A much-changed Liverpool were unable to conjure the magic required to surpass a well-drilled Fulham, losing 1-0 for a six consecutive home Premier League defeat.
Liverpool 0-1 Fulham
Premier League (28), Anfield
March 7, 2021
Goal: Lemina 45′
Mohamed Salah shifted up front, flanked by Xherdan Shaqiri and Diogo Jota, and the Egyptian was busy early on as both the focus of and target for attacks, while Naby Keita buzzed around him as close to a No. 10.
As has often been the case recently, balls over the top were a big issue for Liverpool’s back line, with the right-back guilty of ball-watching and the centre-backs slow off the mark as Ademola Lookman found himself through before firing wide.
The best chance of the half for Liverpool came when Jota was brought down by Kenny Tete, and stepping over the free-kick Shaqiri sent his effort onto the roof of the net from a long way out.
But Fulham grabbed a deserved opener before the break, with Salah caught napping on the edge of his own box and, robbed of the ball by Mario Lemina, the striker watched on as he fired low past Alisson.
HT: Liverpool 0-1 Fulham
Liverpool shifted their stance slightly after half-time, with more emphasis on Williams’ driving runs down the right, likely in a bid to keep Lookman busy and deny Fulham their outlet.
Klopp rolled the dice on the hour mark as Sadio Mane came on for Gini Wijnaldum, with James Milner perhaps fortunate to remain on the pitch after a series of near-costly errors, the most notable leading to a chance for Ivan Cavaleiro.
Mane’s looping header almost levelled the scores in the 70th minute, leaping for Keita’s curved pass only for his effort to bounce off the woodwork, before Shaqiri curled just wide with a left-footed strike.
There was an increased sense of urgency, but with little to show for it as Liverpool lost yet again at Anfield – a sixth home defeat in a row in the league.
TIA Man of the Match: Naby Keita
Referee: Kevin Friend
Fulham: Areola; Tete, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Aina; Lemina, Reed; Cavaleiro (Mitrovic 85′), De Cordova-Reid, Lookman (Robinson 83′); Maja (Loftus-Cheek 67′)
Subs not used: Fabri, Hector, Ream, Kongolo, Bryan, Anguissa
Next match: Leipzig (H) – Champions League Last 16 – Wednesday, March 10, 8pm (GMT)