Liverpool slump at home again as 5/10 Salah caught out for goal

What has happened to Liverpool? The defending Premier League champions came into this game off the back of their fifth consecutive home defeat, an unwanted record that has never been matched in the club’s history.

Fulham‘s Mario Lemina compounded the misery being felt at Anfield when he scored just before half-time, after catching Mohamed Salah napping on the edge of the area. And though Liverpool showed more in the second half, Fulham’s defence stood strong and substitute Sadio Mane was unable to make the most of the chances that came his way.

There will now be added pressure for Liverpool to do well in the Champions League in midweek, as their losing streak at home was extended to six.

Positives

With seven changes made by Jurgen Klopp, there were plenty of players in the team who had a point to prove, meaning there was plenty of hunger. There were definitely improvements made in the second half compared to the first, with Liverpool getting on the ball a lot more.

Negatives

When Fulham scored just before half-time, it wasn’t a surprise at all — a damning indictment of Liverpool’s display. Considering the away side are battling relegation, Liverpool shouldn’t be allowing them to get that much of a foothold in the game. There was very little of the incisive play that has made Liverpool so feared in recent years.

Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
ESPN+ viewer’s guide: Bundesliga, Serie A, MLS, FA Cup and more

Manager rating out of 10

4 — Liverpool may have a Champions League game to consider, but there will be plenty of questions regarding Klopp’s decision to make seven changes. There will also be those who feel the German manager should have been more proactive with his substitutions and made them earlier to end a home record that has become embarrassing.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alisson, 6 — Showed authority in a lot of his play, notably flying out to deny Josh Maja, but had no chance of stopping Lemina’s effort.

DF Neco Williams, 5 — It was far too easy for Ademola Lookman to get space, while the Welshman didn’t offer that much going forward in the first half. Came out with a bit more intent in the second period, getting some decent crosses into the box.

DF Nathaniel Phillips, 7 — Struggled when Maja ran between him and the right-back but gave a good account of himself, getting his head onto plenty of balls and looking comfortable in possession.

DF Rhys Williams, 6 — Some of his positioning was a little bit off, but the youngster was resilient in his display and stood his ground well.

DF Andrew Robertson, 6 — Can be argued that he should have done better with his header in the lead up to the goal. Managed to make a timely intervention when Ola Aina was leading a Fulham break and was unlucky to see his late cross cut out.

MF James Milner, 5 — Got away with one when he lost the ball to Ivan Cavaleiro, but was disciplined for large periods of the game without doing anything spectacular.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 5 — The Dutchman moved the ball fairly well but did very little to stand out at all.

MF Naby Keita, 5 — Looked timid for large parts of the first half but his ball to Mane was one of the few moments of real quality from any Liverpool player in this game. Booked for a late foul on Lemina.

FW Xherdan Shaqiri, 5 — Came close with two efforts but did very little to progress Liverpool’s play in the build-up phase.

FW Mohamed Salah, 5 — Made some good runs behind the Fulham defence but it was the Egyptian losing the ball on the edge of his box that lead to Fulham’s goal. Looked frustrated throughout.

FW Diogo Jota, 6 — He did have threatening moments and was very unlucky to see his effort saved by Alphonse Areola.

Substitutes

Sadio Mane, 4 — Replaced Wijnaldum in the 61st minute and had three good chances, hitting the woodwork with one and making a mess of the others.

Trent Alexander-Arnold, N/A — Replaced Williams in the 77th minute and got a good cross into the box, though Mane couldn’t make the most of it.

Fabinho, N/A — Replaced Milner in the 77th minute and showed the quality of pass to break the lines that had been missing so often, even if it wasn’t enough to earn a point.