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Fulham 1-3 Liverpool: Diogo Jota back with a bang as Reds keep up with Arsenal in Premier League title race

Report and free match highlights as second-half goals from Diogo Jota and Ryan Gravenberch keep Liverpool hot on the heels of Arsenal in Premier League title pursuit; Timothy Castagne cancelled out Trent Alexander-Arnold's brilliant free-kick opener; Liverpool level on points with Arsenal

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win against Fulham in the Premier League

Liverpool brushed off their European disappointment to move up to second in the Premier League - level on points with table-topping Arsenal - after a 3-1 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Jurgen Klopp's men bounced back from Thursday's exit to Atalanta in the Europa League and last week's home defeat to Crystal Palace as they continued their pursuit of Premier League glory.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's superb free-kick sent the Merseysiders on their way (32), but Timothy Castagne hauled Marco Silva's side level on the stroke of half-time (45+2).

Last Sunday's surprise home loss to Palace had handed the initiative to Manchester City, and while Mikel Arteta's Gunners side moved top with victory over Wolves on Saturday, Liverpool kept up the pace with a dominant second-half display.

Alexander-Arnold wheels away after beating Bernd Leno
Image: Trent Alexander-Arnold wheels away after beating Bernd Leno

Ryan Gravenberch restored the visitors' advantage when he collected Harvey Elliott's pass to curl a sublime finish past Bernd Leno and in off the post (53).

With Alisson a spectator after the interval, Liverpool turned the screw as Diogo Jota put the contest to bed with a third, racing onto Cody Gakpo's pass to fire low into the bottom right-hand corner.

The result means Liverpool move onto 74 points, along with Arsenal, but in second place by virtue of an inferior goal difference. City sit third on 73 points but having played a game less. Meanwhile, Fulham remain in 12th position on 42 points.

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Alexander-Arnold gives Liverpool the lead with a wonderful free-kick

Player ratings

Fulham: Leno (7), Castagne (7), Robinson (6), Bassey (5), Adarabioyo (6), Palhinha (5), Lukic (6), Iwobi (6), Pereira (7), Reed (5), Muniz (7).

Subs used: Traore (n/a), Wilson (6), Cairney (6).

Liverpool: Alisson (6), Robertson (7), Alexander-Arnold (8), Van Dijk (6), Quansah (6), Gravenberch (8), Endo (7), Elliott (7), Gakpo (7), Diaz (6), Jota (8).

Subs used: Mac Allister (6), Nunez (6), Szoboszlai (n/a), Gomez (6), Salah (6).

Player of the match: Diogo Jota.

How Jota reignited Liverpool's title challenge

Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game
Image: Diogo Jota celebrates scoring Liverpool's third goal at Fulham

In their 1-0 defeat to Palace, Liverpool had an expected goals total of 2.81, the most by a Premier League side who failed to score since Newcastle against Crystal Palace in September 2022.

Klopp's team ought to have hit the front inside five minutes, but Luis Diaz headed wide from Alexander-Arnold's cross.

Over the course of their recent rivalry, Liverpool have had a couple of seasons where the race to the line with Man City has seen them miss out by just a point despite matching each other win-for-win for the majority of the run-in.

Team news

  • One notable absence for Fulham was Willian, with manager Marco Silva confirming that this was a groin strain. Bobby De Cordova-Reid started while Tim Ream returned to the bench.
  • Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboslai and Ibrahima Konate were all on the bench. Diogo Jota started up front with Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott.

The visitors knew they could not afford to drop any more points in the capital, and they came close again when Alexander-Arnold picked out Diaz inside Antonee Robinson but his cross was directed wide by Jota.

Fulham could yet challenge for a top-10 finish - and they briefly threatened when Alex Iwobi set up Joao Palhinha for a shot on the edge of the box but Alisson made a routine save. With half an hour on the clock, Palhinha hauled down Jota just outside the penalty area. It would prove a costly decision.

Liverpool survived a scare to defeat Fulham
Image: Liverpool survived a scare to defeat Fulham

Elliott had already seen one free-kick strike the foot of the Fulham wall, but this time Alexander-Arnold pulled rank and curled a sumptuous effort into the corner beyond the reach of Leno.

Liverpool smelt blood as Gakpo immediately forced the Fulham stopper to tip a ferocious drive over. But Silva vowed his squad was in the best place they could be heading into the encounter - and they showed their quality to level on the stroke of half-time.

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Liverpool are stunned as Timothy Castagne levels for Fulham just minutes before the break

Jarell Quansah initially did well to block Rodrigo Muniz's header from point-blank range but Castagne was on hand to sweep the loose ball beyond Alisson.

Liverpool have now not kept a clean sheet in any of their last nine league games at Craven Cottage since a 1-0 win in April 2009. Jamie Carragher pointed out: "Liverpool don't keep them like Arsenal. They have to get better defensively even when the manager moves on."

Elliott was not enjoying his return to Fulham as he dragged a shot wide from Jota's pass five minutes after the restart - but moments later he was the architect of Liverpool's second. Iwobi's attempted clearance was intercepted by the England U21 international, who set up Gravenberch for a precise finish from 20 yards out.

