Fulham 2 Liverpool 3: Rene Meulensteen says Fulham deserved draw after Steven Gerrard penalty snatches it away
The Cottagers were on the verge of adding a point to their season tally
Thursday 13 February 2014
Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen felt his side were worthy of a draw against Liverpool after another strong performance in their battle for Premier League survival.
The Whites went into the game at Craven Cottage as underdogs but were clearly buoyed by their 2-2 draw against Manchester United on Sunday.
A Kolo Toure own goal and a close-range Kieran Richardson finish had put Meulensteen's side ahead twice, only for Liverpool to secure a late 3-2 win after Steven Gerrard scored the winner from the penalty spot.
Daniel Sturridge and Phillippe Coutinho had twice drawn the Reds level, with Meulensteen left feeling aggrieved that Fulham ended the game empty handed.
"I definitely think we deserved a point," he said.
"If you look at the game, we got our noses in front again. We actually played quite well, were well organised, we didn't let them settle into a rhythm. They didn't cause us too much danger.
"Out of a nothing ball, Gerrard made a pass with the quality he's got and they stuck it in the net so you have to start again.
"We did, we took the chance which fell for us to see us go 2-1, but they came back."
Fulham remain rooted to the foot of the table following the narrow defeat and are four points from safety as Meulensteen rued the late penalty conceded by full-back Sascha Riether.
"What you will see from a team in this position is that they will try to hold on more than build on it," he added.
"So you drop a little bit deeper, get the balls in the right area and stop them hurting you.
"That was the case with the Coutinho goal, letting him come inside and then there was a deflection. Then the third one was just a silly challenge that should not have been made by Sascha."
Liverpool sit fourth in the table, just four points behind leaders Chelsea and their manager, Brendan Rodgers, was left enthusing about captain Gerrard once more.
The 33-year-old has reinvented himself as a deep-lying midfielder this season and, as well as scoring the decisive penalty, the England skipper picked out Sturridge for the opener with a superb pass.
"Steven is peerless in many aspects of football," Rodgers said.
"He was brilliant against Arsenal, dictating the game, playmaking from behind and his pass for the first goal here.
"There's no greater person than Steven Gerrard to take a penalty right at the end to get the three points and he tucked it away really well."
Rodgers was coy when asked if his side were in the title race but, after Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho recently described his side as a "little horse" that were not ready to win the title - Rodgers came up with his own animal analogy for Liverpool's bid.
The Liverpool boss joked his side "may be the chihuahuas that run in between the horses' legs", as this win in west London kept them firmly in the hunt.
Latest in Sport
Manchester United have two days to seal the transfer of the summer, Arsenal need to panic, Jose Mourinho right to blast Chelsea reluctance
Charlie Austin latest: Tottenham, Bournemouth and Newcastle among favourites to sign QPR striker
Anthony Martial transfer: Martial arts not in doubt but £36m is huge gamble by Manchester United
David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal does not get the luxury of time that was given to his predecessors
- 2 David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
- 3 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 4 A Chinese journalist has appeared on state television 'confessing' to causing the stock market chaos
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms