Post Match: Fulham v Liverpool (EPL 13/12/20 4.30pm)

Man of the match
  • Alisson BECKER
  • Trent ALEXANDER-ARNOLD
  • Joel MATIP
  • FABINHO
  • Andrew ROBERTSON
  • Gini WIJNALDUM
  • Jordan HENDERSON
  • Curtis JONES
  • Mohamed SALAH
  • Roberto FIRMINO
  • Sadio MANE
  • Takumi MINAMINO
  • Neco WILLIAMS

0 voters

Unused subs: Kelleher, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Origi, Phillips, Cain,

:soccer: Mo SALAH 78’

Sub: :arrow_right: Takumi MINAMINO :arrow_left: Joel MATIP 45’
Sub: :arrow_right: Neco WILLIAMS :arrow_left: Trent ALEXANDER-ARNOLD
Sub: :arrow_right: Divock ORIGI :arrow_left: Mo SALAH 84’

Meh.

A run of six successive wins, the last two under Klopp, against the Cottagers was reason enough to feel confident before the game; our hosts’ poor league performance this season, with just the one home win- and even that against lowly West Brom- was another. Still, Fulham had beaten Leicester away, so they couldn’t be written off as entirely hopeless. And our inability to beat Atalanta at home, after thumping them 5-0 away, should have reminded everyone that no opponent should ever be taken lightly.

Alisson returned between the sticks, ending young Kelleher’s fine recent run; I’m sure that many fans will be relieved that we appear to have found a reliable backup keeper now. Trent returned to the starting league lineup after his runout against Midtjylland midweek.

Jeffrey Schlupp’s late equaliser for Crystal Palace against Spurs in the preceding game this afternoon had given the visitors a major fillip; a win would see the Tricky Reds return to an undisputed lead at the top of the table.

Fulham were buoyed by having a home crowd for the first time since their return to the top flight and they paid respect to their dominating former midfielder Papa Boupa Diop with a round of applause before kick off. Diop was a fine player and affectionately nicknamed The Wardrobe due to his impressive height and width. May he rest in peace.

The hosts started brightly, snapping at the Reds’ heels and Lemina sent the first shot of the game wide. Fabinho made an excellent challenge on the edge of the box and Alisson had to parry Cavaleiro’s shot wide.

Andersen then blocked a shot from Bobby, which looped into Areola’s arms; Alisson had to dive sharply to again deny Cavaleiro. Fabinho had to make another good challenge after Gini had been caught in possession. A lengthy VAR review saw Andre Marriner jog over to the screen… no penalty.

Alisson then had to push Lookman’s drive wide; from the resulting corner, the ball broke to Reid and he lashed a shot past the Brazilian to give the home side the lead in the 26th minute. Salah had been pushed in the back in the build up, but was the foul noted? Of course not. Truth be told, the lead was no less than the hosts deserved, even though the goal itself should have been disallowed.

Alisson had to make another save shortly afterwards but Fulham were clearly offside; half an hour in and the Reds hadn’t registered a touch in the Fulham penalty area. A Fulham counter attack led to Cavaleiro squaring into the penalty area; fortunately for us, nobody was there to tap in.

Mané had our first real chance in the 40th minute but he headed Jones’ angled cross over. Trent drilled a cross to Mo but his shot on the spin went the wrong side of the post. Mané swiped another effort over; at least the Reds were finally getting things going . As the players trudged off for their halftime oranges, the men in red must have feared the Haartrockner treatment from their manager.

Klopp wasted no time, introducing Minamino for Matip (suffering from a back problem, apparently) at half time, meaning that Henderson dropped into central defence. Cavaleiro almost capitalised on Robertson’s mistake and Mo tested Areola from long range as the second half started with a bang.

Trent curled in a free kick from the right which Andersen did well to flick away before Hendo could nod in; The big defender also denied Bobby a tap in a few minutes later. Henderson missed a glorious chance to equalise after being put clean through by Bobby just after the hour mark.

Adarabioyo headed over from a Fulham corner and Neco came on for Trent, who is obviously being rested with our next game in mind. The Welsh full back immediately had a shot deflected wide for a corner and Lookman was arguably lucky to escape with just a yellow for a rash lunge at Neco with fifteen minutes remaining.

