Martin Skrtel's own goal earned Fulham their first win at Anfield as Liverpool warmed up for the FA Cup final in the worst possible fashion.
In a much-changed side, Liverpool were flat throughout and went behind when Skrtel turned in following John Arne Riise's cross after five minutes.
Andy Carroll's header was saved and Brede Hangeland cleared off the line.
But Kerim Frei hit the post and Clint Dempsey should have scored only to be denied by Reds keeper Alexander Doni.
In a tepid encounter, Liverpool failed to carry on the momentum gained by a 3-0 victory at Norwich last Saturday.
And the defeat continued a poor run which means Kenny Dalglish's side have only won three Premier League games in their last 13.
Liverpool have still only won five league games at Anfield this season while Fulham, who recovered from a 4-0 defeat by Everton last weekend, move level with their hosts on 49 points.
There is also now the danger that the Reds could finish out side the top eight for the first time since 1954, when they were relegated.
With nine changes to the team that beat Norwich on Saturday, it was clear where Dalglish's priorities lay.
Yet having asked his team to prove themselves ahead of the Wembley trip to face Chelsea, they were as subdued as the Anfield atmosphere in the first period.
Did you know?
Before this game, Fulham had never won in 41 top-flight league visits to Merseyside to play either Liverpool or Everton
Following Skrtel's unfortunate opener, Pavel Pogrebnyak could have made it a nightmare cup final rehearsal, but the Russian could not find enough power to beat Doni from Dempsey's chipped pass.
It took until half-way through the first period before the hosts had a meaningful effort, with Dirk Kuyt firing wide.
Indeed, it was Fulham's Alex Kacaniklic, a former Liverpool academy player, who looked the most dangerous player as Fulham continued to probe.
Both Liverpool's top scorer this season, Luis Suarez, and skipper Steven Gerrard were given the night off and as wise it may have appeared to omit the pair, the wholesale changes checked any optimism surrounding the club.
Mark Schwarzer almost gifted Liverpool an equaliser, but Hangeland cleared Jonjo Shelvey's shot off the line, and Carroll had a header saved.
But once Hangeland again saved Fulham's skin by tackling Maxi Rodriguez as he shaped to shoot, the visitors were in the ascendancy after the break.
Having been battered across Stanley Park at Goodison last weekend, Fulham were again without manager Martin Jol because of a chest infection, but they almost doubled their lead when Frei cut in from the right and smacked a shot against the post.
The introduction of 17-year-old Raheem Sterling drew a loud cheer from the Anfield crowd, which summed up the mood inside the stadium.
And it almost turned sour when Frei put Dempsey clean through on the edge of the area, but the American's shot was well saved.
Still, this was hardly a perfect appetiser for Wembley and the performance did little to lift the gloom surrounding Anfield this season.
- 32 Doni
- 06 Aurelio (Jose Enrique - 65' )
- 16 Coates
- 34 Kelly
- 37 Skrtel
- 11 Maxi
- 14 Henderson (Downing - 46' )
- 20 Spearing
- 33 Shelvey
- 09 Carroll
- 18 Kuyt (Raheem Sterling - 76' )
- 01 Jones
- 03 Jose Enrique
- 23 Carragher
- 38 Flanagan
- 49 Robinson
- 19 Downing
- 31 Raheem Sterling
- 01 Schwarzer
- 02 Kelly
- 03 JA Riise
- 05 Hangeland
- 18 Hughes
- 13 Murphy
- 16 Duff
- 23 Dempsey
- 31 Kacaniklic (Frei - 58' )
- 07 Pogrebniak (Etuhu - 80' )
- 30 Dembele (Baird - 86' )
- 12 Stockdale
- 06 Baird
- 28 Briggs
- 10 Kasami
- 20 Etuhu
- 21 Frei
- 09 Sa
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee ends the match.90:00 +3:54
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Raheem Sterling by Danny Murphy. Sanchez Jose Enrique crosses the ball in from the free kick, Chris Baird makes a clearance.90:00 +2:03
Stephen Kelly gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Carroll. Jonjo Shelvey has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.90:00 +0:41
The ball is delivered by Sanchez Jose Enrique, save made by Mark Schwarzer.90:00 +0:23
Corner taken by Rodriguez Maxi from the right by-line played to the near post.89:57
Corner from the left by-line taken by Jonjo Shelvey, Brede Hangeland manages to make a clearance.88:30
Raheem Sterling crosses the ball, save by Mark Schwarzer.86:59
The ball is sent over by Martin Kelly.84:55 Substitution
Substitution Chris Baird comes on in place of Moussa Dembele.84:26
Sanchez Jose Enrique sends in a cross, clearance by Brede Hangeland.84:03
Free kick awarded for a foul by Brede Hangeland on Andy Carroll. Martin Skrtel takes the free kick.82:37
Sebastian Coates gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Moussa Dembele. John Arne Riise takes the free kick.82:05
Stewart Downing is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Mark Schwarzer takes the indirect free kick.80:33
The ball is crossed by Martin Kelly, clearance by Brede Hangeland.79:18 Substitution
Substitution Pavel Pogrebnyak goes off and Dickson Etuhu comes on.78:33
Pavel Pogrebnyak takes a shot. Blocked by Sebastian Coates.77:50
Clint Dempsey takes a shot. Save by Alexander Doni.75:07 Substitution
Substitution Raheem Sterling replaces Dirk Kuyt.75:07
Foul by Jay Spearing on Kerim Frei, free kick awarded. John Arne Riise takes the free kick.73:21
The referee gives a free kick against Andy Carroll for handball. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.
