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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 13 December, 2019

Salah and Shaqiri on target as Liverpool bounce back from midweek Champions League hiccup

Jurgen Klopp’s men go top of the Premier League ahead of this evening’s Manchester derby.

Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates making it 2-0 at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates making it 2-0 at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
Image: Barrington Coombs

LIVERPOOL BOUNCED BACK from their Champions League disappointment on Tuesday with a comfortable 2-0 win over struggling Fulham at Anfield.

Goals in each half from Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri secured all three points on Sunday and moved Jurgen Klopp’s side back to the top of the Premier League table, at least temporarily.

Liverpool were held by Arsenal in their last league outing before a 2-0 loss to Red Star Belgrade this week, and they looked some way short of their best in a first half in which Fulham had the best chances.

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League - Anfield Virgil van Dijk and Aleksandar Mitrovic battle for the ball at Anfield. Source: Barrington Coombs

However, the game turned within the space of 14 first-half seconds, when Salah struck after Aleksandar Mitrovic had a header ruled out for offside, and Shaqiri’s fine finish made the win secure against a Fulham side who have now lost seven games in a row and remain bottom.

Liverpool’s early dominance of the ball led to a personal duel between Salah and Sergio Rico, the Fulham goalkeeper twice making good saves to deny forward.

Shaqiri twice messed up shots from good positions and the home side’s profligacy should really have been punished, with Ryan Sessegnon dragging wide when clean through on goal before Alisson almost parried an Andre Schurrle shot into his path.

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League - Anfield Shaqiri scored his second Liverpool goal on Sunday. Source: Barrington Coombs

The half swung Liverpool’s way in dramatic fashion four minutes before the break. Mitrovic headed in Tom Cairney’s cross only to be contentiously ruled offside, Alisson took a quick free-kick and Trent Alexander-Arnold sent Salah clean through to slot past Rico.

It was a heavy blow to Fulham and the game was effectively beyond them eight minutes after the restart, when the unmarked Shaqiri expertly volleyed home a pinpoint cross from Andy Robertson.

Robertson was denied a third by a good Rico save, but Liverpool had few problems seeing out a ninth league win of the season, while concerns for Slavisa Jokanovic look to be building.

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