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Steven Gerrard's last-gasp penalty secured a huge three points for Barclays Premier League title hopefuls Liverpool in a 3-2 victory at Fulham.
The away side had twice fallen behind at Craven Cottage to an own goal from Kolo Toure and Kieran Richardson's close-range strike, but Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho restored parity before Gerrard kept his cool from 12 yards in injury time.
The home side took the lead in fortuitous circumstances when Toure hacked Richardson's cross into his own goal, but Sturridge levelled shortly before half-time by applying an expert finish to become the first Liverpool player to score in seven consecutive Barclays Premier League games.
Brendon Rodgers’ side dominated the second half but fell behind to Richardson's strike shortly after the hour mark, yet Coutinho silenced the home fans on 72 minutes with a curled strike from 20 yards.
And the away fans were sent into pandemonium in the closing stages when Sturridge was brought down by Sascha Riether in the area, with Gerrard duly dispatching the penalty.
The result leaves Rodgers’ side four points adrift of Barclays Premier League table-toppers Chelsea, while Rene Meulensteen’s side remain bottom.
The hosts belied their Barclays Premier League position in the opening stages and their positive start was rewarded in bizarre circumstances eight minutes in. The impressive Lewis Holtby played a superb through ball to Richardson and his first-time pass was sliced into his own goal by Toure.
After a slow start, the Reds began to get a foothold in the match and Luis Suarez drew a smart near-post stop from Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Cottagers were defending resolutely, but their resistance was finally broken four minutes before half-time. Sturridge sprung the offside trap to latch on to Gerrard's sublime first-time pass with the outside of his boot and the striker kept his composure to apply the finish via the post.
The leveller seemed to reinvigorate Liverpool, who saw Sturridge and then Gerrard go close with long-range strikes before the break.
The Merseyside club started the second half brightly but they were almost caught cold from Steve Sidwell's audacious chip from the halfway line that Simon Mignolet managed to collect.
The away side poured forward in search of a goal and Suarez's low drive from the edge of the box beat the goalkeeper but rebounded off the post.
Fulham made Liverpool pay for that miss by taking the lead for a second time on 63 minutes. Martin Skrtel inadvertently deflected Sidwell's cross into the path of Richardson, who fired home from close range.
The lead lasted just nine minutes, however, as Coutinho cut in from the right before angling a 20-yard drive into the far corner with his left foot.
And there was still time for one last twist as Riether felled Sturridge in the area in the 90th minute, and Gerrard fired into the left-hand corner to secure all three points.
Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen: "The third goal is a silly challenge from Sascha. He shouldn't have done it. The first thing he said when he came into the dressing room was 'sorry I shouldn't have done it'. We lost 3-2 which is hard to take, with the effort the boys put in they should have had a point I think.
"The tactics worked well in the first half by stopping them getting into a rhythm and stopping Gerrard spraying those key passes. That's why we kept them at bay quite well in the first half. The second half they made changes, pushed people even further up the pitch which means we drop further back.
"In some ways we got away with it because we got 2-1 up, (but) there was a momentum where they really put us under pressure and I thought 'if we get out of this we'll be fine'. But Coutinho scored to make it 2-2, they pressed for another one and they got it."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers: "Steven Gerrard is peerless in situations like that. He showed brilliant composure. It was a great result. We've had to show character to come from behind twice. A brilliant victory.
"It's a great credit to Rene and his staff and players that we were given a very tough game. In the first half we were not quite on it in terms of intensity, and a mistake has put us 1-0 down. We then got a good goal, thanks to Gerrard's marvellous pass. We raised the intensity and aggression at half-time. We're disappointed with the second goal we gave away. This team has shown great characteristics mentally.
"We conceded two goals, that has been unlike us for a while. We need to eradicate the individual errors. Thankfully we have goals in the team."
|22 Feb 2014||v West Brom (A)|
|01 Mar 2014||v Chelsea (H)|
|08 Mar 2014||v Cardiff (A)|
|15 Mar 2014||v Newcastle (H)|
|22 Mar 2014||v Man City (A)|
|30 Mar 2014||v Everton (H)|