Football News

Liverpool keep Premier League title hopes afloat following Craven Cottage success

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:00, 21 April 2024

Liverpool put a disappointing few days behind them as they ran out 3-1 winners at Fulham in the Premier League.

Jurgen Klopp’s men exited the Europa League earlier in the week following a loss to Crystal Palace, which slightly dented their championship hopes.

Having been level with leaders Arsenal, though in second due to boasting an inferior goal difference, both came into this latest round of fixtures trailing defending champions Manchester City by two points with six matches remaining.

A day earlier, as City booked their spot in another FA Cup final, the Gunners brushed Wolves aside on the road, winning 2-0 through coals from Leandro Trossard and Martin Ødegaard.

If the pressure was on Liverpool — who sprang a surprise with Dominik Szoboszlai, Darwin Núñez, Alexis Mac Allister and Mohamed Salah all starting on the bench — they didn’t feel it.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s sixth direct free-kick goal, only Jamie Redknapp (8) and Steven Gerrard (7) have more for the Reds in Premier League history, put Klopp’s title chasers in front. Timothy Castagne would equalise before Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota ensured no spoils would be shared today.

That goal also mean that Liverpool have now scored in each of their last 20 away Premier League matches, the longest current run of any side. In their entire league history, they’ve had one longer away scoring run, netting in 21 in a row between February 1955 and February 1956 in the second tier.

Liverpool’s second — Gravenberch’s goal assisted by Harvey Elliott — was somewhat noteworthy as it was the first time they had a Premier League goal both scored and created by players aged 21 or younger since November 2014 against Chelsea (Emre Can fed by Raheem Sterling).

As for their Portuguese forward Jota, making his first league start since February, he celebrated a special milestone. He netted his 100th goal of his English club career in all competitions (44 for Wolves and 56 with Liverpool).

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Regarding the hosts, Fulham suffered their 16th Premier League defeat of the season, equalling their total for the whole of last term. Seven of those losses have come at Craven Cottage, one more than they lost at home in the league in 2022-23 (6).

Marco Silva’s combative midfielder João Palhinha received his 13th yellow card of the Premier League season – the most of any player. In addition to his 14 yellows last term, he is just the second player to be given 13+ yellow cards in two separate Premier League campaigns, after Olivier Dacourt (1998-99, 2000-01) and Robbie Savage (2001-02, 2003-04).

Despite the win, Klopp wasn’t entirely satisfied with a Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park looming.

“For 80 minutes we played a really good game. I didn’t like the last 10 minutes of the first half and they got the goal. But that’s alright because I loved the second half,” he said.

“We could show again what we did really well in the first half – we kept the ball, created, and scored some good goals. We had some good chances on top of that too. We made some changes and the boys did really well.”