Liverpool fans hoping the Kolo Touré project ends soon have more ammunition for their arguments, with the another error by the veteran defender giving last place Fulham an early lead at Craven Cottage. Despite nice work from Lewis Holtby and Kieran Richardson down Fulham’s left, there was little beyond defender error to explain the eighth minute own goal goal.
Holtby, having drifted wide left, played a perfectly weighted ball behind the defense for a charging Richardson, who tracked the pass down just before the byline, well wide of goal. The winger’s hopeful ball across to top of the six-yard box met a well-positioned Touré.
Without any Fulham attackers near him, the Ivorian defender had plenty to time to take a touch, if he wanted. Even playing it first time, the ball represented an easier clearance than Touré’s likely to see throughout the rest of today’s match.
But instead of firing the ball upfield, Touré shanked his attempted clearance into his own net, looking more like a low-level AYSO player than somebody playing at the highest level of English soccer. Seeing the ball go off the outside of his right foot and into Simon Mignolet’s goal, Touré could do nothing but stare incredulously at his second major embarrassment in three games.
On Feb. 2 at The Hawthorns, a 67th minute Touré pass across the top of his penalty area was intercepted by Victor Anichebe, who was left with an uncontested shot on Mignolet. The goal gave West Bromwich Albion a 1-1 draw – Liverpool’s only blemish in their last four games.
With Daniel Agger just returning to health and Mamadou Sahko injured, Brendan Rodgers has few options in central defense. But if Agger, on the bench today, can regain match fitness ahead of Sunday’s visit to Arsenal, the Liverpool’s painful Kolo Touré project may be over soon.