Xherdan Shaqiri impresses again in Liverpool's routine win over Fulham
Liverpool delivered a timely reminder they remain handily placed in the Premier League title race with a 2-0 win over Fulham on Sunday.
Goals from Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri saw Jurgen Klopp's side respond positively to the midweek defeat at Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League and silence any talk of crisis at Anfield after a recent patchy run of form.
After creating very little in Serbia on Tuesday, Liverpool cannot be accused of that here. Fulham goalkeeper Sergio Rico certainly earned his money at Anfield with a number of strong saves. Shaqiri keeps on having a massive impact, while Salah's potency continues.
Fulham had a number a opportunities to take the lead and, ultimately, change the story of the game. Seconds prior to Salah's opener. Aleksandar Mitrovic thought he put Fulham 1-0 up when he headed in, but the assistant referee adjudged the striker to be offside. Replays appear to suggest it was an extremely close call. Liverpool are too easy to counterattack against at the moment and better teams will punish them if it continues to be the case.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- A 4-2-3-1 formation appears to be Jurgen Klopp's preferred system these days when the onus is on Liverpool to attack. The extra attacker, often Shaqiri, certainly helps Liverpool find ways through teams with men behind the ball. The team's solidity has began to wane in recent games and continued here, although that is probably a consequence of being so attack-minded.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 7 -- Alisson was worked harder than he probably expected to as Fulham had eight shots towards his goal. The Brazilian made some good stops and his quick-thinking to restart play after Fulham's disallowed goal is why he can help improve Liverpool's attacking moves.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 -- He claimed the assist for Salah's goal with an accurate through ball. That was one of a number of impressive passes throughout the afternoon. The 20-year-old recovered well defensively after an indifferent start.
DF Joe Gomez, 5 -- Ryan Sessegnon easily beat Gomez in the 24th minute and should have put Fulham 1-0 up as he went clean though. It was uncharacteristic poor defending from Gomez, who has had much better days than this one.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 6 -- Won a lot of headers, but can be slighted for a few lax moments like his centre-half partner. He got the crowd excited when he lined up to take a free-kick within scoring distance. How many centre-halves can do that?
DF Andrew Robertson, 6 -- He had plenty of space to exploit on the left and utilised it well in the second half. His deep cross for Shaqiri's goal was delivered with pinpoint accuracy.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 6 -- A quiet afternoon. Liverpool probably don't need two defensive midfielders in games like these.
MF Fabinho, 6 -- Got the poor Arsenal performance out of his system with this decent enough display. Once again, his ability to take the ball off an opponent caught the eye. But he does continue to look slow to the pace of the game at times.
FW Xherdan Shaqiri, 8 -- The player who looked to run the game and not the first time. Lining up on the right flank, Shaqiri constantly moved central to pick out teammates or pop off shots towards Fulham's goal. His goal, an extremely calm volley from close range, was well deserved. Anfield was impressed again.
FW Mohamed Salah, 7 -- It was third time lucky for the Egyptian after being denied by Rico twice in the first half before his goal. However, it never looked in doubt when he went clean through to score his eighth of the season. A threat throughout.
FW Roberto Firmino, 6 -- The Brazilian really isn't looking comfortable playing in the No. 10 role. It's appears to be numbing his effectiveness. He was dropping so deep that he was a central midfielder a lot of the time, taking the ball of the centre-halves.
FW Sadio Mane, 6 -- His decision-making often let him down when in promising situations. He hasn't really got going after breaking his hand during the last international break. Liverpool will hope he returns from this latest one injury-free and with a spring in his step.
MF Jordan Henderson, 6 -- A welcome return for Klopp as Henderson made his first appearance since injuring his hamstring at Huddersfield last month.
MF James Milner, N/R -- Brought on to slow the game down alongside Henderson.
MF Naby Keita, N/R -- Another player returning to the field after a hamstring issue.