Collins John and Luis Boa Morte scored the goals as Fulham produced a fitting tribute to Johnny Haynes by beating Liverpool at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
The Fulham faithful played an emotional tribute to the club’s finest ever player with a moving silence before kick-off as Tosh Chamberlain played a wreath in the centre circle alongside one from the Fulham Supporters’ Trust. Chris Coleman’s side delivered a flawless display on the field worthy of ‘the Maestro’ sweeping aside a lacklustre Liverpool with teenage striker John putting them ahead just after the half hour and the lively Boa Morte wrapping up the win in the final minute.
Fulham, seeking a first win in six games, were fast out of the traps. Steed Malbranque did superbly on the flank and cut a lovely low cross back for Ahmad Elrich but the Australian winger, making his first league start for Fulham, somehow skied over the bar when it seemed easier to score. Fortunately, the home side were not left to rue that shocking miss.
Claus Jensen made the opener just after the half hour mark when his chipped pass ran kindly for John off Mohammed Sissoko and the Dutch striker finished with aplomb. Liverpool came into the contest more in the second half with Harry Kewell’s chip ending up on the roof of the net. Tony Warner, who replaced the injury Mark Crossley in the Fulham goalkeeper, denied his old side, clawing away a curler from Luis Garcia and blocking Sami Hyypia’s venomous volley.
Fulham’s narrow advantage ensure an anxious finale until Malbranque marauded through the Liverpool defence in the ninetieth minute, biding his time before feeding Boa Morte, who finished high into the net, as the visitors appealed in vain for offside. You’d like to think the Maestro would have enjoyed watching that.
FULHAM (4-3-3): Crossley (Warner 63); Volz, N. Jensen (Rosenior 69), Goma, Bocanegra; Diop, C. Jensen, Malbranque; Elrich (McBride 76), Boa Morte, John. Subs (not used): Rehman, Helguson.
GOALS: John (30), Boa Morte (90).
LIVERPOOL (4-4-2): Reina; Josemi, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore (Luis Garcia 59); Sissoko, Alonso, Riise, Kewell (Crouch 75); Cisse, Morientes. Subs (not used): Carson, Warnock, Hamann.
BOOKED: Josemi, Sissoko.
REFEREE: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire).