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Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 24 March, 2019
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And so the pendulum swings back in favour of the Reds.

Liverpool are at relegation-threatened Fulham this afternoon knowing a win will bring them back to the top of the Premier League – albeit having played a game more than Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp will have taken heart from his side’s performance against Bayern Munich and the battle on both domestic and European fronts continue when they meet Porto in the Champions League quarter-final stages.

But for now, the Liverpool boss is interested only in matters at Craven Cottage.

They meet a Fulham team desperate to get points on the board.

Scott Parker is still searching for a first win as Cottagers boss since taking over from Claudio Ranieri and, in truth, he couldn’t have asked for a tougher test.

10 defeats in their last 11 games makes for sobering reading – life in the Championship next season becoming almost an inevitability for the home side. 

Stay tuned – we’ll be bringing you all the minute-by-minute action from today’s game.

Tweet us @the42_ie or @cian_roche – let us know how you think today’s game will go in the comments section below.

Team News

Good news, Liverpool fans! Attacking trio Firmino, Mané and Salah are all included in today’s starting line-up.

There were question marks as to whether Mané would be fit for today’s game – but he is part of the Reds’ potent trident up top.

How crucial could this man be to Fulham’s chances of snatching an unlikely victory this afternoon? 

Aleksandar  Mitrović is named up front for the home side as is former Liverpool player, Ryan Babel.

Fulham v Liverpool - Premier League - Craven Cottage Source: Adam Davy

So, how do we think this one is going to play out?

Can Fulham spring an upset or will Liverpool be back on top of the league by teatime?


Poll Results:

Liverpool win (219)
Fulham win (24)
Draw (17)



Your say…

“Any sort of win will do,” says Robert Clifford in our comments section.

Does seem to be the prevailing thought today, although with the strength Liverpool have in their team you could expect this to be a rout.

I mean, that forward line up against the leakiest defence in the league (conceding a whopping 68 goals in 30 games).

“Should be an easy 3pts,” concurs David Weston.

We shall soon see. Kick-off fast approaching.

“The world thinks this is a formality,” says Graeme Souness.

A fair assessment?

We’re five minutes from kick off so go stick the kettle on, have a brew and settle in for this afternoon’s game.

Fulham v Liverpool - Premier League - Craven Cottage Source: Adam Davy

1Mins

Kick-off

We’re underway…

6Mins

Not much to report from the opening five minutes of play. Fulham have the bulk of the possession, but they struggle to work it into the Liverpool third. Babel drops out onto the left wing, but he’s closed down as he tries to run at the back four.

Mo Salah has what could most generously be described as a half chance, pressuring Chambers into a mistake but his shot into the turf bobbles harmlessly wide.

9Mins

A bit of hoof ball as opposition goalkeepers send it back and forth into the opposition half.

Alisson tries to kick start an attack from the back but it’s cut out. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson look keen to push forward any chance they get. No clear-cut chances up to this point. 

Seri’s effort from the edge of the box is over the bar.

12Mins

Good chance there from Liverpool, Robertson makes his way down the left wing and Van Dijk picks him out with a raking cross-field pass.

He skips pass the challenge of Fosu-Mensah, but his low cross is easily gathered by Sergio Rico. Not much to shout about other than that.

Fulham remaining resolute, but really Liverpool haven’t been up to an awful lot.

16Mins

Liverpool beginning to press a few more men forward. Alexander-Arnold whips in a dangerous looking cross, but can’t find Firmino.

They look pretty patient at the moment, Liverpool. Not afraid to spread it across the back four. 

Robertson has a chance on the left, lays it off to Mané and it comes back to Robertson. He dinks it into the box for the on-rushing Mané… but it just gets stuck under his feet. Out for a goalkick.

Liverpool probing, but still not clear-cut chances.

20Mins

Great chance their for Liverpool! Salah wins a corner as he attacks down the right-hand side. From the resulting corner, Matip has pretty much a free header and can’t guide it goalward.

Wasn’t in the best position to score, admittedly, but should be really testing the goalkeeper. 

Liverpool upping the tempo now.

23Mins

Midway point of the first half. Bar the header, there’s been sweet all else.

Don’t know how impressed these crude Salah impersonators will be… 

Fulham v Liverpool - Premier League - Craven Cottage Source: Adam Davy

Flag 45Mins

GOOOOAAAALLL! Well, if there was going to be a goal it was going to come from Liverpool. Sadio Mané gives the visitors the lead!

Robertson and Mané link up with Mané dropping out on the left hand side He slips a pass to Firmino, who takes the ball to the byline.

Cutting it back to the penalty spot, Mané delivers the finish from close range. Well-worked goal from Liverpool. 1-0.

Fulham v Liverpool - Premier League - Craven Cottage Source: Adam Davy

30Mins

I knew that was going to happen – the very next update after ‘sweet all else’ and there’d be a goal. Typical.

Anyway, the goal has come from good wide play which has been a staple of Liverpool’s play so far this afternoon.

Mané, in this instance, dropping deeper to pick up possession and with his ability on the ball and Robertson’s marauding runs forward they were always going to stretch the Fulham defence.

Fulham have sparked to life a little bit since the goal. Bryan’s cross skids harmlessly wide.

33Mins

Here’s that opening Liverpool goal for those out and about this afternoon…

37Mins

Chance! Robertson plays a give and go to get himself in the Fulham box, but his shot is straight at Sergio Rico.

Meanwhile, Ryan Babel comes up the other end and feeds Cairney – whose shot is skied over the bar.

Fulham keeping it really compact at the back now. Surprising to see Liverpool get in behind as often as they do considering how many players the home side have behind the ball. 

10 by my count – Mitrovic the only exception. Fabinho picks up a yellow card for a challenge on Cairney.

43Mins

Fosu-Mensah really has his work cut out for him this afternoon with Mané/Robertson.

Fulham pressing to find any sort of lifeline before the break. Liverpool have squandered their fair share of attacking opportunities this afternoon – the final pass or touch hasn’t been all quite there.

That said, they’ve been the better side. Well deserved lead, but really should be ahead by more.

Flag 46Mins

HT: Fulham 0-1 Liverpool 

Mané’s goal the difference at Craven Cottage this afternoon, Liverpool more dominant in possession as the half wore on.

Well worked goal from wide, Robertson has been key to Liverpool’s attacking output this afternoon. As for Fulham – nothing in the way of chances.

Just before we head back over to the action – let us know what you thought of the opening 45 minutes?

Get in touch in the comments section below…

45Mins

We’re back underway…

50Mins

Chance! Firmino has his flick from Wijnaldum’s cross blocked.

Milner was out warming up at half-time but he’s not come into the fold as of yet. Liverpool have made a fast start to this second half, a couple of dangerous crosses being whipped in.

Alexander-Arnold’s cross finds Mané at the back stick but he’s crowded out. Liverpool on the hunt for a second.

53Mins

OVER THE BAR! Robertson crosses in for Firmino who heads over from close range.

Mané is tackled in the box in the build up to that goal but doesn’t look like a penalty. Liverpool exploiting the space on the left wing, seems to be where most of the attacking play is coming from.

A few moments later, corner for Liverpool. Tantalisingly close to Matip, but he can’t connect.

58Mins

SAVE! Sergio Rico makes a good stop from Virgil Van Dijk’s headed effort. All Liverpool now, spraying balls into the corners and getting crosses in.

Fulham v Liverpool - Premier League - Craven Cottage Source: Adam Davy

62Mins

Just past the hour mark. Fulham feeding off scraps, with Van Dijk doing most of the mopping up for the visitors.

Fulham do however win a corner as the rain starts to come down. The supporters find their voice. They go short. Seri crosses for Mitrovic. The forward is smothered by red shirts and coughs up possession.

Liverpool break from the corner but it comes to nothing.

63Mins

FULHAM HAVE THE BALL IN THE NET! But it’s offside.

A warning sign for Liverpool who have things pretty much their own way so far. A deflected shot finds Ayité’s head who nods past Alisson.

Liverpool’s line is good though and Fulham are caught with four (4!) offside players.

66Mins

Liverpool continue to press for a second goal

67Mins

Fulham spark to life from a Liverpool corner – at one point they have a 3 v 1 situation running into the Liverpool half.

They can’t make the most of their numerical advantage and Salah is among those Liverpool players tracking back.

Anguissa gets a shot away in the end and it’s a very good save from Alisson to hang onto the ball.

Still life left in Fulham yet.

72Mins

Babel tries to slip a neat pass through to Mitrovic but Alisson comes out to clear.

Double substitution for Liverpool.

- Roberto Firmino off for Divock Origi

- Adam Lallana off for James Milner

73Mins

OFF THE BAR! Sadio Mané heads at the front post from a corner, the ball loops up and comes off the top of the bar.

Fosu-Mensah makes way for Ireland’s Cyrus Christie.

Flag 76Mins

GOOOOAAAAL!!! Fulham are level through former Liverpool forward, Ryan Babel.

Milner miskicks from a goalkick and it’s flies up in the air. A mix up between Van Dijk and Alisson at the edge of the box means the ball bounces by them both and Babel taps it home from close range.

Dear oh dear. 

78Mins

How this game is 1-1, considering the chances Liverpool have had and the relative lack of chances Fulham have had in comparison, I don’t know.

Milner not really at fault at all for that goal, just a miskick on his part. Van Dijk and Alisson must do better and all of a sudden Liverpool are looking for a winner with about 15 minutes left.

Unbelievable shift in the outlook of this game.

Flag 80Mins

PENALTY LIVERPOOL!

Sergio Rico spills Salah’s shot and Mané pounces on the loose ball. He’s dragged down.

Milner steps up…

GOOOAALLLLL!!!

83Mins

Straight down the middle from James Milner makes it 2-1 to Liverpool.

That second goal was probably coming given the pressure Liverpool had been putting on. Awful error from Sergio Rico really. Probably a bit of slick on the ball which makes it hard to hold but no excuse for the challenge on Mané.

Substitution for Fulham.

Cairney off for Neekens Kebano

87Mins

Into the final five plus stoppages.

Fulham pressing to see if they can snatch a point late on but Liverpool look incredibly dangerous on the break.

Mané wins the ball on halfway and tears toward goal, laying it off for Salah, whose shot is well saved.

His scoreless streak continues. A wonderful chance for Liverpool to put the game to bed.

90Mins

Three minutes of stoppages to be played.

90Mins

Liverpool substitution

Mo Salah off for Daniel Sturridge.

Flag 90Mins

Bryan goes in the book for a tackle on Mané.

The sting has been taken out of the game in these dying stages. Liverpool managing the final minutes well…

FULL TIME: Fulham 1-2 Liverpool

Job done. Back on top.

Liverpool showed grit to dig out a second goal late on but should have put the game to bed sooner.

Fulham, for their part, didn’t let their heads drop and took their chance when it came up. Milner a picture of calmness stepping up to take the penalty.

Jurgen Klopp’s men lead the Premier League heading into the international break.

Well that’s all from us this afternoon.

Liverpool return to the top of the league with a game more played over Manchester City. Is there a Pep slip in the offing? We shall see.

Thanks for tuning in, bye!

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