Fulham have only lost once in seven games
Scott Parker said there was “a lot of emotion” after his Fulham side claimed a pivotal victory to give a huge boost to their hopes for survival and continue Liverpool’s incredible slump.
Mario Lemina’s half-time goal after Gabonese midfielder expropriated Mohamed Salah caused the Reds a sixth straight home defeat in the Premier League and saw Parker’s side score 26 points in 17th place in Brighton.
It was Fulham’s first win at Anfield since 2012 while champions Liverpool are struggling to get into the top four after another uninspired performance at home.
The Reds, who won the title by 18 points last season, were unbeaten 68 home games before starting their current run with a loss to Burnley in January.
Since then, they have also lost on home soil to Brighton, Manchester City, Everton, Chelsea and now Fulham.
“It’s a big win. There’s a lot of emotion and I’m very proud,” said Parker. “I’m happy for the players and the team because they got nothing less than what they deserved. There was a resilience and a real attitude to keep the ball out of the net and defend it.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made seven changes to freshen up the situation after losing to Chelsea, but Fulham were the better side, creating four chances in the first half hour alone.
Ademola Lookman, given the freedom by Anfield, stepped behind the Reds’ inexperienced defense twice but couldn’t finish while Josh Maja was challenged by a brave save from Alisson.
The winner came after Liverpool believed they had cleared a free kick but Salah was caught on the ball by Lemina, who scored his first goal since then loan from Southampton.
Diogo Jota, who made his first start since November 28, was denied equalization early in the second half by an acrobatic save from Alphonse Areola before substitute Sadio Mane hit the post with a header.
But Liverpool were poor and couldn’t win their last eight home games.
Tired Liverpool looks broken
It was around this time in Liverpool last year went 25 points clear at the top of the table after beating Bournemouth in front of the Anfield crowd.
Twelve months later and the Premier League games at Anfield have become an uncomfortable watch for Klopp and this has been another sluggish replay of recent performances.
The Liverpool manager’s attempts to turn the situation on its head with sweeping changes failed when Fulham, who spent most of the season in the bottom three positions, found another inexperienced center-back partnership in the form of Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams took advantage of.
Lookman and Maja were a constant cause for concern as they occupied huge spaces before Salah, the Premier League’s top scorer, was expropriated for the goal by Lemina.
We have an extreme situation – Klopp
Klopp sent Mane, Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold to save the game, but despite an improved performance in the second half, it was another sad feat that extended an inexcusable string of home losses.
Liverpool have yet to score an open game at home in 2021.
A plane circled over Anfield during the game, hauling a banner that read, “Unity in Strength – Let’s Get Red YNWA”.
But Liverpool, who play in the Champions League on Wednesday, look tired like a team that can’t wait for the season to end.
From 10 points from safety to the fight against chance
Fulham boss Parker let out a great shout of joy at the final whistle after this significant victory.
As recently as February 13th, the Cottagers were 10 points away from safety, but that result will give them great faith for the final 10 games of the season.
A performance full of character and spirit was marked by Joachim Andersen’s release at the end. The Fulham skipper saved his crew, and Mane was ready to bring Andy Robertson’s center home.
Too many times this season Fulham have struggled to convert draws into wins but the way they do their job has been persistent.
They are now unbeaten in eight away games, the longest without a defeat on the road in their top history.
Fulham players deserve this result – Parker
Fulham still has a lot to do, but two wins on Merseyside – that result comes three weeks after one 2-0 win at Everton – helped transform their campaign.
It’s runaway leaders Manchester City but it will be home results against Wolves, Burnley and Newcastle on the final day that will determine whether Fulham will play in the Premier League next season.
“We missed a goal and a clean sheet” – what they said
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp: “The obvious thing was a goal and a clean sheet were missing. It was always clear that Fulham would give us big problems with the situation they are in and what we are in.
