Author Topic: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004  (Read 4741 times)

Offline Corkboy

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RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« on: November 26, 2013, 04:08:39 PM »
16th October 2004, just over nine years ago, and a 44 year old Rafael Benitez had been in the Liverpool dugout for a few short months. A 34 year old me hopped a plane on the Friday evening headed for Heathrow, and then the tube to Fulham to my buddy Bill’s gaff. We must have gone out for a few pints that night, because we always did. The following morning, we probably went for a big fry up in one of the local caffs, again because we always did, and then a few loosening pints in some place on the Fulham Road. Bill had been a Fulham ST holder for a few years at that point, and I had tagged along enough times to know that sitting in the home crowd demanded some discretion but you weren’t going to get your head kicked in because…well. ‘S Fulham, innit?

Fulham: Van der Sar, Volz, Knight, Bocanegra, Green, Malbranque, Pembridge, Diop, Boa Morte, McBride, Radzinski

Subs: Crossley, John, Jensen, Rehman, McKinlay

The only thing I want to note about that Fulham squad was that Collins John was on the bench, and the only reason I mention that is because when he signed for Fulham, he was introduced to the crowd by John Collins. Collins had retired the previous season but Fulham brought him back just so they could have John Collins introducing Collins John, another reason why I've always liked Fulham.

Liverpool: Kirkland, Josemi, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Luis Garcia, Diao, Hamann, Riise, Baros, Cisse

Subs: Dudek, Alonso, Warnock, Biscan, Sinama Pongolle

Look at that squad, an almost perfect mélange of old Houllier and new Benitez, and as with all such delineations, there were hits and misses in both columns. Alonso on the bench had not played much and with Gerrard injured, he probably thought it was a day for him to start but Diao got the shirt first. I was full of chat and spirits going down Fulham Palace Road and into the Cottage, confidently predicting a win and excitedly running down the plus points of our new manager and signings but Boa Morte shut me the fuck up with two first half goals, Josemi flailing about in his slipstream on each occasion.

Cometh the hour, cometh the Basque as Rafa decided he had enough of the Senegalese and told Alonso to go on for the second half. You know when some pundit says, they need someone to put their foot on the ball and dictate the play? Well, they should be contractually obliged to add, “just like Alonso against Fulham in 04” because that’s what he did. Bear in mind that at this point, the last time we had trailed at half-time in the Premiership, away from home, and came back to win was September 1991 against Notts County, or so the Liverpool Echo of the day insisted.

Our first had a hint of good fortune as a typically aimless shot from Baros was alchemised into something finer by Zat Knight. How, Zat? The second needed no such intervention. Alonso whipped in a cross from the left which was probably goalbound but for the header of Garcia, which cannoned off Van Der Sar, and even Baros could not miss the resulting tap in. 2-2.

At this point, the wind was in Liverpool sails with Alonso and Hamann imperious in midfield. Happily for Fulham, Josemi intervened again on their behalf, chopping down Boa Morte for the last time and trudging off the pitch to the backdrop of a second yellow and much home fan rejoicing. Unperturbed (and perhaps even improved) Liverpool then took the lead through an Alonso free from thirty yards out, Van Der Sar stranded on his line. The reports of the day suggested a deflection off Papa "Wardrobe" Diop but I didn't notice it therefore it didn't happen. Matters were finally brought to a close by sub Igor Biscan who exchanged lazy passes with Warnock before first timing it into the top right corner with an insouciance bordering on arrogance, all counterpointed by the goofy "who me?" expression afterwards.

I was pleased. Two nil down at half time and we beat them. A man down for the last half an hour and we beat them. Most of all, we looked a different team with this Basque on the pitch, a cooler, deadlier, more composed team. It felt like a changing of the guard. Walking out of the Cottage, I turned to Bill and said “not too Xabi, eh? Geddit? Eh? XABI! Eh?” Bill told me to shut my fucking hole and get the next round in but I didn’t mind. Things were looking up…

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/we6BFFOpOd8" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/we6BFFOpOd8</a>
« Last Edit: December 1, 2013, 10:07:43 PM by corkboy »

Offline Hinesy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2013, 04:25:43 PM »
great mate, thank you very much.
Yep.

Offline Hinesy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #2 on: December 2, 2013, 12:05:33 AM »
Enjoy day 2! Each one will move to opinion after a couple of days.
Yep.

Offline rafa4eva

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #3 on: December 2, 2013, 01:46:26 AM »
Thank you for that, good read :)

You reminded me how messy that game was, but xabi did change that game, I love Garcia and lmaof thinking of biscans who me expression, wot a shot and wot a hairstyle lol

Offline KERRYKOP

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #4 on: December 2, 2013, 02:16:42 AM »
Great stuff, that is a tragic team though, a team that would be European Champions. Football is a mad thing.

Offline Brentieke

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #5 on: December 2, 2013, 09:32:15 AM »
I think I'm right in saying we hadn't turned a 2-0 deficit into a win since December 1998 when we came back at home against Newcastle to win 4-2.

It wouldn't be the last time that season...
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Offline redgriffin73

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #6 on: December 2, 2013, 10:32:59 AM »
Bill told me to shut my fucking hole and get the next round in but I didn’t mind. Things were looking up…

Nice ending to a nice tale. :)
Rafa Benitez: "I'll always keep in my heart the good times I've had here, the strong and loyal support of the fans in the tough times and the love from Liverpool. I have no words to thank you enough for all these years and I am very proud to say that I was your manager. Thank you so much once more and always remember: You'll never walk alone."

Offline Captain Wolf Biscuit

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #7 on: December 2, 2013, 10:40:31 AM »
I remember having a dream the night before this that we won it 4-1. It was pretty close.

Not that great a story now that I've typed it out.

Ah well. Xabi Alonso was great.
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Offline Hinesy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #8 on: December 2, 2013, 01:19:39 PM »
;D
Yep.

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #9 on: December 2, 2013, 01:30:24 PM »
Cheers Corky. Another game that I have vivid memories of. I'd played a match myself that day and lost in the last minute. Fuming at that I then set off across London to visit some mates. I was follwing the game on an overland train and in those days used to pay for the text updates on my phone. Word soon came through that we were 2 down and my mood got worse. Got to Waterloo, headed to the Tube, sat there fuming til Liverpool St, came back above ground and not long after the phone came back to life.

Fulham 2-0 Liverpool (Half Time) - Bollocks
Fulham 2-1 Liverpool (Zat Knight og) - That'll do...
Fulham 2-2 Liverpool (Milan Baros) - Get in!
RED CARD - Josemi (actually think they spelt it out in full as Jose Miguel Boutros Boutros Ghali to charge me more -  Bollocks...worked so hard and now we're going to throw it away...
Fulham 2-3 Liverpool (Xabi Alonso) - What? Amazing!
*BEEP BEEP...BEEP BEEP* - ah, fuck's sake, that can't be full time yet. The 10 men have failed to hang on, fucking hell.
Fulham 2-4 Liverpool (Igor Biscan) - Igor? Igor Biscan?Is this is a wind up! Can't make sense of this!

Best 80p I'd spent in a while! :D

Offline Hinesy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #10 on: December 2, 2013, 02:41:23 PM »
;D
Yep.

Offline Ken-Obi

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #11 on: December 2, 2013, 03:37:21 PM »
Felt like it was a waste having Igor playing as centre back under GH - could still remember his threaded pass to Luis that resulted in a goal in Europe (can't remember if it was Dortmund or Leverkusen).
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Offline Foregone Concussion

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #12 on: December 2, 2013, 03:42:06 PM »
Leverkusen. Split the defence and put Luis clean through.
We have to change from doubter to believer. Now.

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #13 on: December 2, 2013, 03:49:34 PM »
Leverkusen. Split the defence and put Luis clean through.

He also created the winner away at Deportivo with a lovely little burst through midfield. Chuck in his performances in Turin and against Chelsea and he played a huge part in that run. Well, a decent part anyway, I may be over egging it now!

