Alisson was a clear standout for a sub-par Liverpool side, which was held to a 1-1 draw by Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday night.
Scott Parker had urged his players to take the game to Liverpool in the build-up to the game. And, that is exactly what the Fulham players did, in what was a fine start to the game by the relegation-battling Cottagers, who dominated the proceedings in the early exchanges, when Alisson had to be alert to keep the scores level and Fabinho was lucky to have not conceded a penalty.
The deadlock was broken midway through the first half when Fulham grabbed a well-deserved lead through Bobby Decordova-Reid, whose whipped effort went beyond Alisson’s flailing arms and into the Liverpool goal. Thereafter, Fulham continued posing a threat and could have added to their tally, while Liverpool conjured up just one meaningful chance in the rest of the first half.
Fulham had an early chance post the interval, but it was mostly Liverpool as far as chance creation in the second period was concerned. The equaliser finally came in the 78th minute, when Mohamed Salah converted from the spot after Aboubakar Kamara had handled Georginio Wijnaldum’s free-kick in the box.
Liverpool then went in search for a late winner, but it never came, as Alphonse Areola stood strong in the Fulham goal. And so, the match ended in a 1-1 draw, with the Reds missing a great chance to claim the top spot in the Premier League standings following Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace earlier in the day. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 8/10
The clear standout for Liverpool on a night when both their defence and attack faltered. Alisson was at hand to clean up after his defenders, making four critical saves to keep Fulham’s advantage down to just the one goal. Did not have a chance to deny Bobby Decordova-Reid, though. Typically reliable with the ball at his feet. Klopp will be delighted to have Alisson back in his side.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 5/10
Making his first start in the Premier League for over a month, Alexander-Arnold was well off his best on the night. Put to the sword by Ademola Lookman, the English international was a mess at the back. Going forward, he carried little threat, with his crosses being more hopeful and dangerous apart from 1 key pass. Rightly taken off for Neco Williams.
Joel Matip: 6/10
A difficult evening for Matip. While he did win each of the 5 duels he contested, the movement and pace of Ivan Cavaleiro did force him out of position at times. A lack of pace characterized a testing first half, but it was perhaps down to the back injury that forced him off at half-time.
Fabinho’s run of not seeing Liverpool concede a goal with him playing as a centre-back in the Premier League finally came to an end on Sunday. The Brazilian did have a difficult time dealing with the purposeful Cavaleiro in the first half and was rather fortunate to not have conceded a penalty when he had clearly taken the Fulham striker out. Much improved in the second half.
Andrew Robertson: 5/10
Much like his full-back partner, Robertson was well off his best levels on the night. Lost Decordova-Reid before he scored Fulham’s goal and the Scotsman also suffered a few more hairy moments at the back. Did try to make things happen going forward, but apart from delivering 1 key pass, things just did not click for Robertson. Will hope to do better against Tottenham.
Curtis Jones: 7/10
Curtis Jones v Fulham:
– 103 touches
– 95% pass accuracy
– 2 key passes
– 4 long balls
– 1 big chance created
– 5 dribbles
– 14 ground duels
– 2 interceptions
19 years old, best player on the pitch. pic.twitter.com/EGnSwoJY5z
— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) December 13, 2020
The standout outfield player for Liverpool. Jones played the most key passes (2) on the night as far as Liverpool players are concerned and was unlucky not to have grabbed an assist. In fact, any other day and he might have even celebrated a goal to go along with it, having been denied twice by the brilliant Alphonse Areola. Just continues to grow in stature at Liverpool.
Jordan Henderson: 6/10
Not a game in which Henderson was at his domineering best. The Liverpool captain did see a lot of the ball and looked to make things happen. However, it was just that sort of a day when nothing really clicked. Settled into a centre-back role after Matip’s substitution and was fairly solid in the defensive role.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6/10
Wijnaldum was not as involved on the night as his midfield partners. However, it was the Dutch international who made some sort of difference for Liverpool as it was his free-kick which earned the penalty that Mohamed Salah converted when it struck Aboubakar Kamara’s arm. Otherwise, it was a game of hits and misses for Wijnaldum.
Mohamed Salah: 7/10
Salah, like many of his teammates, was not quite at his best against Fulham. However, for much of the game, it was clear that it was the Egyptian who was going to make any sort of difference. In the end, Salah did pull Liverpool back on level terms from the spot. Did not aim too many shots at goal otherwise despite his nippy footwork.
Mohamed Salah has now scored more Premier League goals (85) than Cristiano Ronaldo 🎯 pic.twitter.com/8VgGMM3mLn
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 13, 2020
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
Quite poor to say the least. Firmino was barely involved in the first half and although things did improve post the break, his trademark movement was nowhere to be seen, which enabled Fulham to remain resolute at the back. Will need to do much better if Liverpool are to take anything from their next game, versus Tottenham.
Sadio Mane: 5/10
The player to watch in our preview was one of the poorest performers for Liverpool. Mane hardly carried a threat and his take-ons did not amount to much. Did have a fine chance coming his way, only to fluff his lines in spectacular fashion. Otherwise, he did not have much of a sight at the Fulham goal. Need to pull his socks up.
Takumi Minamino: 6/10
On for the injured Matip, Minamino provided an injection of energy, that was sorely missing from the Liverpool gameplay in the first half. Kept things ticking and misplaced just 2 passes during his stay on the pitch. A step in the right direction.
Neco Williams: 6/10
Williams replaced the ineffective Alexander-Arnold and was quite an upgrade on the Englishman. The Welsh international posed a threat with his crosses and was largely solid in his defensive duties as well. Making a point.
Divock Origi: N/A
A late introduction, Origi hardly saw the ball despite Liverpool’s late charge.