Liverpool failed to win their league season opener for only the second time of the Jurgen Klopp era, drawing away to Fulham 2-2 despite mounting a furious comeback.
Twice down through goals from the Championship’s record scorer, Alexander Mitrovic, the visiting Reds fought back and only the frame of the goal prevented captain Jordan Henderson’s long-range strike from snatching the win in extra time.
Pressed back and down a goal by the newly-promoted side after the first half of play, the 50th minute introduction of big money striker Darwin Nunez for his debut sparked the Reds to life. The Uruguayan began putting shots on target from the moment he came on, finally managing to flick home from close range from Mohamed Salah’s deflected cross.
Nunez returned the favor moments later, helping Trent’s long ball into the box into the Egyptian’s path to tie the game again after Mitrovic scored his second through a dubious penalty. It was Salah’s club record sixth opening day goal.
However, despite the energy injections of James Milner late on as well as ex-Fulham players Fabio Carvalho and Harvey Elliott, the Cottagers were able to do just enough to hang on for the point.
“Best thing about the game is the result,” Klopp admitted in his post-match interview. “We played a really bad game. The attitude was not right at the start.”
“The result is fine. We didn’t deserve more, but the performance is massively improvable.”
“We never had momentum. We could have won the game as we had the bigger chances, but we probably didn’t deserve to win.”
The Reds will have nine days until their next fixture in the league against Crystal Palace to mull over a disappointing opening day result.