SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

2TAX94Y Liverpool, UK. 03rd Dec, 2023. Trent Alexander-Arnold #66 of Liverpool celebrates his goal to make it 4-3 during the Premier League match Liverpool vs Fulham at Anfield, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 3rd December 2023 (Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images) Credit: News Images LTD/Alamy Live News

Liverpool’s “ability to find a way” shows “why they’re genuine title contenders”

The media were left enthralled by Liverpool’s 4-3 victory over Fulham, but it was also a sign that improvements are needed by the Reds this season.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men were expected to win comfortably at home to the Cottagers on Sunday, but that didn’t prove to be the case.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alexis Mac Allister both scored stunning goals before half-time, but Fulham twice pegged them back.

It looked as though the visitors were on their way to a memorable victory, but Wataru Endo and Alexander-Arnold struck late on to send Anfield wild.

Here’s the best of the media reaction to Liverpool’s latest home triumph.

 

An unforgettable game at Anfield was assessed…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo (L) celebrates with team-mate Darwin Núñez after scoring the third goal to equalise and level the score at 3-3 during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpol won 4-3. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gregg Evans of The Athletic felt this was a win that outlined Liverpool’s title credentials:

“It was crazy and chaotic, certainly too chaotic at times, but Liverpool showed why they are genuine title contenders again with this win.

“Just when they looked to be heading towards a first home defeat of the season — undoing all of the hard work from the 1-1 draw at Manchester City last weekend — up they stepped another gear to outscore Fulham in the most dramatic fashion.

Wataru Endo was introduced late on to bring a composure to the midfield but on 87 minutes he coolly slotted into the top corner to level. It was a world-class finish, yet somehow not the best of the day.

“A minute later Alexander-Arnold added another, sparking wild scenes on the sidelines as Klopp celebrated with Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai while the rest of the team jumped for joy with the goalscorer.

“Liverpool’s ability to find a way this season is setting them apart from the rivals. They’re never down and out, even on a day like this when their defending caused plenty of concern.

“With attacking players like these, they always have a response.”

It was a big letoff for the Reds, according to the Daily Mail‘s Lewis Steele:

“Teams cannot win a title over the Christmas period but they can certainly lose one.

“For seven minutes, they seemingly contrived to fall to a shock defeat at the hands of Fulham, who so nearly became the first team to win at Anfield in the league since Leeds in October 2022.

“If Marco Silva’s side had held on to do that, it would have left Liverpool four points adrift of leaders Arsenal ahead of a tricky, injury-hit festive period which sees Jurgen Klopp’s side play eight games from this weekend to Boxing Day.

“Twice Liverpool led and twice they threw away the lead after careless errors allowed Fulham back into the match, then the Cottagers smelt blood and nearly pulled off one of the finest smash-and-grabs in Premier League history.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On X, David Lynch lauded Liverpool’s character on show:

The Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe said it had the feel of a nerve-jangling end-of-season game about it:

“It was the kind of mayhem you expect in the title run-in. Coaching staff on the pitch, delirium in the stands, and players celebrating as if this was the turning point in the race for the line, victory clutched from defeat.

“Call it the Manchester City effect. Arsenal have been here already this season. Now Liverpool have overcome adversity on their own patch and found belief where, momentarily, there was desolation.

“The catalyst was one minute and 19 seconds just before full-time as Liverpool sought to prevent what would have been only Jurgen Klopp’s second Anfield defeat in the Premier League in front of spectators in 104 fixtures.”

 

A word on what a footballer Alexander-Arnold is…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after scoring the winning fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Will Unwin of the Guardian assessed a big performance from the Scouser, even though his hybrid role has flaws:

“It was rare that Alexander-Arnold was stationary on the pitch. He nominally started the game at right-back but could be found operating as a sweeper, in central midfield or at left wing.

“When he did get a moment of calm, the full-back lined up from 25 yards before curling in off the bar with the sweetest of strikes, although it will be slightly tainted as it hit Leno’s back on the way down.

“It was a positive day for Liverpool’s academy as the equaliser came from one of their graduates, too, four minutes later.

“It highlighted the downside to Alexander-Arnold’s free role, however, as it came down Liverpool’s left with their “right-back” in the centre of the box.”

In his player ratings for the Evening Standard, Dom Smith praised a brilliant display from Trent:

“Popped up everywhere and was a constant threat. Scored an outstanding free-kick in the first half then went down unfortunately as an own goal and then scored a thunderous winner.”

 

But Liverpool need to improve further to win the title…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) celebrates with Trent Alexander-Arnold (C) and captain Virgil van Dijk (R) after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Evans does have doubts about some of Liverpool’s defensive work at the moment:

“For all the drama of the comeback, there wasn’t much to like about Liverpool’s defensive performance, especially in the first half as they were opened up too easily and looked particularly poor at set pieces.

Fulham’s game plan — to limit the Liverpool attacks and play on the counter — worked well as they were ruthless in both boxes and only beaten by stunning long-range efforts.

“Klopp knew what to expect before the game and praised Fulham’s organisation, yet it still appeared to take his team by surprise.”

This Is Anfield‘s Mark Delgado stressed the importance of winning the upcoming fixtures:

“The 100 per cent home record remains intact, the Reds are up to second. It looked very different for a few minutes, but the resilience and the quality of the team eventually managed to shine through.

“And just as well: in a run of three quickfire Premier League games, nine points are the requirement and the expectation – we cannot drop silly points and remain in the running for top, or top two, into the new year.

“This was a crazy, turnaround, topsy-turvy match and one Trent will remember in particular – maybe a few coaches too, considering his impact the higher he plays.

“But straight away it’s vital that recovery begins and improvements are made, as they same type of performance might not be one we get away with next time.

Sheffield United away in midweek, then Crystal Palace next weekend – the Reds will need wins from each in this mini run of opportunity.”