Liverpool scrape draw away to Premier League strugglers Fulham
This weekend’s Matchday 12 wasn’t the most encouraging for the top two teams in the Premier League table. This was a day that was easily forgettable for Spurs and Reds fans alike.
Tottenham had an early lead thanks to Harry Kane. That advantage was later surrendered though, as Crystal Palace came from behind to share the spoils.
Liverpool also saw a similar fate as Scott Parker’s Fulham looked most menacing at Craven Cottage making the Reds sweat it out by drawing first blood, though the Merseyside club managed to make a comeback thanks to a late penalty from their Egyptian superstar, Mohamed Salah.
So, lets dig into how the game shared at one apiece panned out.
It’s a very different feeling, rather a motivation that gets every team in an elevated state of mind to have their fans physically present in the stadium, rooting for them.
And this was precisely the case with London’s oldest club, Fulham as they made a very encouraging start to the first half. The Cottagers attacked from the word go amid a couple of thousand supporters in attendance.
The home side created their first opportunity in the 4th minute. Their no. 17 Cavaleiro fired a beamer at the returning Reds keeper Allison, who was more than up to the task to make a fine save. Cavaleiro again created his second in the 15th minute only to be denied again by Allison.
Fulham were looking totally up for the game and the Reds a bit off-colour.
Liverpool then had a piece of luck go their way in the 17th minute when the referee stuck to his original decision of not giving a spot-kick. He instead awarded a corner after checking the replay on the pitch-side monitor when the decision was referred to VAR.
Fabinho, the perpetrator, had a huge sigh of relief getting the decision in his favour. Having said this, luck would run out for the Reds in the 25th minute, when Fulham drew first blood through a brilliant strike by Reid hitting the ball in the far corner beating Allison.
Liverpool had their chance in the 40th minute to draw level albeit Sadio Mane unable to keep his header down after getting a mouth-watering cross from Curtis Jones. The Reds created another opportunity minutes before half-time, again not resulting in a goal when Mohammed Salah hit the ball wide.
As the players walked back into the tunnel at the stroke of half-time, Fulham lead Liverpool by a goal to nil and truth be told they did look head and shoulders above the Reds in the first half.
Mohamed Salah shows yet again why he is the most vital cog in the Reds wheel
The impending need as the referee blew the whistle to start the second half was for Liverpool to mount a comeback to justify their title of being the reigning champions.
And they were super-close, when only in the 46th minute, Salah again hit a powerful short on target, only to induce a miraculous save from the Fulham goalkeeper.
Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson induced another beautiful save from keeper Areola in the 60th minute as he again demonstrated tremendous reflexes to keep the ball out.
The Reds moment of reckoning would finally come in the 78th minute, when Georginio Wijnaldum’s free kick struck the arm of defender Kamara in the D with the referee pointing to the spot-kick. Mohamed Salah would make no mistake as he whisked the ball through the Fulham keeper who couldn’t make the save this time.
The game stood at one apiece with a little over 10 minutes to play.
Liverpool then had their chance to take the lead with about 6 minutes remaining. Their young midfielder Curtis Jones made a brilliant run at almost half the length of the pitch and induced another save from Areola.
The Fulham keeper was truly a rock and made The Cottage fans really happy as they got the draw from the game when the referee blew the full-time whistle.
Liverpool had dropped two points, from a game that every Kopite would have expected them to win.
The most awaited battle in the land of English football dawns on Liverpool, next!
So, with a not so encouraging outing at Craven Cottage, the Reds are now dawned with possibly their biggest challenge of the season when they lock horns with table-toppers Tottenham at Anfield on Matchday 13, this Wednesday.
It’s simple, whoever triumphs in this one tops the table as we head into the festive season.
A lot to play for, as the Reds look to regroup and get back into the champion mould that we know them to be.
Till then, from me and my fellow Kopites, yet again in tears of anguish or tears of joy we always say ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’!