FA Cup Betting: Liverpool to lose momentum?
FA Cup history suggests Liverpool might have blown it already
Kenny Dalglish was furious with Liverpool's showing against Fulham and Michael Symons wonders just how damaging it might be to their FA Cup chances.
Kenny Dalglish made nine changes to the side that beat Norwich so comprehensively on Saturday, but his understudies were woefully under par. The Liverpool boss now has a job on his hands to rid his squad of the negativity that rained down from the stands at full-time last night.
Dalglish himself conceded that the performance and attitude of his players was unacceptable and the fans, it seems, were of a similar mind. This was Liverpool's second successive home defeat without scoring, and confidence must be surely be waning.
Liverpool, however, will take solace in the knowledge they have already won twice at Wembley this season, against Cardiff in the Carling Cup final, and then in a Merseyside derby three weeks ago. But on both occasions, success at Wembley was prefaced by victory, in the first instance a 6-1 win over Brighton and latterly a 3-2 victory at Ewood Park.
But last night's reverse means the tables have turned and the Reds have no momentum to fall back on come the Final on Saturday. The Reds are currently 2.34 to complete a domestic cup double, while Chelsea are 1.72 favourites.
Moreover, when Liverpool last lifted this trophy back in 2006, they went into the final against West Ham on the back of 11 successive wins in all competitions. This time round, it's five defeats and just five wins in their previous 11 outings. Chelsea, meanwhile, are 11 unbeaten in all competitions heading into this evening's meeting with Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.
And FA Cup history suggests Liverpool might have blown it already. Seven of the last ten winners of the competition won their fixture immediately before the final, including each of the last three.
But the omens aren't all bad.
In 2008, Portsmouth had lost each of their previous four matches leading up to the final, culminating in a 1-0 home defeat to Fulham, while Chelsea failed to win any of five matches in all competitions before an extra-time Didier Drogba goal saw off Manchester United at Wembley in 2007.