Dempsey downs 10-man Liverpool
Fulham striker Clint Dempsey struck a late winner as Liverpool's outstanding form on the road ended with a controversial 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage.
Dempsey stabbed home a long-range 85th-minute shot by Danny Murphy that had bounced off the arms of Jose Reina, to secure only Fulham's third Barclays Premier League win of the season.
However, a sense of grievance cloaked Liverpool's night after they were denied a strong claim to a penalty and a legitimate goal from Luis Suarez was disallowed for offside, before Jay Spearing was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Moussa Dembele.
Philippe Senderos hacked down Charlie Adam with referee Kevin Friend claiming the tackle was executed just outside the area in what was a desperately tight call. Worse was to come when Suarez produced a brilliant finish after jinking his way clear, only for a flag to be raised even though the Uruguay striker was onside.
The final insult was delivered in the 72nd minute when Spearing, making his first Premier League start of the season, was dismissed.
Spearing, who had replaced knee-injury victim Lucas Leiva in the starting line-up, caught Dembele with a sliding challenge, but only after cleanly winning the ball in what was a harsh call.
The killer blow landed with six minutes of normal time remaining, starting with Murphy pulling the trigger from well outside the area.
Reina failed to control the ball and the lurking Dempsey was able to convert from close range
The result denied Liverpool a record-equalling seventh successive away win in all competitions as they endured their first defeat in 12 games.
They dominated long spells of the game and were unlucky not to snatch a last-gasp point when Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer produced a stunning save to tip substitute Stewart Downing's shot on to the left-hand post in a frantic climax.