Liverpool 4 - 3 Fulham
Liverpool: Alexander-Arnold 20’ & 88’, Mac Allister 39’, Endo 86’
Fulham: Wilson 24’, Tete 45+5’, De Cordova-Reid 80’
As expected, Caomhin Kelleher will be in goal to replace the injured Alisson Becker, but expectations are high going into this match. Mohamed Salah also has the chance to make history today, reaching 200 Liverpool goals if he ends up scoring against the woeful Fulham this year. Keeping warm in what looks a miserable day will be paramount if we want anything from this match, so lots of running ahead.
Fulham themselves have also made a couple changes following their win over Wolves last weekend, with former Liverpool academy graduate Harry Wilson appearing in front (and we unfortunately know he only scores bangers).
Liverpool are off to their characteristic quick start with Luis Diaz able to take a chance at goal that just misses. It becomes clear that this will be one of those early scoring games, or conversely the opposite when nothing goes our way despite every shot. Salah even has the ball in the back of the net just before ten minutes in but is ruled offside and Fulham goalkeeper Bernd Leno goes down injured, receiving a lengthy amount of treatment for a possible concussion. After five minutes he’s up and bandaged, and able to continue.
Dominik Szoboszlai wins a free kick just outside the box - a perfect place for Trent Alexander-Arnold, honestly. The defender shoots and scores the first goal of the day for Liverpool, with the ball going just off the crossbar and then right into the net! The Reds are fully energized by the goal and go on the charge, taking full control for the next spell of time.
Unfortunately, though, Fulham are able to pounce on one small mistake and capitalize on it, with the aforementioned Wilson shooting right between Kelleher’s legs to put the visitors level. So it’s going to be like that, isn’t it. Fulham have found their heads and are putting up more of a fight following their goal, so we’ve got a proper game here. What matters is how Liverpool will respond going into the last bits of the first half. Kostas Tsimikas takes a free quick towards goal that almost finds the head of Joël Matip but just misses, as the Redmen look to take the lead again before the break.
AND THERE IT IS! After a good spell of play pushing towards the goal, Alexis Mac Allister gets his first of the season, in stunning fashion, scoring from outside to put Liverpool ahead again! It is short lived though, as Fulham recover well and to win a corner in stoppage time that leads to their second goal despite a lengthy VAR check, and it’s all level once again. Things are starting to unravel a little for the Reds as Fulham score off of another corner, though this one is more quickly ruled offside. We’re going well past ten added minutes into this half, so the second half will certainly be an endurance test.
A very full first half is over and we roll into the second, all level after two goals apiece and some real shaky defending on Liverpool’s part, but no one makes any changes going into the second half. The Reds start quickly once again but Fulham seem up for the task of chasing them down and making sure they make more mistakes like the first half. So far Salah has been the unluckiest one, unable to find that ultimate goal - even in selflessness, dribbling deep into the final third before laying it off to Darwin Núñez, who hits the crossbar with such force the Annie Road end could see it shaking.
Liverpool have shakily taken control throughout these opening minutes of the second half, with plenty of chances and doing much better to shut down Fulham’s attack when they win back the ball. Núñez has really been the unlucky one with every chance he’s taken unable to end up in the back of the net, but it isn’t for lack of trying. Liverpool make two changes in the 66th minute, with Szoboszlai coming off for Joe Gomez, and Mac Allister making way for Cody Gakpo. Trent moves further into midfield, as Joe takes over the right back role, so we’ll hopefully see good results of that shift. Shortly after the restart Matip goes down and Ibrahima Konate is brought on in his place, hopefully shoring up the shaky defense side of things.
The tempo has slowed considerably since the changes, but Liverpool get back into the final third, with Luis Diaz taking a very Origi-esque header that just goes over. There is a third goal coming, we just have to manifest it into reality - preferably from Darwin. Konate has been a lot more reliable since coming on, though it hasn’t resulted in that winning goal for the Reds just yet. Fulham look gassed here in the 76th minute, struggling to even make a throw in (or they’re just time wasting), but it was enough to conjure a chance that was saved by Kelleher.
Another defensive error leads to that third goal, but not the one we wanted, as Fulham take the lead in the 80th minute. Liverpool’s last sub come shortly after, with Endo coming on for Gravenberch to hopefully force some mistakes by Fulham and win back a point. Another missed chance, this time from a corner, and that may have been the last chance we’ll have to preserve our Anfield record.
JUST KIDDING WATARU ENDO FINDS THE THIRD GOAL AND ITS ALL SQUARE AGAIN!!! The Reds are reinvigorated, Fulham look shocked and IT’S TRENT THAT FINDS THE FOURTH! Seven minutes of added time in this half and the most important thing is holding onto this lead, as they’ve given it away every time. It was nervy, it was nail biting, but in the end, the final whistle goes.
Despite every appearance to the contrary, LIVERPOOL DID THE THING. They were able to find a win despite a very organized and ruthless Fulham side that have taken advantage of every mistake by the Reds. This win puts Liverpool in second place on the table, at least until the result of the Manchester City match later in the day goes through.