Clint Dempsey scored a late goal following a Danny Murphy shot that goalkeeper Pepe Reina failed to secure, as Fulham held off Liverpool, 1-0, in a controversial match at Craven Cottage on Monday.
In the 85th minute, Murphy created room for himself to deliver a right-footed shot, but Reina was there to block the near-post strike. Dempsey, who was denied a goal by the crossbar off a curling shot just five minutes earlier, was right there to tap in the rebound.
Liverpool were playing with 10 men at the time, as referee Kevin Friend sent off midfielder Jay Spearing in a highly questionable decision in the 72nd minute. Spearing was clearly going for a loose ball and didn't seem to make much initial contact with Moussa Dembele, who went flying into the air.
Friend was at the center of other contentious decisions, as well. Philippe Senderos fouled Charlie Adam in the 59th minute, and it seemed the defender made contact with Adam just inside the box. Friend gave four other yellow cards in the match, on top of the straight red to Searing.
The Liverpool midfielder will likely appeal the three-game suspension. Spearing's challenge didn't seem malicious, but his studs did seem to hit Dembele in his follow through.
Both clubs had several chances to score. Liverpool took 20 shots with six on goal, while Fulham took 19 and eight on goal. The Reds controlled the ball for 55 percent of the match, and had 10 corner kicks compared to the Cottagers' two.
The Fulham victory marked the first win for Martin Jol against Liverpool
Here are the highlights of the match: