Liverpool start season with a draw at Craven Cottage

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By: Shane Brennan

Liverpool travelled to Craven Cottage to face Fulham on Saturday, as The Reds looked to get their 2022/23 league campaign off to a flyer, but what exactly did we learn from the game?

Newly promoted Fulham looked well up for the game, and it didn’t take long for the first chance of the encounter  to come their way, as the ball fell for Aleksandar Mitrović inside the first minute as Fulham’s target man dragged his shot wide of the post, in what would prove to be an early warning sign!

Liverpool’s play was quite lethargic for most of the first half and were deservingly made pay as Neeskens Kebano found Kenny Tete who put in an excellent cross into the box, and the dangerous Mitrović was on hand to power above the helpless Trent Alexander-Arnold to get a decent header in on goal to beat Alisson Becker and in turn give Fulham the dream start to life back in the top flight.

Liverpool then somehow nearly got back on level terms when Thiago Alcantara found Luis Diaz  in space, the Colombian international  unleashed a cracking shot that unfortunately came back off the woodwork, that was as close as Liverpool came in what proved to be an extremely disappointing first half.

It didn’t take Jürgen Klopp long to spring the changes from the bench as shortly after half time Darwin Nunez came on to replace Roberto Firmino, whilst there also was another injury concern for The Reds as Thiago pulled up with a hamstring strain.

Fulham then had the first real opportunity of the second half as reed found Kebano, as his shot cracked the bottom of the post, as Liverpool could count themselves very fortunate not to be 2-0 down.

Fulham then became a little too over confident as they nearly gifted Liverpool a way back into the game when Diaz nipped in, he found Mohamed Salah, who returned the favour, and between the aforementioned players they managed to lay the ball off for Darwin Nunez , but unfortunately the Uruguay international seemed to be taken a little by surprise, as he attempted to play the ball across goal, but symptomatic of The Reds performance the ball never found a red shirt as Fulham survived.

But the big man was not to be denied, as James Milner and Harvey Elliott combined to find Salah, who found Nunez  as he finished brilliantly, as Liverpool attempted to salvage their performance.

Just as Liverpool looked to have got to grips with the game a sucker punch was to come The Reds way, as Fulham counter attacked the ball found its way to Mitrović who ran at Virgil van Dijk, the Dutchman stuck out a leg as the Fulham striker went down, a penalty was awarded and the Serbia international made no mistake from the spot, that left Liverpool with it all to do once again.

In flashes Liverpool did show their quality during the game, and as the clock ticked down they found themselves level when Alexander-Arnold lofted the ball into the box as Salah found Nunez, who returned the favour to give Salah a tap in.

The Reds nearly completed a smash and grab job right at the death when  skipper Jordan Henderson volleyed the ball towards goal, the attempt came back off the crossbar, and really Fulham got the luck they deserved over the 90 minutes as the spoils were shared.

Who stood out?

James Milner, Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott.

They all steadied the ship in their own way when the game looked to be getting out of Liverpool’s reach, each player was exactly the tonic The Reds needed in what was a bad day overall.


Liverpool need to improve bigtime if they are to have any chance at mounting a serious title challenge this season. Fulham were the much better side throughout giving a good account of themselves. This was just the type of result that cost Liverpool last season, with the only real positives being Nunez played well and for day one at least we didn’t lose.                          


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