The Defending English Champions Liverpool Fc (The Reds) missed out on the chance to go on top of the table after being held to a 1-1 draw by the hosts Fulham Fc in the Premier League.
After missing last 3 Matches due to a hamstring injury, Alisson was restored in Goal and replaced Caoimhin Kelleher for their Premier League Match against the hosts Fulham Fc (The Cottagers).
For the first time this season, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was named on the bench after recovering from a long-term knee issue sustained during the Preseason in Austria but the Englishman did not feature during the match.
Jake Cain from the Reds Youth Academy was also named on the bench alongside fellow Youth Academy Players Nathaniel Phillips and Neco Williams.
After missing the FC Midtjylland Away Fixture; Joël Matip, Georginio Wijnaldum and Curtis Jones were named in the Starting XI.
The Cottagers started strongly as they had a clear tactics to counter the Reds by being on the Visitors Faces in certain parts and swiftly attack on the counter. To a certain extent, the Reds in turn tried to counter back with Long Balls over the top.
Just in the 4th minute, with a strong pair of hands; Alisson Becker pushed away a stinging effort from Ivan Cavaleiro.
VAR again was involved in the 17th minute for an alleged tackle by Fabinho but Referee Andre Marinner decided not to award the Penalty adding more to the VAR Controversies.
Alisson repeated bailed out the Reds throughout the First Half. In the 24th minute, Ademola Lookman shot from outside the box was saved by Alisson following an assisted from Ola Aina.
The Home Side got their well deserved breakthrough in the 25th minute, after a clever pass from Lookman played in Bobby Decordova-Reid and the Jamaican International hammered the ball past Alisson to the left corner of the net.
Throughout the first 35 minutes, the Reds were dreadful and the Home Side looked like scoring every time they went forward.
The Reds should be thanking Alisson and be considered fortunate to just be 1-0 behind by the end of First Half.
Jürgen Klopp had to make the necessary changes before the start of the Second Half.
A back problem for Joël Matip, forced Klopp to replace the Cameroonian for Takumi Minamino before the start of the Second Half and Captain Jordan Henderson was dropped back at Centre Back.
The Reds performance improved better during the Second Half. Henderson’s left shot was blocked by Alphonse Areola in the 61st minute and the Visitors never looked like scoring.
With the view of managing the fitness, Trent Alexander-Arnold made way for Neco Williams in the 68th minute.
After Curtis Jones won the Free Kick, Georginio Wijnaldum took the shot but Aboubakar Kamara leapt in the wall and blocked Wijnaldum’s Free Kick with his arm in the 77th minute.
Referee Andre Marinner had no hesitation to award the Penalty for the Reds and Mohamed Salah who stepped in, struck his Penalty Shot low and the ball sneaked under Areola to level the score.
Divock Origi was brought on to replace Salah in the 84th minute as the Reds searched for a winner. The attacking quality was simply below par and the Visitors should count themselves very fortunate to escape with a 1-1 draw especially after a lacklustre First Half against a determined Home Side.
Reds Team Performance Ratings
Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)
Alisson Becker – 7: Could do nothing with the Opening Goal but produced several saves to keep the Reds in the hunt amidst the chaos around him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 4: Looked troubled by Antonee Robinson and Ademola Lookman. His crosses were off target and distribution was below par. Made way for Neco Williams later in the Second Half.
Joël Matip – 4: Susceptible defensively. The Cameroonian’s lack of pace was exposed by the Home Side and was substituted after sustaining a back problem before the start of the Second Half.
Fabinho – 7: Made several well timed tackles but should consider himself very fortunate to get away with VAR Penalty Decision.
Andrew Robertson – 5: Looked shaky defensively as Decordova-Reid gave him a tough time, but the Second Half the Scot became more of an attacking presence. However, his set pieces were below par.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 5: Conceded possession and looked sluggish. His only saving grace was the Free Kick shot that led to a Penalty.
Jordan Henderson – 7: Marshalled his side very well by getting his team to move forward and did a commendable job to be an Auxiliary Centre Back in place of Matip in the Second Half.
Curtis Jones – 6: Ineffective in the First Half that included picking up a Yellow Card but improved much better in the Second Half that included his shot being saved by Areola following a solo effort running half the pitch.
Sadio Mané – 5: Had a few bright moments by beating the defender but was not decisive enough.
Roberto Firmino – 4: A nice flick to setup Henderson summed up his lacklustre performance as the Brazilian struggled throughout the game.
Mohamed Salah – 6: Constantly buzzing around the penalty box and scored the Penalty but did not make much of an impact with his general play.
Takumi Minamino – 6: Much improved performance from the Japanese compared to the FC Midtjylland Away Fixture. His presence brought the much needed energy and pushed the Home Side to defend deep.
Neco Williams – N/A: Replaced Alexander-Arnold. Largely solid but going forward, his crosses needs to improve.
Divock Origi – N/A: Brought on to replace Salah and offer more energy in the attack as the Reds pressed for a winner.
Jürgen Klopp – 6: Managed to line up a squad from a threadbare squad. The Reds should count themselves very lucky to avoid a defeat by the hosts Cottagers and escape with a draw. Klopp can’t complain anything about today’s result after an awful First Half.
The Reds simply cannot afford to get off the mark slowly against better oppositions and especially against their next opponents Tottenham Hotspur Fc (Spurs) who are due to play at Anfield on 16 December 2020.
Under Coach José Mourinho, Tottenham Hotspur Fc are already building an reputation of a side that are happy to defend deep and score Goals on the counter. The Spurs had already beaten Manchester City Fc and Arsenal Fc at home this season.
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