Liverpool midfielder Alexis Mac Allister admits it was nice to be momentarily freed from the restrictions of his defensive role to score the “best goal of my life.”
His attacking qualities have been largely nullified following his arrival as necessity has meant he has been asked to play a deeper role in midfield than he is used to, but his flash of brilliance showed he has not lost any of his instincts in the final third.
“Not a bad start to my career there in Liverpool as a goalscorer,” he said.
“As soon as I hit it, I knew that it was going to be a goal. When I play as a number six I am not very worried about goals and assists [because] I have other work to do – but it’s always nice to score.”
Mac Allister’s goal would have been a worthy match-winner but some haphazard defending allowed Fulham to equalise twice before taking the lead with 10 minutes to go.
That set up a grandstand finish with Wataru Endo and Trent Alexander-Arnold scoring within a couple of minutes of each other to snatch victory and extend their perfect Anfield winning record to 11 matches this season.
Captain Virgil van Dijk accepted there was a degree of sloppiness in Liverpool’s game but said at the start of a busy December it was important just to secure the points and move on to the next game, which comes at Sheffield United on Wednesday.
“I think we were a bit too sloppy in possession in the transitions but I am not that kind of guy that wants to look too much to the negative side,” said the Netherlands defender.
“If we win these types of games the way we do now is not a bad thing so we have to take the positives out of it, especially during this busy period that starts now.”
Alexander-Arnold was pivotal to the victory as it was his impressive free-kick, which went in via the underside of the crossbar and the back of goalkeeper Bernd Leno, which kicked things off early in the game.
When Mac Allister was withdrawn with 25 minutes to go it was the right-back who stepped into central midfield to continue to dictate matters with his passing and Van Dijk has been impressed with how his vice-captain has operated mainly in a hybrid role for the last nine month.
“Well obviously when he has the ball at his feet and he is free he can put the ball wherever he wants and that is a big quality,” added the Dutchman.
“We all know that and opponents know it as well. They tried to put him a bit more under pressure but obviously for him to [contribute to] two goals and be important on the offensive side is good and it is something we’re going to need, so let’s keep it going.”