Liverpool return to form with fine win at Fulham


Liverpool put a frustrating fortnight behind them to reignite their Premier League title bid with a welcome win at Fulham.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, making a first league start in more than two months following a knee injury, curled a fabulous first-half free-kick into the top corner to put them ahead.

Timothy Castagne steered Fulham level before the break but Ryan Gravenberch’s perfectly-measured 20-yard effort flew in off the post to restore the Reds’ advantage.

Diogo Jota sealed the points with an accurate low finish past Bernd Leno from Cody Gakpo’s through ball and the margin of victory could arguably have been greater.

Regardless, it was an accomplished and largely trouble-free display from Liverpool that will reassure boss Jurgen Klopp they could yet end his nine-year reign with a second Premier League crown.

Dropped points in a draw at Manchester United and a shock Anfield defeat by Crystal Palace – with a disappointing Europa League exit to Atalanta sandwiched in between – had threatened to derail hopes of further trophies to add to the Carabao Cup they have already collected this season.

But victory at Craven Cottage lifts Liverpool back up to second in the table, level on points with leaders Arsenal – but behind the Gunners on goal difference – and a point above third-placed Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

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Klopp’s trademark post-match fist-pumping celebration with the travelling supporters seemed to have even more oomph than usual after his side navigated a tricky test they simply could not afford to fail.

Fulham have claimed a string of notable scalps at the Cottage this season, upsetting Arsenal there in December, while European hopefuls Tottenham, Brighton and West Ham have all been soundly beaten too.

Liverpool were fully aware of their credentials, having been taken to the limit by Marco Silva’s side in a thrilling 4-3 win earlier this season as well as edging their Carabao Cup semi-final over two legs.

This was far more routine than those prior meetings but it needed Alexander-Arnold – who hit Liverpool’s dramatic late winner to down Fulham at Anfield in December – to light the touch paper.

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