Saturday 2 March 2002, 3:00pm at Craven Cottage, London
Barclays Premier League
Fulham FC
Fulham
0
Liverpool
Liverpool
2
Anelka 13'; Litmanen 90'
A poor performance from Fulham at Craven Cottage as little fight is put up against a strong Liverpool side.

42' Yellow Card

Sylvain Legwinski Card was given for a foul

45' Yellow Card

Rufus Brevett Card was given for a foul

48' Yellow Card

Luis Boa Morte Card was given for a foul

25' Substitution

Player was substituted due to an injury
On:Lee Clark
Off:Sean Davis

65' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Barry Hayles
Off:Luis Boa Morte

76' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:John Collins
Off:Lee Clark

13' Goal

Nicolas Anelka

90' Goal

Jari Litmanen

61' Yellow Card

Stephen Wright Card was given for a foul

77' Yellow Card

Sami Hyypiä Card was given for a foul

70' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Nick Barmby
Off:Vladimir Smicer

80' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Jari Litmanen
Off:Nicolas Anelka

0
15
30
45
60
75
90
This win over Fulham at Craven Cottage was their 10th in the Premiership this season and no other side - not even mighty Manchester United - can better that figure.

It was also the sort of victory that wins titles and Liverpool had to defend for much of the game against Jean Tigana's stylish side.

And defend they did as they repulsed everything Fulham could throw at them with much ease it must be said.

Nicolas Anelka opened the scoring when he netted his third goal for the club and in stoppage time, as Fulham threw everyone forward in search of an equaliser, substitute Jari Litmanen scored their second.

After playing five matches for Liverpool last month, Michael Owen's hamstrings were given a breather against Fulham and the England striker started on the bench.

That handed Anelka a starting place alongside Emile Heskey and the Frenchman took full advantage to score after 13 minutes.

Danny Murphy found Anelka on the right-hand side of the area and his initial right-footed shot hit Rufus Brevett on the foot.

Anelka collected the rebound, advanced into the Fulham box and curled the ball home left-footed into the bottom far corner to register his third goal for the club.

Back came the Cottagers and Louis Saha volleyed against the crossbar before

Stephane Henchoz made a superb tackle on Steve Marlet in the Liverpool area as the striker prepared to pull the trigger.

Fulham continued to create the better chances and Marlet released the recalled Luis Boa Morte down the left and when the fit-again Jerzy Dudek partially saved his shot, Henchoz was on hand to head the loose ball over the top for a corner.

Fulham were forced to make an early reshuffle when Lee Clark, who has been out for over two months with an Achilles injury, came on in place of the injured Sean Davis, only to be replaced himself later on by John Collins.

Tigana's side maintained the pressure and Steed Malbranque wrong-footed Abel Xavier only for his drive to come off Henchoz's chest and go behind for a corner.

But for all Fulham's pressure, Liverpool's well-drilled backline refused to buckle.

Henchoz, who received a gash in his left leg tackling Marlet, was having a towering game at the heart of the Liverpool defence and he was getting his head, body or whatever in the way of any Fulham attempt at goal.

Fulham thought they should have been awarded a penalty two minutes after the interval when Boa Morte went down under a challenge from Xavier.

But instead of pointing to the spot, referee Alan Wiley booked the Frenchman for diving to the fury of the home fans.

It seemed a harsh decision and Xavier had been leaning on Boa Morte with his left arm.

The game opened up in the second half and and Edwin van der Sar denied

Liverpool a second when he touched Murphy's right-foot curling shot around his left-hand post for a corner.

Dudek then saved a Marlet header from Steve Finnan's free-kick before he pushed away Saha's attempted cross after it was deflected off Henchoz's head.

With just under 20 minutes left, Nicky Barmby replaced Vladimir Smicer to make his first appearance since injuring his ankle ligaments in October.

Liverpool might have scored a second near the end and the hard-working Heskey shot wide from Anelka's right-wing cross.

Marlet should have snatched a point for Fulham four minutes from time when

Legwinski played him through on the left, only for the French striker to shoot past Dudek's far post.

His miss looked all the more glaring when in stoppage time, Litmanen, who had come on for Anelka, nodded Xavier's long ball beyond van der Sar, who was stranded outside his box, and netted from the tight angle on the right to seal Liverpool's fifth win in their last six league games.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays Premier League

Date: Saturday 2 March 2002
Kick-off: 3:00pm

Venue: Craven Cottage, London
Attendance: 21,103

Referee: Alan Wiley

Fulham

Line-up: Van der Sar; Finnan, Ouaddou, Goma, Brevett; Malbranque, Davis (Clark 25' (Collins 76')), Legwinski, Boa Morte (Hayles 65'); Saha, Marlet

Unused substitutes: Taylor, Melville

Liverpool

Line-up: Dudek; Wright, Hyypiä, Henchoz, Xavier; Smicer (Barmby 70'), Hamann, Murphy, John Arne Riise; Anelka (Litmanen 80'), Heskey

Unused substitutes: Kirkland, McAllister, Owen

As It Stood Table

Pos Club Pl Pts
1 Manchester United 28 57
2 Arsenal 28 57
3 Liverpool 29 56
4 Newcastle United 28 55
5 Chelsea 27 44
6 Leeds United 27 44
7 Aston Villa 28 41
8 Tottenham Hotspur 27 38
9 Charlton Athletic 28 37
10 Fulham 28 35
11 Southampton 28 34
12 Middlesbrough 28 34
13 West Ham United 28 34
14 Sunderland 28 31
15 Ipswich Town 27 30
16 Bolton Wanderers 28 30
17 Everton 27 29
18 Blackburn Rovers 27 26
19 Derby County 27 25
20 Leicester City 28 17
Fulham (4-4-2)
  • 1Edwin Van der Sar
  • 2Steve Finnan
  • 25Abdeslam Ouaddou
  • 24Alain Goma
  • 3Rufus Brevett
  • 14Steed Malbranque
  • 23Sean Davis
  • 18Sylvain Legwinski
  • 11Luis Boa Morte
  • 20Louis Saha
  • 7Steve Marlet
Substitutes
  • 12Maik Taylor
  • 4Andy Melville
  • 8Lee Clark
  • 10John Collins
  • 15Barry Hayles
Liverpool (4-4-2)
  • 1Jerzy Dudek
  • 2Stephen Wright
  • 4Sami Hyypiä
  • 16Stéphane Henchoz
  • Abel Xavier
  • Vladimir Smicer
  • 21Dietmar Hamann
  • 13Danny Murphy
  • 6John Arne Riise
  • 39Nicolas Anelka
  • 18Emile Heskey
Substitutes
  • 12Chris Kirkland
  • Jari Litmanen
  • Gary McAllister
  • 18Nick Barmby
  • 7Michael Owen