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Reds Column IV

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Liverpool vs Fulham

The dreadful home slide of Liverpool Fc (The Reds) continued with their sixth successive Premier League home defeat as they were beaten 0-1 by the visitors Fulham Fc.

For the home clash with Fulham Fc, Jürgen Klopp made seven changes to the side that lost to the visitors Chelsea Fc.

Neco Williams, Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams came into defence in place of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fahinho and Ozan Kabak.

Curtis Jones and Thiago Alcântara were replaced by James Milner and Naby Keïta to be lined-up alongside with Georginio Wijnaldum.

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané made way for Diogo Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri as the Duo started alongside with Mohamed Salah in attack.

Prior to the Match, Roberto Firmino was ruled out due to a minor knock and was replaced by Diogo Jota.

As expected; Fulham Fc (The Cottagers) felt more confident facing a young and inexperienced backline.

There were early warnings for the Reds as the visitors through Ademola Lookman looked to target the Reds defence particularly Neco Williams whenever possible.

The Cottagers had early chance to score but the volley from Josh Maja was wide to the left side of the post in the 3rd minute after an assist from Kenny Tete.

Mohamed Salah missed his shot to the right side of the net from outside the box in the 19th minute after being assisted by Nathaniel Phillips through a Long Ball.

Alisson Becker did well to block the header from Josh Maja after being assisted by Kenny Tete with a cross in the 28th minute.

Neco Williams made a vital block in the 35th minute to stop the shot from Ademola Lookman after being assisted by Bobby De Cordova-Reid.

Diogo Jota later picked up a Yellow Card for his challenge on Mario Lemina in the 41st minute.

After a challenge from Shaqiri from Ivan Cavaleiro, Mario Lemina dispossessed the ball from Mohamed Salah and drilled the ball to the bottom left corner of the net following Free Kick.

Like the Chelsea Fc home game, the Reds again trailed 0-1 at the end of First Half.

In the 62nd minute, Sadio Mané replaced the ineffective Georginio Wijnaldum and this meant that Shaqiri dropped back as a Right Midfielder.

The Reds went very close to equalising as Mané’s header hit the right post after being assisted by Keïta with a cross in the 70th minute.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho replaced Neco Williams and James Milner in the 73rd minute.

After an assist from Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the 89th minute, Aleksandar Mitrovic came close to sealing the game for the Cottagers but Alisson made a good save.

Keïta picked a Yellow Card for his foul on Lemina deep in the Injury Time.

Given their last few performances, the Reds never looked like a like a Team to score and the truth of the matter was that the Cottagers looked more determined to win the game.

The visitors did so and picked up a 0-1 win over the frail Reds.

The pain just continues for the home side after losing six straight home games in the Premier League (and which also marked the first time since the 1950’s that the Reds have lost 6 successive home games in the English Top Flight).

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 6: Made a crucial save to deny Maja in the First Half but was helpless for the opening Goal.

Neco Williams – 4: Looked like a Deer caught in the Headlights as the Reds kept getting exposed during the First Half. Wasted several promising attacking positions with poorly timed crosses especially during the Second Half.

Rhys Williams – 5: Inaccurate distribution and a tad wayward in positioning. Slightly improved during the Second Half as the visitors were mainly defending in their box.

Nathaniel Phillips – 6: Looked reasonably solid and made some interceptions.

Andrew Robertson – 6: The Scot was quiet during the First Half but looked more threatening going forward during the Second Half.

Midfield:

James Milner – 5: Besides Keïta, the Veteran looked to get the Reds on the Front Foot but his performance faded as the game progressed.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5: Offered nothing going forward and lost in the tussle with the Visitors midfielders.

Naby Keïta – 7: One of the few Players that looked to drive the Reds forward and picked up a Yellow Card late in the game.

Forwards:

Diogo Jota – 6: Only the Portuguese got the Cottagers defence worried but still could not score the Goal.

Mohamed Salah – 4: Got dispossessed by Lemina and that led to the only Goal for the visitors. Hardly troubled the Cottagers Defence overall.

Xherdan Shaqiri – 6: The Swiss International was peripheral with quick passes and link up plays but could not dictate the tempo of the game as the visitors looked to defend deep in numbers.

Substitutes:

Sadio Mané – 6: Brought on to provide more attacking impetus to the side but was unable to find a way past the Cottager’s defence.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact.

Fabinho – N/A: Too late to bring on the Brazilian!

 

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 3: Again contentious Team Selection that resulted in another preventable yet painful home loss. His Team Selection of late has been way off mark.

By resting several Key Players, the German Coach perhaps was looking ahead of the Reds Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg clash with RB Leipzig in a few days time.

Just like the doomed Premier League Title Defence, the Top-four Spots now looks like an insurmountable mountain to climb.

The only hope of getting back to the Champions League next Season most likely has to be via by winning the Champions League 2020-21 Title. Hope Floats for those remaining few optimists.

However, everyone connected with Club will be wondering when this preventable yet another unnecessary (which now feels never-ending) excruciating mental anguish of losing at home will ever end!

 

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