Clint Dempsey savoured his late winner that helped propel Fulham up their Premier League table and admitted that Jay Spearing’s dismissal was the crucial factor in his side’s win over Liverpool.

The American midfielder scored his 37th Premier League – the most by an American – to sink Liverpool with five minutes to play and was delighted that Fulham had made the most of their numerical advantage to snatch a vital win.

We had more space, more time on ball [after the sending off] and we were able to open them up. We’ve not been able to score enough goals but we got one tonight and it’s an important win.

Dempsey was first to the loose ball after Jose Reina had failed to hold Danny Murphy’s shot and reaped the rewards for his anticipation.

You’ve always got to take a chance. Danny did a good job getting the shot off and you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes you get lucky and it falls to you. Any points right now are big because the table’s so tight. We’re just happy to get the win.