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Football news - Shaqiri and Salah fire Liverpool past Fulham and into first

Shaqiri and Salah fire Liverpool past Fulham and into first

11/11/2018 at 12:50Updated 11/11/2018 at 14:47

Premier League, Anfield - Liverpool 2 (Salah 41, Shaqiri 53) Fulham 0

Goals from Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri sent Liverpool top of the league, temporarily at least, following a 2-0 win over Fulham.

Fulham afforded Shaqiri and Trent Alexander-Arnold plenty of space to operate in advanced positions, with both enjoying early chances. However, Fulham’s defensive set-up frustrated the hosts for much of the first half, and Ryan Sessegnon was presented with a brace of chances to give the visitors a shock lead.

Fulham appeared to defy expectation when Aleksandar Mitorvic headed in an Andre Schurrle cross shortly before the break. However, the goal was ruled offside, and while Fulham were celebrating, Alisson took a quick free-kick. Mo Salah then latched onto Alexander-Arnold’s incisive pass and slotted low past Sergio Rico. Liverpool’s goal came just 14 seconds after Fulham’s controversially disallowed effort.

The Reds’ frustration subsided in the second half and they doubled their advantage through a superb Shaqiri cushioned volley. Andrew Robertson’s brilliant deep cross found the Swiss in plenty of space in the area for his second goal in three appearances.

The goal was the 31st Fulham have conceded this season — no other side in Europe’s Top 5 leagues has shipped so many.

The result was enough for Liverpool to top the Premier League before Chelsea and Manchester City’s games later in the day. Klopp's side will travel to Watford after the international break, while rock-bottom Fulham will host Southampton.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoringReuters

TALKING POINT: Can Fulham stay up?

Despite generous summer spending, Fulham are rock bottom after suffering seven straight defeats, having conceded an astonishing 31 goals in 12 league games. Jokanovic’s side did well to frustrate Liverpool in the first half, but quickly ran out of ideas as the game progressed. There are plenty of candidates for the drop, and staying up won’t be impossible — but something will need to drastically change for the Cottagers for that to happen.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Xherdan Shaqiri

The Swiss is having plenty of impact for the Reds lately, with three assists and two goals in his last six appearances. Shaqiri was a constant threat going forward and showed his class with the finish for the second goal. Credit must also be given to Liverpool’s full-backs, although they were given plenty of free reign by Fulham to push forward.

PLAYER RATINGS

Liverpool: Alisson 7, Alexander-Arnold 8, Gomez 6, Van Dijk 7, Robertson 8, Fabinho 7, Wijnaldum 7, Shaqiri 8, Salah 7, Mane 5, Firmino 6. Subs: Milner 6, Henderson 6, Keita 6.

Fulham: Rico 7, Christie 6, Chambers 7, Le Marchand 6, Mawson 6, Odoi 6, Anguissa 6, Cairney 6, Sessegnon 5, Schurrle 6, Mitrovic 6. Subs: Seri 5, Johansen 6, Vietto 5.

KEY MOMENTS

41’ - THE BALL IS IN THE NET! Mitrovic heads in a Schurrle cross and the flag goes up but....

41’ - GOAL! Liverpool immediately break from the offside decision, with Salah charging down the right to slot low past Sergio Rico!

53' - GOAL! A beautiful volleyed finish from Shaqiri! Robertson sends a cross into the box from a deep position and the Swiss has plenty of space to send his first-time effort into the net from around eight yards!

Premier League, FC Liverpool, Mohamed Salah

Premier League, FC Liverpool, Mohamed SalahGetty Images

KEY STATS

  • Liverpool are now unbeaten in 27 home league games.
  • Fulham have won only one of their 34 away games at Anfield, losing 24 of them.
  • Mo Salah has scored against 19 of the 21 Premier League opponents he has faced. (Only Manchester United and Swansea have eluded the Egyptian.)
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