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Fulham draw with Liverpool ~ Prem MD01 ~ 22/23

last updated Saturday 06th August 2022, 4:13 PM

Match Report

Fulham (1) 2-2 (0) Liverpool

Premiership Match Day 01 22/23 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 6th August 2022     KO: 12:30

Referee: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire)

Live on BT

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic
Fulham striker
Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic
His Wiki page
Fulham came close to producing one of the biggest shocks on the opening weekend of any Premier League season as Aleksandar Mitrovic marked his return to the top flight with two goals in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Craven Cottage.

Mohamed Salah levelled for the visitors with 10 minutes remaining to deny Marco Silva's side a famous victory after a performance full of endeavour that celebrated Fulham being back in the top division.

Much has been made of whether Mitrovic can cut it at this level, having scored just three goals in his last Premier League campaign two seasons ago, but he bullied Trent Alexander-Arnold for his headed opener (32) before striking the winning penalty after being fouled inside the box by Virgil van Dijk (72).

Darwin Nunez came off the bench to open his account (64) and cancel out Mitrovic's first strike from Salah's cross while Jordan Henderson might have won it for Liverpool in second-half stoppage time when his curled effort cannoned off the crossbar.

Fulham chairman Shahid Khan stressed in his programme notes that the club had the idea of "complementing, not compromising, the chemistry and environment" that Silva has established since last summer.

Silva feared his squad was not ready for this ultimate curtain-raiser, citing only 16 senior players following last weekend's 1-1 draw with Villarreal, but it appeared he was bluffing judging by the start his side made.

Mitrovic, who scored a record 43 goals in the Championship last season, had a sight of goal inside the opening minute after good high pressing from Bobby Decordova-Reid on Trent Alexander-Arnold, but the Serbian striker poked his shot wide.

Match Stats Fulham Liverpool
Goals (1) 2 2(0)
Scorers Mitrovic 32 Nunez 64
Mitrovic pen 72 Salah 80
Goal attempts 9 11
On target 3 4
Shooting Accuracy 33% 36%
Possession 33% 67%
Passes 288 606
Passes Success 62% 78%
Crosses 21 17
Crosses Success 19% 24%
Corners 4 4
Tackles 23 11
Tackles Success 57% 82%
Saves 1 1
Fouls 7 9
Offsides 4 4
Yellows 2 0
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
It sparked a bright opening from the hosts, with debutants Andreas Pereira and Joao Palhinha looking classy operators midfield, but Liverpool would slowly assert themselves as Luis Diaz correctly had a goal ruled out for an offside against Andrew Robertson in the build-up on 15 minutes.

Unperturbed by the warning sign, Harrison Reed raced onto an Antonee Robinson cross to slam a shot into the body of Andrew Robertson but it would be a more familiar goalscorer who would have Liverpool on the canvas.

Having struggled to find rhythm and create chances against a newly-promoted side giving it their all in their first game back in the top flight. The Cottagers took the lead in the 32nd minute. Kenny Tete sent in a deep cross to the far post where Mitrovic beat Trent Alexander-Arnold to head past Alisson.

Luis Diaz was comfortably the best performer in a Liverpool shirt before the interval, and the Colombian came within inches of an instant response when he ran onto Thiago's pass to crash a left-foot shot against the post, but Fulham deservedly led at the break.

Klopp waited six minutes of the second-half before introducing Nunez, and Liverpool's new £85m club-record signing got to work immediately. Fulham might have doubled their lead when Neeskens Kebano's diagonal shot struck the inside of the post, and they were ruing that miss as Nunez levelled.

The Uruguayan had already been denied from point-blank range by Marek Rodak when he beat the offside trap to produce a sublime improvised finish from Salah's low cross. Moments later, Tim Ream was hacking the ball off the line to deny Nunez. At that point, you sensed there would only be one winner, but Fulham showed their resilience to nudge back in front.

There appeared very little on for the isolated Mitrovic, but having got his head down and dribbled inside the Liverpool box, a stray outstretched leg from Van Dijk left referee Andrew Madley in no doubt pointing to the spot.

It meant Liverpool had ended a run of 51 Premier League matches without conceding a penalty, the longest ongoing run in the competition.

Alisson didn't come close to keep out the striker's confident penalty as Klopp turned to Fabio Carvalho in need of further inspiration. But it was Salah who would provide the response, in typical fashion.

There appeared little danger from Alexander-Arnold's hopeful centre towards Nunez, but a mix-up between Ream and Tosin allowed the substitute to set up Salah for his customary strike on the opening weekend of a Premier League season - his sixth in a row, a new record.

It would set up a thrilling finale, and Henderson nearly penned the last word when he curled a first-time shot against the crossbar - but it would have been harsh on Fulham, who were excellent value for this point.
  • Fulham have avoided defeat in their first game back in the top-flight after promotion for the first time ever, losing on each of the previous five occasions (1949-50, 1959-60, 2001-02, 2018-19 and 2020-21).

  • Liverpool have gained 115 points from losing positions under Jürgen Klopp in the Premier League, the most of any side since the German took over in October 2015.

  • Fulham are now unbeaten in three games against Liverpool in all competitions (W1 D2), after losing each of the six before that.

  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League games (W16 D4), since a 1-0 loss at Leicester in December 2021 while they are now unbeaten in 10 opening day games in the competition (W8 D2).

  • Liverpool gave away a penalty for the first time in their last 52 Premier League games, thus ending the longest ongoing run in the competition, while Virgil van Dijk conceded a penalty for the first time in the competition since October 2018 against Manchester City.
Fulham: Rodak, Tete, Robinson, Ream, Tosin, Reed, Palhinha, Pereira (Cairney 89), Kebano (Solomon 66), De Cordova-Reid (Duffy 94), Mitrovic

Unused substitutes: Mbabu, Muniz, Francois, Leno, Stansfield, Harris

Mitrovic, 32 (Kebano and Tete combine on the right-hand side, with the latter digging out an excellent cross towards the far post, where Mitrovic is waiting! The Serb, scorer of 43 goals in the Championship last season, rises above Alexander-Arnold and powers his header past Alisson! Party time at Craven Cottage!)

Mitrovic pen 72 (Mitrovic makes no mistake from the spot!! Just as Liverpool looked like they might nick this game, Mitrovic's low penalty beats Alisson and puts them back in front. There were questions over whether Mitrovic could cut it in the Premier League following his record-breaking season in the Championship last year. Well, this isn't a bad start!)

Booked: Bobby De Cordova-Reid (90,x), Kenny Tete (17,f)

Liverpool : Alisson, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Thiago (Elliott 51), Fabinho (Milner 59), Henderson, Roberto Firmino (Nunez 51), Salah, Diaz (Carvalho 78)

Unused substitutes: Adrian, Chambers, Bajcetic, Gomez, van den Berg

Nunez, 64 (Second time lucky for Nunez as he scores with a carbon copy of his chance moments earlier! He's there again to meet Salah's low centre and this time his flick ends up in the net! A Premier League debut goal for the Uruguayan - although the replays may need to be examined for a possible own goal as it touched a Fulham defender on its way in.)

Salah, 81 (Elliott finds Alexander-Arnold on the right and the right-back's diagonal cross flicks off the head of Ream, comes to Nunez, and then bounces into the path of Salah, who seizes his chance to beat Rodak! A bit of good fortune for Liverpool - Nunez didn't know much about it - but they won't care!)

Referee: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: N/A

Source SkySports
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