Offline Pata

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #14 on: December 2, 2013, 04:08:26 PM »
IIRC The Ring of Fire made its first appearance after Liverpool pulled one back.

Offline BazC

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #15 on: December 2, 2013, 05:42:34 PM »
Good read corky, thanks.

And look, Pata's back. The last time I saw you around here was probably during that season ha.
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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #16 on: December 2, 2013, 09:20:01 PM »
A barman in one of my locals commissioned an "Igor Biscan Walkway" complete with a shrine to the great man.

Offline Corkboy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #17 on: December 2, 2013, 10:01:36 PM »
Even the ref is happy for him.


Offline MONTREAL_RED

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #18 on: December 2, 2013, 10:04:41 PM »
Corky this is terrific, thanks for sharing.
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Offline fowler9_god

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #19 on: December 3, 2013, 09:07:57 AM »
Lovely, what a player Alonso was. And to have Didi alongside him. Stuff of dreams. Give us that midfield again and I think we will challenge for the title come May.
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Offline Yorkykopite

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #20 on: December 3, 2013, 04:46:17 PM »
Nice stuff Corky. Fulham's always fun. But Alonso had already made a big impact hadn't he? Wasn't the famous Norwich display before this? The choice of Diao to start was just one of those mystifying Rafa rotations I think. Not to be repeated again - with Alonso at any rate - until Rafa started with the lanky black French bloke (name gone) v Sunderland in the opening game of (date gone). With similar results once Xabi was brought on at half time.
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Offline Corkboy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #21 on: December 3, 2013, 04:48:40 PM »
Nice stuff Corky. Fulham's always fun. But Alonso had already made a big impact hadn't he? Wasn't the famous Norwich display before this? The choice of Diao to start was just one of those mystifying Rafa rotations I think. Not to be repeated again - with Alonso at any rate - until Rafa started with the lanky black French bloke (name gone) v Sunderland in the opening game of (date gone). With similar results once Xabi was brought on at half time.

Plessis?

Offline rafa4eva

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #22 on: December 3, 2013, 04:53:05 PM »
Plessis?

Oh my days, that's a blast from the past lol ... Another youth prospect who ... Urrr well non idea where he is now ... You got to love google !

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damien_Plessis

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #23 on: December 3, 2013, 04:55:28 PM »
Plessis?

He was actually good in his debut - away at Arsenal in between the 2 Champions league games with them.

But yeah, Diao for Xabi was an odd one - presumably it was sandwiched between Champions League games but can't fully remember. Shows that every boss had head scratching selections, just that if you win the game anyway they can be looked back on fondly. Portsmouth away in 08/09 is my favourite example of this!


Offline Foregone Concussion

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #24 on: December 3, 2013, 05:05:03 PM »
He was actually good in his debut - away at Arsenal in between the 2 Champions league games with them.

But yeah, Diao for Xabi was an odd one - presumably it was sandwiched between Champions League games but can't fully remember. Shows that every boss had head scratching selections, just that if you win the game anyway they can be looked back on fondly. Portsmouth away in 08/09 is my favourite example of this!

Funnily enough I saw that match again the other day and we actually played quite well, even with the changes that were made. It was kind of like the Fulham game from that season, albeit we didn't hit the woodwork four times.
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Offline Corkboy

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #25 on: December 3, 2013, 09:25:09 PM »
Oh my days, that's a blast from the past lol ... Another youth prospect who ... Urrr well non idea where he is now ... You got to love google !

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damien_Plessis

Wow. A couple of games for Pana and then Ligue 2.

Offline John C

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #26 on: December 3, 2013, 11:16:57 PM »
Great stuff Corky mate, I'm glad you emphasised the point about reversing a losing position at half time for the first time in ages.

I don't recall knowing the about stat ahead of the game but I remember expressing my surprise when learning what we'd just achieved. It was one of those "fucking hell" moments.

Thanks mate

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Re: RAWK Advent Calendar #02: Fulham 2 Liverpool 4 2004
« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2013, 12:00:21 AM »
Bump for Christmas
Yep.