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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018
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Hello! And welcome to our minute-by-minute coverage of this afternoon’s early kick-off in the Premier League, which sees Liverpool welcome Fulham to Anfield.

The Reds are off the back of a dismally disappointing 2-0 defeat in the Champions League midweek. A double from 6” 3’ striker Milan Pavkov saw 1991 European Cup winners Red Star Belgrade secure their first ever win in the modern Champions League, potentially having a massive impact on Liverpool’s chances of making it to the knockout round.

Today Jurgen Klopp’s men will try and get back on track with a victory on the domestic front. His side drew 1-1 at the Emirates against high-flying Arsenal last Saturday and this afternoon aim to try and keep pace with Man City and Chelsea at the top end of the table with three points.

Fulham travel to Merseyside rock bottom of the Premier League with just five points from a potential 33 after 11 games this season. Manager Slaviša Jokanović is under serious pressure with his team without a league win since 25 September — losing all five of their last five outings.

Kick-off at Anfield is coming up in just over an hour’s time at 12.00pm!

Let’s get started with the team news…

So, today’s teams will line out as:

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah.

Subs: Mignolet, Moreno, Lovren, Keita, Milner, Henderson, Sturridge.

Fulham:Rico; Christie, Odoi, Mawson, Le Marchand; Anguissa, Chambers, Cairney; Schurrle, Mitrovic, Sessegnon.

Subs: Bettinelli, Ream, Fosu-Mensah, Kebano, Johansen, Seri, Vietto.

Right, with half an hour to go before we get underway, how do we see today’s game unfolding? Let us know below!


Poll Results:





3Mins

A promising early attack from Fulham. Aleksandar Mitrovic cleverly nutmegs Virgil van Dijk in a dangerous area inside the box following a throw-in. But Fabinho is aware to the danger and easily clears up, taking possession calmly before booting clear.

Fulham have the worst defence in the Premier League this season, but Liverpool’s poor record against the bottom three under Jurgen Klopp raises some question marks over whether today’s game will be the stroll in the park some supporters might expect it to be. Only time will tell, as they say.

18Mins

Now then, two chances in very quick succession at the other end. Back in the side, Xherdan Shaqiri is looking very dangerous already. Twice the Swiss forward has caused issues running directly at defenders — the first set up a chance for Sadio Mane, who curled wide, and the second saw Trent Alexander-Arnold fire over the crossbar.

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League - Anfield Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic. Source: Barrington Coombs

10Mins

Another pair of chances, one after another for Liverpool. Sadio Mane almost breaks through one on one before goalkeeper Sergio Rico gathers. A few moments later Shaqiri cuts inside onto that favoured left boot of his and let’s fly with a mighty effort from all of 25 yards. It just evades the post and hits the advertising boarding behind the goal, but some supporters inside Anfield thought it had hit the back of the net.

15Mins

Close! Mohamed Salah causes all sorts of issues for Denis Odoi after exchanging a neat one-two with Roberto Firmino. Salah dashed through one-one-one with Rico after giving Odoi the eyes with a cute dummy. But Rico does well to close down the space and not give the Liverpool forward a corner to curl the ball into. Good play from Salah, but even better goalkeeping from the Fulham shot-stopper there.

19Mins

Trent Alexander-Arnold with his second chance inside 20 minutes. The England defender is picked out brilliantly by a Fabinho ball over the top, but the right back can only head the ball over the crossbar. The better option might have been to send the ball back across goal to Sadio Mane, who was free, but to his credit Alexander-Arnold very nearly lobbed Rico with that dipping head.

22Mins

Save! Rico is keeping his side in this at the moment. Mohamed Salah peels away behind enemy lines, running onto yet another dangerous ball over the top. The Liverpool forward strikes hard, low and well on his right boot — but Rico stands his ground and produces a fine save from close range.

Huddersfield Town v Fulham - Premier League - John Smith's Stadium Source: PA Archive/PA Images

24Mins

Ooooh so close for Fulham. Out of absoutely nothing, Ryan Sessegnon finds himself clean through on goal with nobody in his way but Alisson. With no team-mates for support and a goal in his mind, he opts to shoot. But the England forward drags his effort narrowly wide of the bottom corner he intended it for. What a chance, what a clear-cut chance. 

27Mins

Sadio Mane with another chance. He peels away from his marker on the edge of the area and, although he tried to pick out the top corner, his shot flies well over the target. The atmosphere inside Anfield is notably quieter than normal today, but the game is beginning to pick up on the field of play now.

45Mins

Fulham with their second big chance of the game so far. Really nice play worked by Tom Cairney and Sessegnon causes Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk some headaches. The ball is fed out to Andre Schurrle, but the German’s effort from just outside the box is saved by Alisson and hoofed clear by his Dutch centre back. A lot better from the visitors now.

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League - Anfield Source: Barrington Coombs

34Mins

Ryan Sessegnon fires over the bar. The 18-year-old was played through on goal following some really nice touches by Andre Schurrle to hang onto possession. The German winger picked out a pass, but Sessegnon’s left-footed strike was well off target. Still, Fulham are upping the ante a little bit over the last while.

38Mins

Shots, shots everywhere! At the other end Liverpool offer a snappy response. An attack ends with the ball spilled invitingly on the edge of the area for Xherdan Shaqiri to smack. He doesn’t need a second invitation and hits a decent left-footed effort — but once again it just misses the target and batters the advertising hoarding behind the goal instead.

