By James Cox
Liverpool won back-to-back games in the league for the first time in two months after a hard fought 1-0 victory over Fulham at Anfield.
The reds were never at their best against the London outfit but a John Pantsil own goal seven minutes after half time settled the tie. The win meant they climbed up to seventh in the league, their highest position this season.
The goal came when Fernando Torres struck a deflected effort against the post and Pantsil’s rash attempt at a clearance, under pressure from Raul Meireles, ended up in the back of the net. Liverpool should have scored within the first six minutes of the game, but Torres’ effort was incorrectly ruled offside after being played through by Meireles.
Steven Gerrard was welcomed back in to the home side’s starting eleven, but Meireles held on to the advanced role after his impressive recent form, leaving the captain in a deeper central midfield role.
But after a bright start Liverpool faded considerably and were lucky to pick up maximum points. Fulham striker Moussa Dembele was guilty of missing two gilt edged chances that would have given the away side the draw they deserved.
David Stockdale was exceptional in goal for Fulham, thwarting Meireles, Gerrard and the excellent Glen Johnson from scoring. At the other end, Pepe Reina was equal to anything Fulham fired at him, but was beaten with only a few minutes left from a Brede Hangeland header, only for Meireles to clear off the line.
The win gave Dalglish his first home win at Anfield for over twenty years and Liverpool will now hope to close the gap on sixth placed Sunderland in their next game at home to Stoke.