“It was clear we had to adapt. We started pretty well, we were straightforward and Mo Salah gave them problems, but we didn’t end the situation. Then Fulham was good.
“Our last line was completely new. We had balls behind us where we had to run a lot because we were not high enough or simply not in the right position and conceded the goal.”
Fulham boss Scott Parker: “I thought we were fantastic in the first half. We created a lot of chances and we stuck to the plan of how we wanted to give them problems.
“The main thing in the game was: can we put a stamp on that?” – Easier said than done, of course.
“We deserve this result and we have deserved better results over the past few weeks.”
First since Huddersfield – the statistics
- Liverpool are the first team to have lost six times in a row on home soil since Huddersfield Town in the Premier League in February 2019 (seven).
- Fulham are the first newly promoted side to win the Premier League away from Liverpool since Blackpool defeated Roy Hodgson’s Reds in October 2010.
- Without penalties and own goals, Liverpool have failed to score in each of their last 115 shots at Anfield in the Premier League (including 16 on Sunday).
- Having only four clean sheets in the first 21 Premier League games of the season, Fulham has since played five in the last seven games of the competition, conceding just two goals.
- Liverpool’s six league losses at Anfield in 2020-21 are the biggest in a single season since 1953-54 (also six), when the Reds finished last in the top division.
- All three Premier League goals by Fulham midfielder Mario Lemina were scored away, each in a different season (2017-18 against West Brom, 2018-19 against Newcastle and this season against Liverpool).
Liverpool turned their attention to the Champions League on Wednesday (8:00 p.m. GMT) when they beat RB Leipzig after a 2-0 lead in the first leg in the round of 16. Fulham have a week off to prepare for runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City’s visit next Saturday (8:00 p.m.).
Player of the game
76N Williams47Phillips46R Williams26thRobertson
- 76N WilliamsReplaced byAlexander-Arnoldat the 76 ‘protocol
- 46R Williams
- 7thMilnerReplaced byFabinhoat the 76 ‘protocol
- 5WijnaldumReplaced bymaneat the 62 ‘protocol
- 8thKeitaBooked at 90 minutes
- 11Not correct
- 20thWhomBooked at 42 minutes
- 6thThiago Alcantara
14thDe Cordova-Reid18thLemina21reed19thLook man
- 2TeteBooked at 38 minutes
- 14thDe Cordova-Reid
- 18thLeminaBooked at 47 minutes
- 19thLook manReplaced byRobinsonat the 83 ‘protocol
- 17thKnightReplaced byMitrovicat the 85 ‘protocolBooked at 90 minutes
- 27CanReplaced byLoftus cheekat the 67 ‘protocol
- 15thLoftus cheek
- 29Zambo Anguissa
End of game, Liverpool 0, Fulham 1.
The second half ends, Liverpool 0, Fulham 1.
Corner of Liverpool. The corner was caused by Bobby De Cordova-Reid.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) is shown the yellow card.
Handball by Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham).
Missed attempt. Nathaniel Phillips (Liverpool) header is high and far to the left from the center of the box. Assisted by Sadio Mane with a cross.
Naby Keita (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Naby Keita (Liverpool).
Mario Lemina (Fulham) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Missed attempt. Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool) shoots with his left foot from outside the box after a corner to the right.
Corner of Liverpool. The corner was caused by Joachim Andersen.
Corner of Liverpool. The corner was caused by Kenny Tete.
Naby Keita (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Kenny Tete (Fulham).
Attempt saved. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Prepared by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Away from Liverpool. Xherdan Shaqiri attempts a pass, but Sadio Mané is caught offside.
Substitution, Fulham. Aleksandar Mitrovic replaces Ivan Cavaleiro.
Away from Liverpool. Trent Alexander-Arnold tries a through ball, but Mohamed Salah is offside.
Attempt blocked. Nathaniel Phillips (Liverpool) header from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold with a cross.
Corner of Liverpool. The corner was scored by Tosin Adarabioyo.