Gini smashed a free kick into the wall and- to everyone’s surprise- a penalty was awarded for handball. There was no intent and it’s a stupid rule but the decision was correct by the letter of the law. Mo drilled the penalty- just- past Areola and the Reds had ten minutes plus stoppage time to get out of jail.

It was not to be. We huffed and we puffed but we couldn’t blow the Cottage down; overall, it was a very disappointing performance from the Reds but full credit has to go to our hosts, who were solid in defence and lively in attack throughout.

Next up is the visit of Tottingham to Anfield on Wednesday night. Take out Kane and Son, who are absolutely flying at the moment, and Spurs are mid-table dross led by a mid-table manager. The only way they leave Merseyside with anything is if the officials bail them out. Which they probably will.

MOTM: Jürgen Norbert Klopp. Much has been written, both on this forum and elsewhere, this week about the team selection for our final Champions League group game at Midtjylland last Wednesday. Yes, we had already won the group. Yes, our manager has been moaning about the condensed schedule. And yes, we could have fielded a load of kids and backup players.

@GoneKloppo posted some excellent statistics in the pre-Midtjylland thread about how we have repeatedly dropped points after fielding a weakened team under Jürgen; there is no way that the manager could have foreseen the injuries to Tsimikas (who needed game time, anyway) and Jota. Let’s not forget that the management team has access to all the stats and figures and recovery charts and goodness knows what else, so they aren’t exactly drawing names out of a hat on match day. Hindsight is always 20/20; I think I’ll keep my faith in the man who has taken us from the fringes of the top four to Premier League and European champions just a little while longer.

18 Likes

You wrote all that in three seconds?

9 Likes

If we could call on Jota, Shaq, thiago, ox, gomez etc wed win this.
But as our players are all made of melted butter its not to be.

1 Like

Lucky to win a point there tbh.

11 Likes

Poor points to drop but on the other hand, we were lucky to rescue the one point. Worst part is that we barely made any chances of note, other than the Salah one in the first half.

MOTM for me was Curtis, though there really weren’t many other choices of note. Looks like this is going to be an interesting title race this year. YNWA!

At least @cynicaloldgit is maintaining the tempo :clap:

3 Likes

Woeful, outfought and outplayed all game, losing every 50/50 and being 2nd to everything is a worrying away day trait we seem to be developing.

Alisson and Jones the only ones with any credit.

Anytime we get a chance to take and consolidate first place we stutter, need to be far better.

8 Likes

Well, shitty first half, but a hard earned point after that. Jones, Hendo and Alisson superb. Expecting us to raise our game against Spurs definitely. We always do. They have had a good rest in the first half, so should be fresh! :smirk:

3 Likes

Winning the league by a gajillion points was boring anyway…

7 Likes

Arrogance. Huge opportunity missed tonight.

4 Likes

All on Klopp, that one.

The players looked knackered in the first half. Even those that didn’t play against Midgyland, most travelled to Denmark midweek. Lost Jota for two months as a result.

Just should not have sent a single first teamer to Denmark. It was completely unnecessary.

11 Likes

We need to be able to change how we play just trying to get wide too much and deliver a cross, Mane and Mo did nothing today but no quick interplay we need to be able to adapt better

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Bleh, that was shit.

All over the place for 35 minutes but should have had enough to win it in the remaining 60 or so. Why we tried to play so many long passes and crosses from deep is beyond me, the times we actually played through the midfield and got our fullbacks into good areas we cut Fulham open relatively easily. Really poor game management.

Some really poor performances out there, Henderson especially. He tried a hundred Hollywood passes tonight and very few came off. To top it off he missed a sitter as well.

Jones was excellent again and at the heart of everything good we did. Minamino showed some promise in midfield, one of the only players to get his foot on the ball and keep it moving. Alisson fucking excellent yet again, just like the Brighton game he’s gained us a point here. Mane showed signs of life again for the first time in a while in that second half.

Onto Spurs, hopefully Joel can wheel himself out for a half at least.

10 Likes

Missed opportunity again. Will rue this when the season is finished.

On that, we absolutely agree.

After that performance, I’m happy with the point. I’’m not voting for man of the match, because no one deserves it.

1 Like

Disgraceful performance. Simply not good enough. No excuses not to beat Fulham. Need to do a lot better.