A Hard Fought Battle Earns Liverpool 3 Points through Pantsil Own Goal
by Rhydon Atzenhoffer
January 27, 2011
Liverpool celebrate back to back victories for the first time under Kenny Dalglish. The fact that last nights victory came in a much harder fought contest than Wolves proves that there is indeed a turn around going on at Anfield under the King. Torres had what would have been the opening goal on the 4th minutes disallowed for being offside, which upon further review was correct.
Raul Meireles continued his fine form as he pushed Liverpool forward. Stephen Gerrard made his return for the Reds and voiced his team to push forward on multiple occasions showing a renewed vigor as the on field leader as he barked orders to his men all night long. Gerrard took the place of Lucas Leiva whom was out with a knock suffered in training. Chritian Poulsen put in another decent performance as he continues to renew his belief in himself, and hopefully in the face of the fans.
The pace of Lucas was missed in the midfield however. The Brazillian usually combines with Dirk Kuyt as the none stop energy to drive the central Liverpool machine, but his injury, and an obviously worn out Kuyt were missing. Kuyt was replaced with youngster Jonjo Shelvey whom has featured in every game under Dalglish.
It should have been 2-0 to Liverpool by Halftime as they had fired multiple shots on goal that would have been into the back of the net against any keeper whom wasn't in as fine of form as Fulham's David Stockdale. Asian Cup duties kept first choice Mark Schwarzer busy in Qatar, but his backup is making a serious push for a permanent place in the staring eleven with displays such as his last night.
The second half saw a continued hard fight as Fulham was lifted by former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy whom rolled back the years to put in a Man of the Match performance. American Clint Dempsey fired several blistering top class shots a Pepe Reina the Spanish keeper was a stalwart for the Reds when they needed him the most.
Attack after attack from Liverpool eventually led to an own goal from Fulham right back John Pantsil. Had he not scored it, Meireles certainly would have finished it off as he was on top of the keeper ready to pounce for what could have been his third goal in as many games. Following his debacle in the back Pantsil let out his frustration in attempts to start altercations with Liverpool Captain Gerrard and earned himself a yellow card in due time.
Maxi Rodriguez also was lively for the match as he continues to become more attuned to the English game and has been playing out wider under Dalglish instead of making so many runs into the middle. This has been helping to create more space for Torres whom is flourishing under the pass and move style of the Liverpool teams of old.
With the team now up to seventh in the table and away from the drop zone, for the moment, the fans can breath a huge sigh of relief as the second coming of King Kenny is inspiring a rebirth and rejuvenation of the Reds. With 14 games to go just how high can the Reds find themselves before the end of the campaign?