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Liverpool Late Show Ensures They Are Still the Best Team in the World

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 03:  Yossi Benayoun of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Sunderland at Anfield on March 3, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Barney CorkhillSenior Writer IApril 4, 2009

Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship (UWCC) saw another defence today as champions Liverpool took on former champions Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Liverpool were looking to regain momentum after the convincing wins against Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Aston Villa had been interrupted by the international break. They went into the match knowing that a win would put them back on top of the Premier League, albeit with United having two games in hand.

Fulham's momentum was also disrupted by the international break. They had secured a famous 2-0 win against United in their last match, ensuring that the title race would go down to the wire.

They couldn't repeat that performance, however, as they went down 1-0 to a late Liverpool goal.

It could have been another rout for Liverpool but for a few inches here and there. They dominated the first half, and were very unlucky not to be ahead when the teams went in for the break.

Andrea Dossena continued his impressive recent attacking form with a lovely curling shot with the outside of his boot that was tipped magnificently over by the fingertips of Mark Schwarzer.

Liverpool—and Dossena himself—were to get even closer to scoring not long after as he flicked Martin Skrtel's volley onto the crossbar.

It was Xabi Alonso's turn to hit the bar next as his thunderous volley beat Schwarzer, only to cannon back off the woodwork.

It seemed like it was going to be one of those days a few minutes later as Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres linked up in typically sublime fashion, only for Torres to see his shot bounce back off the post.

Unbelievably, Liverpool hit the woodwork for a fourth time in the first half and, unbelievably, it was another Andrea Dossena header that did it, after a long, searching pass from Xabi Alonso found Gerrard, who whipped in a dangerous cross from which Dossena really should have scored.

There was none of the same urgency at the start of the second half, but Liverpool soon started applying the pressure again, with Ryan Babel and Steven Gerrard going close.

Just as it was looking like a Liverpool draw could be their downfall again, however, Yossi Benayoun picked up the ball and struck a powerful finish past Schwarzer to give Liverpool the win two minutes into stoppage time.

The result means Liverpool move two points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table, and that the pressure is back on United for their match against Aston Villa tomorrow.

The result is also Fulham's third loss as challengers in a UWCC title match, joining Villa in that unenviable group.

Of the 30 voters in the poll, 80 per cent said that Fulham wouldn't beat Liverpool so well done to everyone who got it right!

 

Liverpool's run

Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool (Liverpool become new champions)

Liverpool 5-0 Aston Villa

Fulham 0-1 Liverpool

 

(Click here to see the complete history of Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship)

 

Liverpool's next title defence comes on Wednesday as they host Chelsea in the Champions League quarterfinal. Can Chelsea become the best side in the world again?!

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