LONDON. Fulham’s newcomers beat Liverpool at Craven Cottage in a delightful upside down showdown on the first weekend of the new season.
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Aleksandar Mitrovic gave the newly minted Fulham the lead twice, but Liverpool fought back when Darwin Nunez scored one and set Mohamed Salah up for another to get a point.
It’s not the start of the season that Premier League title contenders Liverpool would have been hoping for as Jurgen Klopp had a face like thunder when he saw his scruffy squad fail to match Fulham’s intensity » for extended periods.
However, Marco Silva and Fulham will be delighted to have scored a point, with their fans roaring all over the place to show their admiration.
What we learned from the Fulham-Liverpool game
Maybe Alexander Mitrovic will succeed in the Premier League? He scored a signature header in his first match and converted a penalty in his second (after his bizarre footwork baffled Virgil van Dijk) and he scored two goals in his first Premier League match of the season. He had three appearances in 27 when Fulham were last in the top flight. After breaking the league’s single-season goalscoring record last season with 43 goals, many felt that Mitrovic was simply not up to playing in the Premier League. He still had a few questionable moments during the course of the game (his mistake led to an attack that saw Liverpool make it 2-2), but in terms of getting the ball into the net, Mitro was indeed on fire again. .
Darwin Nunes inspires careless Liverpool
At the beginning of the second half, Darwin Nunez jumped off the bench and Liverpool’s attack revived. He scored one goal and created another as his presence in the box caused Fulham so much trouble. The Uruguayan has made a huge impact and it seems that Roberto Firmino’s days in the starting XI are numbered.
Fulham’s new acquisitions make a big difference
Marco Silva lamented Fulham’s lack of transfer activity this summer, and the mistakes of Tosin and Tim Rome have confirmed his point about the need for a few more centre-backs. However, Andreas Pereira and Joao Paliña were excellent in midfield, with the former making quick runs forward and the latter masterfully closing gaps. With the arrival of Bernd Leno, if Fulham can add a really good centre-back, it will be a really good window with quality over quantity as the main focus.
Fulham’s intensity in the first half completely overwhelmed Liverpool and the Reds struggled to recover. They still created big chances, but Luis Diaz hit the post in the first half and their last pass or finish was inevitable until Darvin Nunez took the field. Nunez’s exit revived Liverpool in attack and brought them a point. At Fulham, Paligna dominated the midfield and Pereira gave Fabinho no rest as he pushed forward again and again to support Mitrovic. Fulham’s energy was incredible, but they couldn’t keep it going throughout the game. However, if they continue to play at such intensity in the first 45 minutes of this season, few teams will be able to put up with it.
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Joao Paligna: Fantastic energy in midfield and great position to break Liverpool’s rhythm. A new signing of Lisbon Sporting looks like a good deal.
Darwin Nunez: Jumped off the bench to score and provide an assist and scared the, you know what, Fulham defense. He looks so hungry and will surely start Liverpool’s next game.
Fulham will travel to Wolverhampton next Saturday 13 August and Liverpool will host Crystal Palace on Monday 15 August.