We produced a decent performance but no points and its the latter, not the former, that is going to prove significant. We twice took the lead, but a careless challenge by Reither in the dying minutes resulted in a penalty and no points.
We were encouraged that this selection lasts the whole game and that new signing Mitroglou, who scored twice in the academy side yesterday, will lead the line more effectively than Darren Bent in the next – and key – game against WBA.
Footballers can go up and down in form for no apparent reason. Sascha Reither was arguably our best player last season, surging forward from right back. This season he was suspended for 3 games for a violent challenge in the Manchester United game; against Southampton he left a space behind him when he went forward which was ruthlessly exploited; and last night he dived in to concede the penalty. Conversely Kieran Richardson had a torrid time at left back but, playing more advanced, he is making some telling runs and made and scored one last night. The first goal, like most own goals, was hilarious with the hapless Toure falling on his arse in the same movement, slicing the ball into his net. The same player knocked over referee Phil Down. I bet Liverpool cannot get Agger back quickly enough. Is there a better long passer than Stevie Gerrard? His pass struck with the outside of the foot for Sturridge’s goal was exquisite.
There are positives for Fulham: the continued good form of Holtby, Burn and Sidwell who attempted an outrageous 45 yard lob seeing Mignolet off his line. The team can complete in the final quarter of the game as we have the stamina to do so. Its time now to convert all this into points.