I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the result yesterday for Fulham. The Cottagers played a 0 - 0 tie at Anfield against Liverpool. Fulham in my opinion deserved the result they received. They played an excellent defensive game. Fulham did not have much possession. Liverpool controlled the game and possession. However, they could not penetrate into the final third and score a goal. I always look back at my "keys" prior to the match to see what kind of effect they had on the match. Below is "Analysis of my 5 keys to survival for Fulham against Liverpool."
1. Will Hogdson rest many players for this match? To my surprise Roy Hogdson did not rest many players. Bobby Zamora actually played a good amount of the match before being replaced by Stefano Okaka. Zoltan Gera and Simon Davies did not play. When I saw the starting lineup I was encouraged that Fulham were putting out a strong side. I think this key was a positive for the match.
2. I am hoping that Stefano Okaka plays the entire match for Fulham. Stefano Okaka only came in the second half to replace Bobby Zamora. Even though I wanted Zamora to play yesterday, I thought that Okaka needs to play more. He actually set up the only really good chance Fulham had late in the match. He sent a nice pass to Damien Duff. His strike was saved by the goalkeeper. This key I don't think was a major factor in the match.
3. Danny Murphy needs to control the midfield. This key is funny because in some ways Murphy couldn't have gotten the job done. Liverpool had most of the possession. However, Liverpool didn't score so what kind of impact did this key really have? I think Murphy did all he could do, but there is no question Liverpool controlled the midfield. This key didn't help Fulham, but they still got the tie.
4. Fulham need to contain Fernando Torres. Since Torres did not play obviously it made the defensive job easier. Fulham were able to contain N'Gog and Gerrard. They were dangerous, but they could not score. Torres not playing was an impact on the match.
5. Mark Schwarzer needs to be exceptional again. Schwarzer was exceptional in this match. He did have much help, but he was at the top of his game. This key to me was the difference in the match.
In concluding Mark Schwarzer and the back four were the difference in the match. They completely did their job. I am very happy with this result.