Before the match began I was surprised by both team's starting lineups. For Fulham, Zoltan Gera and Simon Davies were not playing, but Bobby Zamora was starting at striker. Fulham were only resting a few players. Fernando Torres was not playing, and Dirk Kuyt was on the bench for Liverpool.
Going into the match I was hoping Fulham could get a point at Anfield. Even though Liverpool dominated the possession they could not score. Fulham actually had a great chance in stoppage time with a Damien Duff strike. It was saved by the goalkeeper. The game ended with a 0 - 0 tie.
The first half was dominated by Liverpool. They had the majority of possession and shots on Mark Schwarzer. Liverpool started their control in the 3rd minute. Off of a corner kick, there was "pinball like" action right in front of Schwarzer. Fortunately for Fulham they eventually cleared the ball.
In the 7th minute, a beautiful long pass by Gerrard goes right to N'Gog. His shot just goes wide of the net. In the 12th minute, N'Gog takes another shot just outside of the box that goes high.
The pressure was continuing from Liverpool. In the 23rd minute, Aquilani is inside the box and does a bicycle kick that is nicely saved by Schwarzer. This is followed up moments later by a shot by Maxi Rodriguez that was right on Schwarzer. He makes another great save. In the 25th minute Aquilani has a header that just goes over the net. Several minutes later, Mascherano has a beautiful strike that is again saved by Schwarzer.
The first half was totally controlled by Liverpool. However, they were not able to score. Mark Schwarzer was playing incredible in the first half. He was the difference in keeping Liverpool off the board. The half ended scoreless.
The second half began similar to the first half. Liverpool again dominated possession and scoring chances. In the 51st minute, Aquilani's shot just outside the box is saved by Schwarzer. In the 63rd minute, Ryan Babel's shot just inside the box is agains saved by Schwarzer. This was a tremendous save.
Liverpool were starting to get frustrated. Rafa Benitez made a few changes to hopefully get that goal. He brought on Kuyt, Benayoun and Pacheco. Roy Hogdson aso made changes as the half went on. Bobby Zamora who was limping was replaced by Stefano Okaka. Dikgacoi was brought on for Danny Murphy. Finally, Riise was brought on for Greening.
The best chance for Liverpool came in the 77th minute. Off of play from a corner kick, Kyrgiakos was only yards away from Mark Schwarzer. His header went over the net. This was a very big missed opportunity. Fulham would continue to frustrate Liverpool. Fulham's defense was extremely disciplined and just could not be penetrated.
Fulham had only a few chances to score. Their best chance of the match came in stoppage time. Stefano Okaka who was inside the box sent a nice pass to Damien Duff. His strike was strong, but right at the goalkeeper. The game ended 0 - 0 at Anfield.
In concluding Liverpool were without Fernando Torres and that could have been a factor in the lack of goals for Liverpool. However, Torres not playing shouldn't take away the fantastic performance of Mark Schwarzer and the team as a whole. They played a great defensive game and earned a point at Liverpool.