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Fulham 1-0 Liverpool

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15th place has never looked so gratifying and neither has Clint Dempsey getting into a spontaneous tussle. The thought of Dempsey applying a cheeky little right hook to the grin of Craig Bellamy was one that couldn't help but cross my mind, but, of course, it is one I wouldn't condone on any level.

But for all the intensity that came with this clash there was only one goal in it. Ironically, it was the result of a goalkeeping error despite a general display of solidarity and composure from both stoppers throughout the evening.

Martin Jol will take anything at the moment, though, and his first ever Premier League win over Liverpool couldn't have come at any better time.

The Ducthman had laid faith in Summer signing Bryan Ruiz, starting the Costa Rican international wide on the right. The winger-cum-striker had a sporadic afternoon in which his deft flicks and fast-thinking approach play were both his highlight and his downfall. On one occasion, he played a wondrous back heel into the path of Danny Murphy but when he replicated the trick barely ten minutes later it went embarrassingly wrong.

With Ruiz starting, however, clearly Jol had a degree of intent coming into the game. Alongside the former Twente man were Bobby Zamora, Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey, and as such, an expansive game ensued.

Dembele had a guilt-edged opportunity to put Fulham up inside five minutes when an incisive pass from Ruiz fed the ball astutely at the feet of Dembele, whom himself had timed his run perfectly. The Belgian could only shoot straight at Pepe Reina, though, when faced with the one-on-one.

Andy Carroll then reflected the feat of wasting a chance at the other end, again placing his shot against the goalkeeper.

Dempsey and Dembele then tested Reina from a fair distance, both times forcing the Spaniard to stretch. For both their efforts, though, it was clear that Fulham weren't creating genuine and clear cut opportunities and a resolute Liverpool defence were restricting the Whites' attack to efforts from outside the area.

Jordan Henderson had the away section celebrating, but it wasn't long before such jubilation was met with mockery from the home fans as the midfielder's effort hadn't in fact crossed the line. It was a close call, though, as the ball struck the post and rolled eerily along the line.

Dickson Etuhu, despite the rumours that surround a supposed imminent departure, laid stake to a claim for a first team spot with a display of the greatest graft and resistance. Throughout the evening he tackled hard yet fairly and was a consistent possession gainer in the middle of the park. The Nigerian also proved to be a persistent shackle to an expectedly lively Luis Suarez.

The half drew to a close and while the game seemed finely balanced, Kenny Dalglish probably entered the dressing rooms as a happier manager. His side had carved open the Fulham defence on a few occasions and most could sense there was a goal in the game - either way.

As the game restarted, Liverpool had clearly been ordered to step up a gear. A series of corners had Mark Schwarzer worried in the Fulham goal, but Brede Hangeland and his defence came out of an abundant spell of pressure unscathed.

The Norweigan put in a fine defensive shift yet again and matched £35 million man Andy Carroll on all occasions. The former Newcastle man eventually came off and Hangeland should be partly credited for keeping him so quiet.

Liverpool still attacked and Phillipe Senderos resorted to an altogether different type of tackle to bring Charlie Adam to a halt as he headed towards the Fulham area. On the counter, the Reds broke with speed and as Adam looked set to pull the trigger, the Swiss lunged in, almost head first, to bring the Scotsman down. Contact was, thankfully, outside the area, and despite a yellow card for Senderos, the free kick failed to provide any substance for Liverpool.

Bobby Zamora was then replaced on 70 minutes and it almost seemed a relief. The England international had picked up a knock early on, but with the three midfielders behind him, the target man was failing to make a difference. Whether off-the-field troubles are affecting him or not, Fulham needed another dimension and Andy Johnson's capability of getting behind and between defenders was a welcome adaptation to play.

Barely a minute later, and Liverpool were down to ten men. Jay Spearing lunged at Dembele and, while winning the ball, was justifiably reckless in doing so.

This spurred on Fulham and two great opportunities followed. Clint Dempsey opened up his body in the penalty area and delivered a fine chip over Reina, only for the ball to strike the woodwork.

Yet again, Dembele had a great opportunity to score but struck the ball straight at Liverpool's 'keeper. His efforts on goal may have been tame, but as always, Dembele performed admirably on the pitch and the number of times he tracked back makes you wonder how he lasted ninety minutes.

The one man advantage finally played its dividends for Fulham in the 85th minute, though, as Clint Dempsey pounced upon a rebound after what was a meagre shot from captain Danny Murphy. The pressure was building and Dempsey had earned a goal after a labouring display.

Fulham held on in the last few minutes, even as Danny Murphy left the field in some discomfort, to claim a memorable and vital three points.

Let's hope Bellamy isn't too aggrieved to see John Arne Riise on the winning side.