Fulham 1-1 Liverpool – Match Report & Player Ratings

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Liverpool arrived at Craven Cottage with ambitions of reaching a second consecutive Carabao Cup final and will now be heading to Wembley to face their recurring opponents in domestic cup finals Chelsea after a 1-1 on the night but a 3-2 victory in the tie after goals from Luis Diaz and Issa Diop.

Jurgen Klopp’s side started off as the stronger of the two teams in the opening 5 minutes as Darwin Nunez had the first shot on target in the game, but his shot was tame and did not really test Bernd Leno in the Fulham goal. Fulham had two chances of their own moments later as Castagne’s low cross nearly snuck past Caoimhin Kelleher at his near post and the resulting corner was wastefully lashed over the crossbar.

Diaz opened the scoring in the 11th minute. After a lovely Crossfield pass from Jarell Quansah, the Columbian danced inside his man and smashed the ball past Leno at his near post to make 1-0 on the night and 3-1 to Liverpool on aggregate in the tie.

The Reds began to dominate possession and dictate the flow and tempo of the game with just 25 minutes having been played. Second balls were predominantly being won by the Redmen in midfield and not allowing the home side to gain any real momentum to get themselves back into the game and the overall tie.

Why Liverpool need Jota & Nunez to be firing in Mohamed Salah’s absence!

Having weathered the early storm in no small part due to the defensive qualities of Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk and Alexis Mac Allister, the table toppers began to show their teeth in an attacking sense. 

Despite the likes of Conor Bradley, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott all attempting to ignite the frontline, Liverpool’s spark was proving elusive in the first half despite some promising moments, particularly on the counter.

Corners looked the most likely route to goal for Klopp’s charges as Elliott took over set-piece duty, finding the head of Konate and almost Van Dijk – both in very dangerous areas. 

Klopp’s men had the ball in the back of the net again in the 27th minute, again from Diaz, but this time he was denied what would have been a brilliant finish by the linesman’s flag. 

Fulham did not give up as Raul Jimenez’s long, low drive from distance forced Kelleher to make a good save down to his right to deny the Mexican. Within seconds Liverpool had a counter on with Nunez but was instantly stopped in his tracks by the retreating Tosin Adarabioyo.

Silva’s side had just started to show signs that they were growing into the game as the clock hit 35 minutes as Jimenez went over in the Liverpool penalty area following a minimal coming together with Ryan Gravenberch but there was nothing doing and any appeals were immediately waved away. The Reds maintained their two-goal advantage in the tie until the halftime whistle.

Both sides came out for the second half with the bit between their teeth. Andreas Perreira had Fulham’s best chance of the match so far with 55 minutes on the clock when Kelleher was caught in no man’s land from a freekick, but the Brazilian could only hit the post with the goal gaping. 

The visitors made the first changes in the game as Nunez and Alexis Mac Allister were withdrawn and were replaced by Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones while Fulham also proceeded to bring on the former red Harry Wilson for Bobby Decordova-Reid in the 67th minute.

LUIS DIAZ IS A BIG-GAME PLAYER! – Liverpool fans react to Diaz performance vs Fulham

Ex-Liverpool starlet Wilson then put in a fantastic ball for centre-back Issa Diop to put away Fulham’s equaliser via some good fortune with just under 15 minutes left of the 90 and Fulham now needed to chase the game to bring the tie level.

Momentarily it felt as though the game and indeed the tie was in jeopardy, however, Liverpool regained their composure and took control once again to see out the job with a manner befitting of serious contenders on more than one front this season…

The Reds may not have won the match, but they emerged with the Wembley arches reaching out to greet them. Diaz earned the man of the match award with a standout performance in Klopp’s front line as the game finished in a dead heat at 1-1 after a thrilling game of football.

Player Ratings – Kelleher 7, Bradley 8, Quansah 9, Van Dijk 9, Gomez 8; Mac Allister 8, Elliott 7, Gravenberch 7; Diaz 9, Nunez 7, Gakpo 7.

Redmen Reacts

Job done. Albeit perhaps not a performance for the ages, it was one of a side that had gears to go through and was able to manage the situation with an air of authority and maturity. 

Another domestic cup final meeting with Chelsea now awaits, hopefully, we can get the job done within the 90 minutes on this occasion…



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