Liverpool 2-0 Fulham: Reds bag routine win to return to the top of the Premier League


Liverpool ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against a dejected Fulham side to regain their place at the top of the table ahead of the international break. The Reds have endured a tough week with a sombre 2-0 shock defeat against Red Star Belgrade leaving their Champions League hopes up in the air while a 1-1 draw against Arsenal enabled Manchester City to widen the gap in the Premier League.

It wasn’t the best start from Klopp’s side, who struggled to get going in the opening exchanges with Fulham able to restrict their rhythm and expose defensive lapses.

In fact, it was the visitors who had the ball in the back of the net first via Mitrovic’s header but the strike was correctly judged as offside. From there, it took just 14 seconds for Mohamed Salah to slide the ball in at the other end; quick thinking from Alisson saw him find Trent Alexander-Arnold, playing Salah into a one-on-one situation that was only ever going to lead to one outcome. The goal enhanced his already impressive scoring record at Anfield to 34 goals in just 36 appearances. Alisson however kicked the ball illegally out when it was still rolling, denying the Fulham defenders vital seconds to recover their shape. If the disallowing of Fulham’s goal was close and debatable, the decision to allow Alisson’s restart to stand was flat out wrong.

Xherdan Shaqiri, who was left out of the midweek trip to Belgrade due to safety concerns following a controversial celebration during the World Cup, made his mark upon a return to the starting eleven. Andy Robertson bombed down the flank before delivering a deep cross that was perfectly volleyed into the corner. The goal means that Shaqiri has now managed three assists and two goals in his last six games for Liverpool in all competitions, reflecting the positive start he’s made at Anfield.

As for Fulham, they only had themselves to blame after some comical defending saw Cyrus Christie leave acres for the Swiss international, consequently inflicting the London club with their seventh straight loss in all competitions and enhancing pressure on manager Slavisa Jokanovic.

Despite looking a little suspect in defence, Klopp will be delighted with his team’s ability to bag another clean sheet. Conceding just five league goals this year, they’ve made a stark improvement on last season – which saw them ship 17 inside the opening twelve games – and it’s of little surprise improved foundations have enabled them to mount a very real title challenge thus far.

Taking 30 points from a possible 36, this marks their best ever tally after 12 games in the Premier League era. Fulham remain marooned at the bottom.


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