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Premier League: Liverpool keep top four hopes after Fulham win

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Liverpool 1-0 Fulham Premier League
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah after scoring in the match. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |
  • Liverpool hosted Fulham at Anfield in a Premier League clash on Wednesday, May 3
  • The Reds needed a win desperately to keep their hopes of finishing in the top four alive
  • Mohamed Salah scored the sole goal of the match as Liverpool earned a crucial win

Liverpool increased the pressure on Manchester United with a 1-0 win at Fulham in the Premier League, leaving them four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, as Mohamed Salah’s winner moved him closer to a Steven Gerrard record.

There was no drama or histrionics in Sunday’s 4-3 win against Tottenham, which gave the club a fifth consecutive Premier League victory for the first time since April of last year.

Salah’s 39th-minute penalty, his second in two games following back-to-back misses, moved him to 185 goals for the club, one behind Gerrard, while also moving him to sixth on the club’s all-time league scorers chart with 136.

Following a Football Association misconduct charge for comments about Sunday’s referee Paul Tierney, manager Jurgen Klopp’s behaviour in the technical area was the epitome of exemplary.

He was probably making the most of his time on the bench because he has until Friday to reply to the charges and, having already served a one-game suspension this season, the punishment could be much harsher.

Liverpool 1-0 Fulham Premier League: Mohamed Salah

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the winner against Fulham in a Premier League clash on Wednesday, May 3 2023. | PHOTO: Evening Standard |

Klopp admitted in his programme notes that going 3-0 up inside the first 15 minutes against Tottenham – a game they finally won with an added-time goal – had caused them some trouble.

READ: Who will solve the Liverpool midfield problem?

And, while they started brightly, with Trent Alexander-Arnold alone having three shots on goal in the first ten minutes, they lacked some of the crispness they displayed at the weekend.

Fulham was also better organized than their neighbouring Londoners, which limited possibilities to half-chances at best.

Alexander-Arnold’s advanced position stepping into midfield allowed him to move closer to his opponent’s goal, but he was off target with two of his three shots, with another tamely hitting goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

Salah threaded his way past a couple of defenders close to the byline but couldn’t reach the target from a tight angle, while Luis Diaz had a shot deflected wide.

Liverpool’s mastery of control in the opposing half was nearly absolute, with the Reds often regaining possession before Fulham could launch any sort of threat, but it was far less so in their own final third.

After breaking into the space behind Kostas Tsimikas, Virgil Van Dijk had to slide in to turn Harry Wilson’s cross behind, with Carlos Vinicius taking advantage of Ibrahima Konate’s indecision to force a good save out of Alisson Becker.

It was no surprise that the breakthrough came from a counter-press after Nunez had initially lost possession 15 yards outside Fulham’s penalty area.

Tosin Adarabioyo squared a short pass to Issa Diop, but the centre-half, who had returned to the team due to Tim Ream’s season-ending injury, took his time clearing the ball, and Nunez was on him like a shot to nick the ball off his toes, with the Frenchman’s swing at fresh air catching the forward’s back leg as he went past him.

Referee Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot, and Salah converted a penalty similar to the one he scored against Tottenham, blasted straight down the centre.

The second half was similar, with Liverpool applying the majority of the pressure without really pressing.

Their narrow lead became precarious as a result, and Alisson had to save superbly from Vinicius with 13 minutes remaining to keep their slim Champions League qualification hopes alive.

They are still counting on United to drop points, as their archrivals have two games in hand, beginning on Thursday against Brighton.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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