Martin Kelly concedes a free kick for a foul on Kerim Frei. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.71:09
Long distance shot from John Arne Riise misses to the left of the net.69:20
Corner taken by Jonjo Shelvey from the right by-line, clearance by Aaron Hughes.69:12
Centre by Dirk Kuyt, clearance made by Moussa Dembele.68:32
Clint Dempsey is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Sanchez Jose Enrique restarts play with the free kick.66:36
Unfair challenge on Kerim Frei by Jay Spearing results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.64:40 Substitution
Substitution Sanchez Jose Enrique is brought on as a substitute for Fabio Aurelio.64:40
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Clint Dempsey by Fabio Aurelio. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.63:39
Fabio Aurelio produces a cross, Header by Andy Carroll from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.63:33
The ball is sent over by Stewart Downing, Aaron Hughes manages to make a clearance.62:50
John Arne Riise takes a shot. Alexander Doni gets a block in.61:51
Shot from just outside the penalty area by Kerim Frei misses to the left of the target.60:51
The ball is delivered by Stephen Kelly, clearance made by Martin Kelly.58:48
Centre by Fabio Aurelio, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.58:06
Fabio Aurelio takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Pavel Pogrebnyak.57:50
Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. Blocked by Brede Hangeland.57:06 Substitution
Substitution Kerim Frei is brought on as a substitute for Alex Kacaniklic.56:47
The ball is delivered by Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.55:28
Stewart Downing produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.55:23
Fabio Aurelio crosses the ball, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.55:13
Fabio Aurelio crosses the ball, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.53:07
The official flags Dirk Kuyt offside. Mark Schwarzer takes the free kick.52:20
Corner taken left-footed by Damien Duff to the near post, Header from close range by Clint Dempsey misses to the right of the goal.49:09
The referee blows for offside against Dirk Kuyt. Aaron Hughes restarts play with the free kick.48:00
Jay Spearing takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.45:51
Shot from just outside the area by Jonjo Shelvey goes over the bar.45:01
The second half has started.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Stewart Downing comes on in place of Jordan Henderson.45:00 +1:07 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.45:00 +0:11
Shot by Andy Carroll from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.44:20
Fabio Aurelio delivers the ball, Andy Carroll takes a shot. Save by Mark Schwarzer.43:11
Dirk Kuyt crosses the ball, save by Mark Schwarzer.42:30
Jonjo Shelvey has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the goal.40:59
Dirk Kuyt delivers the ball, Close range effort by Rodriguez Maxi clears the crossbar.39:45
The ball is swung over by Sebastian Coates, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.37:14
Aaron Hughes fouled by Martin Skrtel, the ref awards a free kick. Stephen Kelly restarts play with the free kick.36:18
Free kick awarded for a foul by Pavel Pogrebnyak on Dirk Kuyt. Dirk Kuyt takes the free kick.35:22
Corner taken right-footed by Jonjo Shelvey, Rodriguez Maxi has a header from inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.33:26
Unfair challenge on Andy Carroll by Moussa Dembele results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Jay Spearing.32:45
Rodriguez Maxi is caught offside. Free kick taken by Mark Schwarzer.32:04
Centre by Martin Kelly, Brede Hangeland makes a clearance.30:40
Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Save made by Mark Schwarzer.28:30
Dirk Kuyt challenges Alex Kacaniklic unfairly and gives away a free kick. John Arne Riise restarts play with the free kick.27:30
Jonjo Shelvey takes a shot. Clearance made by Brede Hangeland.25:15
Foul by Martin Kelly on Alex Kacaniklic, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.23:23
Dirk Kuyt produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the net.22:46
A cross is delivered by Jonjo Shelvey, clearance made by Brede Hangeland.20:46
Jordan Henderson concedes a free kick for a foul on Pavel Pogrebnyak. Danny Murphy takes the direct free kick.19:00
Shot by Rodriguez Maxi from outside the box goes over the net.16:42
The referee blows for offside against Andy Carroll. Mark Schwarzer takes the indirect free kick.15:55
Corner taken by Damien Duff from the left by-line, Andy Carroll manages to make a clearance.14:48
Pavel Pogrebnyak takes a shot. Save by Alexander Doni. Danny Murphy takes the inswinging corner, Dirk Kuyt manages to make a clearance.12:39
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Damien Duff by Fabio Aurelio. Danny Murphy restarts play with the free kick.12:14
Martin Skrtel fouled by Clint Dempsey, the ref awards a free kick. Jay Spearing takes the free kick.10:25
Corner taken by Danny Murphy.8:20
Shot from outside the box by Jordan Henderson goes wide right of the target.6:42
Unfair challenge on Andy Carroll by Danny Murphy results in a free kick. Centre by Fabio Aurelio, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Martin Skrtel misses to the right of the target.4:50
Assist by Alex Kacaniklic.4:50 Goal scored
Goal! - Martin Skrtel - Liverpool 0 - 1 Fulham An own goal is scored by Martin Skrtel. Liverpool 0-1 Fulham.4:12
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonjo Shelvey on Moussa Dembele. Free kick taken by Danny Murphy.0:00
The game begins.
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