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MATCH REPORT ~ Fulham beat Liverpool ~ Prem MD28 20/21

last updated Sunday 07th March 2021, 5:28 PM

Match Report

Liverpool (0) 0-1 (1) Fulham

Premier League Match Day 28 2021 at Craven Cottage

Sunday 7th March 2021     KO: 14:00

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Live on Sky Sports

Midfielder Mario Lemina
Mario Lemina
Mario Lemina
His Wiki page
Fulham boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 win at Anfield over the reigning Premier League Champions which condemned Jurgen Klopp's side to a sixth successive home defeat.

Klopp made seven changes in the wake of Thursday's defeat by Chelsea but they failed to inspire the Reds as their horrendous home run continued against the relegation-threatened Cottagers.

Mario Lemina punished slack defending from Mohamed Salah to rifle in his first Fulham goal on the stroke of half-time as Scott Parker's side were rewarded for their adventurous approach at the home of champions.

Substitute Sadio Mane clipped the crossbar in the second half and a crucial stoppage-time clearance from Joachim Andersen prevented Liverpool from salvaging a point as they failed to win for an eighth consecutive game at Anfield for the first time since 1958.

By contrast, it was a memorable first managerial visit to Anfield for Parker as he guided Fulham to only their second victory away at Liverpool which sees them move level on points with 17th-place Brighton in the battle for survival.

With an eye arguably on Wednesday's Champions League last-16 second-leg with RB Leipzig, Klopp made seven pre-match changes, but they were pounced upon by a Fulham side fighting for their lives.

The visitors came close to taking an early lead when January loan signing Josh Maja shanked a volley wide inside three minutes, and Fulham's adventurous approach went on to cause Liverpool's makeshift defence issues throughout the first period.

Ademola Lookman had the beating of Neco Williams, tormenting the Liverpool right-back throughout with driving runs which he could have capped with goals had he found the target with two shots early in the first half.

Liverpool were indebted to two smothering save from Alisson Becker before the half-hour mark when he prevented Maja from bundling the ball home at the second attempt after reaching Kenny Tete's cross to the back post.

Match Stats Liverpool Fulham
Goals (0) 0 1 (1)
Scorers - Lemina 45
Goal attempts 16 10
On target 3 3
Shooting Accuracy 19% 33%
Possession 63% 37%
Passes Success 84% 77%
Corners 9 4
Tackles Success 79% 40%
Saves 2 3
Fouls 10 8
Offsides 3 1
Yellows 2 3
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
Neco Williams was undone by another run in behind from Lookman on 35 minutes but recovered in time with a crucial last-ditch block which turned the Fulham forward's shot over the bar.

Salah looked sharp in the final third as he looked to draw a line under his midweek substitution against Chelsea. But having flashed a couple of early chances wide of the Fulham goal, the Egyptian's week took a turn for the worse a minute before the break.

Salah dithered in possession on the edge of his own area after Liverpool had cleared a cross into the box, inviting pressure from Lemina who picked his pocket and rifled a low shot past Alisson which gave Fulham the half-time lead.

Klopp resisted the temptation of making changes at the start of the second half, which was greeted by the low buzz overhead of a banner-carrying plane which the message 'Unity is Strength. Let's go Reds. YNWA'.

It almost inspired the Reds to an instant response, with Diogo Jota's thunderous volley expertly tipped away by Alphonse Areola within three minutes of the restart.

Mane was introduced just after the hour mark but even he was unable to spark Liverpool into life as he failed to convert a header from Shaqiri's cross and scuffed an effort into the ground from Trent Alexander-Arnold's cross.

Liverpool ramped up the pressure late on but Fulham's stout defensive performance was typified by Andersen's stunning late clearance as Liverpool's Anfield woes continued to leave their top-four hopes in tatters.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "There were moments we could have had more of an impact on the game. Conceding that goal before half-time was a massive blow. We tried to react, and the boys showed that. In the end if we don't score goals that's a big problem.

"We never had a momentum in the season, really, in the Premier League at least. You can see that. It's still in the boys, they still have it all, but in the moment can't show it. It would be a masterpiece to find out how we change that overnight.

"The only good thing is we play a different competition in three games and hopefully we can show a different face there.

"Fulham will cause us problems - it's clear. They're in a good moment, they're a good team. We all agree a team like this should stay in the Premier League."

Asked if Fulham 'wanted it more', Klopp said: "The winner is always right. My boys wanted it. It's easy to judge, 'they have won it so wanted it more.' I don't think that's the problem. I don't have to stand here and say we're fighting for this or that."

Fulham manager Scott Parker: "First half I thought we were every bit what I wanted us to look like. The chances we created, the boys stuck to the plan, and we were worthy of the first goal.

"But again at the end, the whole second half, we had to show another side to us, character, resilience, doggedness. I'm so proud of the team today.

I've always said to the team: 'The way we're playing, things will change' and today we're on the right side of that, so it's massive.

"There is momentum with us as a team. When it's all said and done at the end of the season, we'll work out whether we were good enough or not.

"I'm pleased for the lads, that they've got what they deserve, because for large parts of this season, and in the last 10 or 15 games, we haven't got what we deserved."

Liverpool: Alisson, N. Williams (Alexander-Arnold 76), Phillips, R. Williams, Robertson, Wijnaldum (Mane 62), Milner (Fabinho 76), Keita, Shaqiri, Salah, Jota

Unused substitutes: Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Tsimikas, Origi,

Booked: Jota (42,f), Keita (93, f)

Fulham: Areola, Tete, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Aina, De Cordova-Reid, Lemina, Reed, Lookman (Robinson 82), Cavaleiro (Mitrovic 85), Maja (Loftus-Cheek 67)

Unused substitutes: Fabri, Hector, Ream, Bryan, Anguissa, Kongolo

Lemina 45 (Fulham take the lead at Anfield and you cannot say they don't deserve it. Liverpool half clear a free-kick as far as Salah on the edge of the box but he takes an age to complete the clearance and has his pocket picked by Mario Lemina, who rifles a shot into the far corner.)

Booked: Tete (38,f), Lemina (47,f) Mitrovic (96,hb)

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Attendance: 0

Source Jack Wilkinson at SkySports
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