangeland, Paintsil, Davies, Bullard (Baird 93), Murphy, Dempsey (Gera 84), Johnson, Zamora
Subs not used: Zuberbueler, Kallio, Nevland, Stoor, Gray
Match Thread and post match inquest here
Liverpool Possession: 57%. Shots: 21 (On target = 6 ). 391 accurate passes. 74 bad passes.
Fulham Possession: 43% Shots: 6 (On target = 5). 272 accurate passes. 44 bad passes.