Liverpool fell to yet another Premier League defeat as Fulham breathed fire into their survival hopes by picking up a priceless win at Anfield.
A make-shift front three which saw Diogo Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri flank Mohamed Salah was unable to cause any real problems to a steady Fulham side, and it was the visitors who got the lead when Mario Lemina nicked possession from Salah on the edge of his box and arrowed an effort into the bottom corner.
Things didn’t improve much for Liverpool in the second 45. Even with the introductions of Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold, they were unable to sustain any real pressure, and Alphonse Areola was gifted with a far quieter day at the office than he might have anticipated.
Joachim Andersen was required to pop up with some great last-ditch defending to maintain the clean sheet, and it soon proved decisive as the whistle blew on another bad day at the office for the defending champions.
Let’s get into some player ratings, shall we?
Alisson (GK) – 6/10 – Had a few squeaky bum moments early on but nothing particularly disastrous.
Neco Williams (RB) – 5/10 – Big learning curve for the youngster who looked fragile and tentative in everything he did.
Nat Phillips (CB) – 5/10 – Doesn’t have the pace to be the defender he tries to be sometimes. Dominant in the air but way too erratic with his positioning for comfort.
Rhys Williams (CB) – 6/10 – Kept things simple. Looked pretty green but can’t really be criticised.
Andy Robertson (LB) – 6/10 – He tried, we’ll say that. Nowhere near his explosive best but did keep his side of the pitch sewn up.
James Milner (CM) – 6/10 – Marshalled the midfield and seemed keen to get forward and help out the forwards, which was strange to see.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – 5/10 – Didn’t do too much wrong but struggled to control the game like he can. Sacrificed for Mane on the hour.
Naby Keita (CM) – 5/10 – A few nice touches and one-twos but nowhere near proactive enough in possession.
Xherdan Shaqiri (RW) – 5/10 – Gave Liverpool something different. Was it actually any use though? Not really.
Mohamed Salah (CF) – 4/10 – Deployed in a central position to start with and didn’t look remotely comfortable. Robbed for the opener and generally ineffective throughout.
Diogo Jota (LW) – 6/10 – Faded in and out of the game but occasionally looked sharp and direct.
Sadio Mane – 5/10 – Didn’t make any real difference to another abject Liverpool performance.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5/10
Fabinho – 5/10
Alphonse Areola (GK) – 7/10 – Assured in absolutely everything he did. Great stop to deny Shaqiri early in the second half.
Kenny Tete (RB) – 6/10 – Solid performance up against the imposing Jota. Didn’t get himself forward too often but kept things tight and stuck to the plan well.
Joachim Andersen (CB) – 7/10 – Dealt admirably with Salah and instrumented a steady defensive performance. Superb last-ditch block to deny Mane at the end.
Tosin Adarabioyo (CB) – 8/10 – An absolute brick wall. Cleared the ball 17 times and made himself impossible to get around.
Ola Aina (LB) – 8/10 – Bloody hell he’s quick. Had Liverpool’s right flank on retreat with his overlapping runs down the left and didn’t put a foot wrong at the back – albeit against a largely toothless combination of Shaqiri and Williams.
Bobby Reid (RM) – 5/10 – Does he have an actual position? Drifted around the pitch and didn’t see too much of the ball.
Mario Lemina (CM) – 7/10 – Tenacious play to win the ball back for the opener punctuated with a great finish.
Harrison Reed (CM) – 7/10 – Really positive with his passing and put a shift in at both ends.
Ademola Lookman (LM) – 8/10 – Got in behind frequently and took advantage of some suspect positioning from Neco Williams. Spurned a big chance in the first half but was his side’s most consistent attacking outlet.
Ivan Cavaleiro (CF) – 6/10 – Caused some problems on the counter but needed to be more clinical and decisive with his final ball.
Josh Maja (CF) – 7/10 – Really lively, mixed his game up well and kept a makeshift Liverpool back line guessing. Brought off for Ruben Loftus-Cheek as Fulham looked to see it out.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6/10 – Shored things up in midfield and helped his team see things out.
Antonee Robinson – 5/10
Aleksandar Mitrovic – N/A