Fulham vs Liverpool
Sunday’s marquee Premier League tie played out a short time ago.
Liverpool faced a trip to Fulham, aiming to keep pace with table-topping Tottenham.
The Reds, despite their injury woes, headed into the clash in fine form, and even started the weekend with the best attacking record in the Premier League.
Fulham, on the other hand, sat down in 17th, having conceded 21 goals in 11 outings so far this season.
But, when all was said and done at Craven Cottage, a gutsy showing on the part of the hosts saw Liverpool forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Fulham on top
Mario Lemina’s speculative effort inside two minutes marked the first chance of the clash, as Fulham started brightly.
Fabinho was then forced into making some solid tackles and blocks to prevent another opportunity for Scott Parker’s men.
Ivan Cavaleiro, though, managed to get a shot off minutes later, forcing a good save out of Alisson as the home side continued to dominate.
The Brazilian then denied Cavaleiro with another superb stop 14 minutes in.
Incredibly, the Fulham winger was then at it again minutes later, this time forcing Fabinho into a rather risky tackle, which was eventually decided as not worthy of a penalty, following a lengthy VAR review.
Surprisingly, Fulham continued to completely dominate the champions as proceedings wore on, with Ademola Lookman having forced another fine save out of Alisson 24 minutes in.
Then, finally, the home side were rewarded for their stellar start.
Liverpool didn’t clear well enough from the corner which resulted from Lookman’s aforementioned strike.
And, in turn, the wide-man slipped in Bobby Reid, who fired Parker’s hosts into a deserved lead.
What a finish! 💥
Bobby Decordova-Reid fires Fulham ahead against the champions – the #FFC fans enjoyed that one! 🤍
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 13, 2020
Liverpool’s first decent chance of the evening didn’t come until the 39th minute. Sadio Mane found himself free at the back post, but headed over from Curtis Jones’ cross.
Just when Jurgen Klopp’s side began to gain a foothold in the tie, however, the half-time whistle blew, with Fulham boasting a deserved 1-0 lead.
Liverpool miss chance to go top
Klopp made one change at the break, albeit not tactical, with the German having introduced Takumi Minamino for the injured Joel Matip.
This, of course, came on the same day that the German confirmed both Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas are set for lengthy spells on the sidelines.
Matip suffering from pain in his back https://t.co/Q9TrIgx0Ul
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) December 13, 2020
The change in question saw Jordan Henderson moved to a centre-back role, leaving Liverpool without a single recognised centre-back on the pitch.
Despite losing Matip, though, the Reds did start the second 45 fairly well.
Henderson came close to levelling things up just after the hour-mark, but Alphonse Areola saved well to deny the midfielder.
Barring that effort, however, Liverpool struggled to carve out clear-cut opportunities, with Fulham, despite their record this season, having continued to defend well, and keep a disciplined shape.
Unfortunately for the Cottagers, though, 15 minutes from time, the ludicrous handball rule cost them a penalty.
Mohamed Salah stepped up to convert the ensuing spot-kick, dealing the hosts a major blow.
🎙 | “You may not like the law, but that is the law!”
Mo Salah fires #LFC level from the spot!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 13, 2020
A surging run from Jones nearly saw Liverpool add a second shortly after, but Areola saved well.
In the end, though, Liverpool were unable to muster up a crucial 2nd, as the final whistle blew with the score at 1-1, and the points shared. Klopp’s men have now dropped 11 points already this season, compared to the 15 they let slip away throughout the entirety of last season.
Their latest result also means that, despite Tottenham dropping points earlier in the day, Liverpool have failed to regain top spot in the Premier League, remaining behind the Lilywhites on goal difference.
This makes Wednesday’s showdown between the two sides an even more intriguing one when it comes to this season’s title race.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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