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Reds record loss ahead of Cup final

sports Updated: May 03, 2012 00:26 IST
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A Martin Skrtel own goal allowed Fulham to record their first ever top flight league win on Merseyside in 42 attempts as the London club prevailed 1-0 over Liverpool on Tuesday in their Premier League clash.

The home defeat hardly represented Liverpool’s best possible preparation for Saturday’s FA Cup Final date with Chelsea.

In a meeting between two of new England manager Roy Hodgson’s most recent employers, Liverpool’s wretched home league form continued as they failed to record a victory for the 13th time in 18 games.

More alarmingly, Liverpool could also end the season outside the top eight in the top division of English football for the first time since 1954.

Manager Kenny Dalglish elected to leave four potential Wembley starters out of his line-up - goalkeeper Pepe Reina, plus Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger and Luis Suarez - and his decision looked a costly one when Fulham took the lead after only five minutes.

From the game’s first attack, Clint Dempsey’s pass sent former Liverpool full-back John Arne Riise down the left-hand touchline and his cross into the six-yard box was met by another former Anfield player Alex Kacaniklic. The 20-year-old’s mishit shot bounced against Skrtel’s legs, wrong-footing Doni on its way into the net.

Austrian government boycotts euro 2012
Vienna: Austria’s government said Wednesday it will boycott all Euro 2012 football matches in Ukraine to protest at the treatment of jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, who is on hunger strike.

“No member of the Austrian government will attend these games, that is our mark of solidarity,” Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said.

Hodgson vows to win over euro skeptics
London: Roy Hodgson insists he can win over the sceptics following his surprising appointment to the England manager’s job ahead of Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp. Hodgson was unveiled as England manager by the Football Association on Tuesday as Fabio Capello’s successor.

“Every coach’s job when he enters a new job is to win the players over and make sure he gets the players united behind our cause. And our (England’s) cause is a very big one,” he said.