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League - Anfield Source: Barrington Coombs

45Mins

GOOOOOOOOAAAALLL. What a dramatic turn of events! Aleksandar Mitrovic has the ball in the back of the Liverpool goal and Fulham think they are ahead, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside. Alisson restarts play immediately, Liverpool counter with precision, and Mohamed Salah races through on goal before beating Rico with a brilliant low effort. Incredible scenes, from one end to the other –  Fulham were absoutely asleep there.

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League - Anfield Source: Barrington Coombs

43Mins

45Mins

What a dramatic end to the half this is. You have to feel Slaviša Jokanović will be just livid with his players when they break for half-time. Mitrovic did brilliantly with a header inside the box, but the Londoners pushed far too many men forward during the attack and paid the price following Liverpool’s counter-attack. Talk about two ends of the emotional spectrum. 

45Mins

There will be one minute of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.

45Mins

Well, there we are, half-time already. These early kick-offs can take a while to get going, especially in the bitter November cold, but boy did that game kick into life towards the end of the half. Liverpool largely dominated proceedings (11 shots to Fulham’s 5) but the visitors have absoutely been in this game. In fact, they thought they had the lead with Aleksandar Mitrovic’s deft header. Only problem is, he was flagged offside and his team-mates were asleep to the oncoming danger. Liverpool countered, Salah finished and Klopp’s men take a 1-0 lead into the break. More action to come shortly!

52Mins

A relatively quiet opening to the second half. No changes from either side at the break, but half-time discussion and replays and even more replays showed Mitrovic’s disallowed goal was a lot closer than first viewing. If he was offside, which the linesman said he definitely was, it was a very close call.

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League - Anfield Source: Barrington Coombs

52Mins

SAVE! Rico is called into action once again as Sadio Mane opts for an ambitions shot from outside the box. It was another intricate attacking move from Liverpool, with Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold linking up really well.

69Mins

GOOOOOOOAAAAALLL. Liverpool double their lead eight minutes after the interval and it’s a mountain for Fulham to climb now. Xherdan Shaqiri has been heavily involved all this afternoon and the Swiss gets his just reward with a well-taken goal. He peels away completely unmarked at the back post, before side-footing a composed low finish beyond the reach of Rico and into his bottom corner. 2-0 to Liverpool!

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League - Anfield Source: Barrington Coombs

55Mins

It was a very cheeky finish, in fairness.

59Mins

Callum Chambers is shown a yellow card by referee Paul Tierney. The defender lunged in on Mohamed Salah vying for the ball, but it was quite dangerous play.

62Mins

Save! Liverpool almost make it 3-0 with a swift counter. Andy Robertson bombs forward down the left wing and has a free shot at goal in acres of space inside the box — but once again Sergio Rico comes to Fulham’s rescue with a composed save to keep the damage at just two goals.

68Mins

A free-kick in a really promising position for Liverpool now — Alfie Mawson taking out Mohamed Salah with a sloppy challenge right on the edge of the box — but Trent Alexander-Arnold can only strike the wall with his effort.

69Mins

Substitution for Liverpool: Jordan Henderson replaces Georginio Wijnaldum.

Huddersfield Town v Liverpool - Premier League - John Smith's Stadium Source: PA Wire/PA Images

74Mins

The atmosphere has gone absoutely dead. No pressure from Fulham whatsoever as Virgil Van Dijk sprays the ball across his backline easily and without any sort of threat. It seems like the Londoners have just resigned themselves to defeat at the moment, but having said that –  15 minutes is a long time in football.

77Mins

Andy Robertson flies forward again down that left wing. He manages to get to the byline and whip in a cross, but Sergio Rico reads the flight of the ball and catches without much trouble. Jurgen Klopp’s men are still venturing forward in search of a third, but seem pretty rest-assured that their two goal cushion will be enough to earn all three points this afternoon. A little over 10 minutes to go now.

82Mins

Substitution for Liverpool: James Milner replaces Xherdan Shaqiri

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League - Anfield Source: Barrington Coombs

82Mins

A half-chance for Fulham late on now, as substitute Luciano Vietto finds himself in oceans of space down the left flank. Trent Alexander-Arnold dashes back just in time to put a block in and Vietto’s cross flies out for a Fulham corner.

88Mins

The game is slowly petering out now as stoppage time approaches. In all honesty it has not been a contest since Shaqiri’s smart finish from close range made it 2-0. In the first half it did look like Jokanović’s men could make a game of this with five efforts on goal inside the opening 45 minutes. But with quick-fire goals either side of half-time, they have simply wilted. 

89Mins

Close! Almost a late, late third for Liverpool as Mohamed Salah cuts inside on his left foot. The winger got his head up and looked to be eyeing up Rico’s top corner — however a smart and brave block from Alfie Mawson ends the danger.

90Mins

There will be three minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the second half.

There we have it, Liverpool earn a comfortable 2-0 victory thanks to goals either side of half-time from Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri. Jurgen Klopp’s men were full value for the three points this afternoon, however Fulham will look back on Aleksandar Mitrovic’s goal ruled out for offside with regret. The Reds leapfrog Chelsea and Manchester City into top spot ahead of this evening’s later kick-offs, which include the Manchester derby. Thanks a million for joining us — you can read our full match report here. Cya!

Liverpool v Fulham - Premier League - Anfield Source: Barrington Coombs

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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