Liverpool 0-1 Fulham: Reds make seven changes but still can’t end dire Anfield run

Premier League
Sunday 07 March 2021 - 2:00 pm
Anfield
Liverpool0
1Fulham
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38' Tete
45'⚽️ Lemina
47' Lemina
Wijnaldum off, Mane on ↔️62'
67'↔️ Maja off, Loftus-Cheek on
Milner off, Fabinho on ↔️77'
Williams off, Alexander-Arnold on ↔️77'
83'↔️ Lookman off, Robinson on
85'↔️ Cavaleiro off, Mitrovic on
Keïta90'
90' Mitrovic
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It seems almost incredible that mere weeks ago the reds were celebrating 68 unbeaten home games.

But this result significantly dented any remaining hopes of a top four finish and represented the club's 6th straight league defeat at Anfield.

Klopp had made seven changes from the team that lost less than 70 hours earlier against Chelsea, but his team were undone by a Mario Lemina goal just before half time.

Although the reds enjoyed plenty of possession their slow transitioning from defence to attack enabled Fulham to mount a solid defensive performance and stifle Liverpool's play in the final third.

There were minor crumbs of comfort, such as Fabinho playing the last 15 minutes as an actual midfielder which did improve the reds control significantly, as well as 90 minutes further under the belt for Diogo Jota.

But these minor positives pale into insignificance with that 6th consecutive home defeat, another failure to score and dropping further away from the teams in the top four.

Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips were named as centre-backs after Ozan Kabak was ruled out through injury.  Despite assurances that new signing Ben Davies was fit - he was not included in the 20-man matchday squad.

Neco Williams was a surprise choice for right back, and he offered little throughout the game - eventually replaced by Trent Alexander-Arnold.  Keita, Milner, Jota and Shaqiri all started for the reds.

Too easy for relegation threatened Fulham

Liverpool applied marginally more pressing than they have done in recent weeks - but Fulham's quicker movement with the ball placed the reds under pressure at several points in the first half.  Liverpool's more methodical, patient approach was matched by a Fulham side who looked well drilled in the art of defending.

Too often the wrong pass was attempted and Jota and Salah found it difficult to find a way through.

Fulham's goal arrived in first half injury time when a free kick was headed out by Andy Robertson.  It arrived at the feet of Mo Salah at the edge of the box, but he dwelled too long on the ball and Lemina snatched it off him before drilling it past Alisson.

Both teams had chances in the second half.  Areola saving at close range from a strong Jota shot.

A last ditch clearance by Andersen snuffing out what could have been a clear equaliser for substitute Sadio Mane.

Jurgen Klopp agreed after the game that this was the most disappointing phase in his managerial career.   He described his team as 'extreme'.  'Extreme success' over recent years now being matched by another type of extreme.

After sitting atop the Premier League on Christmas Day the following 10 weeks have seen a huge collapse in form.  Clearly, the impact of injuries have had a massive effect on chopping and changing the team but problems appear greater now than just a huge injury crisis.

Liverpool will be hoping for an improvement when they face Leipzig in the Champions League second leg.  Thankfully, Liverpool's home game is in Budapest, Hungary.

On the basis of the past few weeks however the German side may well fancy their chances of overturning LFC's 2-0 lead.

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