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Fulham nears drop; Reading slides toward danger
April 21st, 2008 6:31AM
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[AMERICANS ABROARD]The chances that nine English Premier League Americans will be relegated increased over weekend as Fulham fell, 2-0, to Liverpool and Reading fell, 2-0, to Arsenal. Derby, which was doomed long ago, lost, 2-1, to West Ham. With three games left, Fulham, which has five Americans in its ranks, is second-to-last and five points from safety. Reading is one point about the drop zone with three games left.

Liverpool, which rested most of its regular starters for Tuesday's Champions League semifinal, opened the scoring on in the 17th minute when Jermaine Pennant's high shoot flew between Kasey Keller and his near post. The Independent's game report described the shot as savable while The Times of London wrote that the American keeper "stood statuesque and watched as the ball drifted past him into the goal."

Peter Crouch scored Liverpool's second on a low shot that Keller reached but failed to block.

Brian McBride and Clint Dempsey, who was Fulham's highest rated player by The Independent, also started. Carlos Bocanegra remained on the bench and ailing Eddie Johnson did not suit up.

Goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann and midfielder Bobby Convey, who forced a good save from Arsenal keeper Jens Lehmann, both went the full 90 in Reading's loss.

In Derby's 26th loss of the season, Eddie Lewis went the distance while Benny Feilhaber stayed on the bench.


BOTTOM FIVE
16. Bolton 32 (-20)
17. Reading 32 (-28)
-----------------------------------
18. Birmingham 31 (-17)
19. Fulham 27 (-26)
20. Derby 11 (-59)
*Relegated. (goal difference in parentheses)

 



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