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Fulham 2, Liverpool 3: First Thoughts

Liverpool struggled to find their footing following an early Kolo Toure own goal, but persevered and in the end earned all three points when Steven Gerrard converted a penalty in stoppage time.

Michael Regan

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Fulham 2 Toure (OG) 8', Richardson 63'
Liverpool 3 Sturridge 41', Coutinho 72', Gerrard 90+1' (pen)

  • An unchanged starting eleven wasn't a surprise, and as most expected heading in, Rodgers kept Coutinho inside to help Gerrard and Henderson in midfield while Suarez started on the left. Formations and tactics, though, don't much seem to matter in the face of colossal individual errors.

  • And speaking of colossal individual errors, um, Kolo? Yeah, it'd be swell if you could stop doing stupid things deep in your own end. Like passing it to opponents and slicing easy clearances into your own goal. Thanks.

  • Shockingly it turns out an underdog being gifted a goal can tend to energise said underdog while knocking the favourites off their game, and for much of the first half it was a buoyed Fulham side that looked the top four contenders while a wobbly, disjointed Liverpool struggled to hang on.

  • Of all Liverpool's struggling attackers, Daniel Sturridge was having by far the worst night. But when given a clear chance, he didn't miss—even if all anybody will quite rightly be talking about is Steven Gerrard's brilliant pass to put him clear on goal as the half wound down.

  • Liverpool were much improved in the second, but there were still concerns—along with Sturridge drifting out of the game again following his goal, Sterling and Coutinho repeatedly missed simple passes, and Flanagan had probably his worst game since breaking into the lineup. But, on the whole, things were beginning to look up.

  • After Suarez hit the post, though, Liverpool were punished for failing to turn that improved play into goals when Skrtel and Flanagan conspired to turn the ball over to Kieran Richardson in front of goal. The Fulham player hammered it past Mignolet to put the hosts back in front.

  • The goal seemed to finally, fully wake Liverpool, and soon Coutinho pulled the visitors level. A scary moment followed when Maarten Stekelenburg dove to smother a ball just as Suarez looked to kick it, knocking the Fulham keeper out and forcing a change between the sticks.

  • In the end it was far, far more difficult than it should have been, but the stoppage time penalty earned by Daniel Sturridge and converted by Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool the three points they desperately needed in a match where to earn anything less would have gone down as failure.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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