Gravenberch restored Liverpool's advantage
Image: Ryan Gravenberch restored Liverpool's advantage

Gravenberch celebrated his first Premier League goal - and the Dutchman was involved once more when he combined with Andrew Robertson to set up Jota for an instinctive near-post shot that was well kept out by Leno.

The Portuguese would not be denied his goal on his first league start since February, however, as he coolly buried a shot low out of Leno's reach after being slipped through by Gakpo to reignite Liverpool's title challenge.

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Jota's goal survives a tight VAR call to make it 3-1 and give Liverpool some breathing space

Silva: We didn't react well to second goal

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Marco Silva found it difficult to understand some of the referees' decisions in Fulham’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool and was disappointed with his side's level in the second half

Fulham boss Marco Silva told Sky Sports:

"They scored an excellent free-kick from Alexander-Arnold, and our reaction was really good. We had some very good moments as well both in open play and with counter-attacks.

"The score was fair at half-time because the reaction was good. I thought we deserved the equaliser and the goal in that moment. We wanted to start the second half with the same intensity but the way we conceded the second was really hard to take.

"It was a good chance for us to make a counter-attack as they were open and it was something we planned to explore but we gave the ball away and they scored. From that moment, the reaction was not so good. We have to learn from that situation.

"We have 12 points to fight for and that should be our focus. It's been a long but very good journey for this football club. The ambition is to get more and more.

"We have a group of players who are professional and who will always fight for the shirt. We have points to fight for no matter who we play. No one can doubt our players because we've been really professional in every moment of the season."

Klopp: This is strongest league in world - we will give title a go

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Jurgen Klopp praised the performances of his players in Liverpool’s 3-1 win against Fulham and felt the introduction of fresh legs was pivotal in them securing the victory

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: "We've won the last two away games and the performance today was really good besides the final 10 minutes of the first half. We don't have to concede then, but we obviously do.

"It's a squad game and we need all of them. We need to fight through games. All these boys have massive quality. Sometimes the momentum isn't there but the quality is insane. We need to figure out who and when for what and for how long. That's part of the job.

"It makes it 74 [points] for us - we had a really good feeling that at Atalanta the performance was alright but we didn't go through and today was even better.

Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game
Image: Diogo Jota celebrates scoring Liverpool's third goal at Fulham

"Why wouldn't we respond? How did we get where we are? This is the strongest and most intense league in the world and we are here in this fight with two sensational teams. If we didn't have character we wouldn't be here.

"Sometimes you need to get momentum back and we've got that back a little. Do you think City feel the pressure? They have won everything in the last few years.

"We have to focus on ourselves. I try to say things that would help - if we start thinking about City it wouldn't help."

Carragher: Massive result for Liverpool

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Gravenberch restores Liverpool's lead with a stunning finish midway through the second half

Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher:

"A massive result for Liverpool, not just in terms of the title race and the three points, but to get things back on track.

"In midweek, they won the game, but went out of the competition, but I think Klopp almost used that for 'Liverpool are back'. They kept a clean sheet, they won the game and this was a step up again in terms of performance.

"It can be better of course, but it's a massive result. With five games to go in the Premier League, level at the top with Arsenal, it's a good position to be in.

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Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold says his side will treat each of their remaining five games of the season as a final.

"The performance in midweek and today, it's not Liverpool at their best. But we all know as players, when you're in a poor run of form and the confidence goes a little bit, you just begin to build it back up.

"I think they'll be better again on Wednesday [against Everton] and that was an improvement on Thursday night.

"Klopp has tried to take positives from that [the Europa League exit]. There's a lot of disappointment from Liverpool fans that they've gone out of a competition they were expected to win.

"But Klopp used that, it was a clean sheet [at Atalanta], they've won two away games in a row and they've got another two to get through. If they can get through those, which will be really tough, it does put them in a great position.

"If you can win four away games in 10 days, that puts you in a great position going into three [Premier League] games left."

Still time for Klopp to add to his legacy

Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates his brilliant opener
Image: Alexander-Arnold celebrates his brilliant opener

Sky Sports' Ben Grounds at Craven Cottage:

"Klopp remains positive about Liverpool's place in the title race and still believes if they win all their remaining five matches they will be Premier League champions again.

"A difficult run of results - starting with a draw at Manchester United and followed by home defeats to Atalanta and Crystal Palace - ended with a 1-0 Europa League victory in Bergamo but that could not prevent their exit from the Europa League 3-1 on aggregate at the quarter-final stage.

Diogo Jota celebrates with Cody Gakpo after scoring Liverpool's third
Image: Klopp’s men bounced back from Thursday’s exit to Atalanta

"A first clean sheet in 10 matches was a boost to confidence, especially as they continue to struggle to find their best form at the other end of the pitch, and a perfect run-in is required if they are to overhaul both Arsenal and third-placed Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

"That the clean sheet went will not concern Klopp too much at this stage of the season, provided they are winning. They have scored in 31 of their 33 games, more often than any other team in the Premier League this campaign, and here they overpowered their opponents in the second half.

"Judging by the full-time celebrations, Klopp still believes there is time to add to his legacy."

Player of the match - Diogo Jota

Diogo Jota scored the 100th goal of his English club career in all competitions across his time at Wolves (44 goals) and Liverpool (56).

When asked about Jota's finishing, Klopp said: "The best finisher in this club is Mo Salah, but it's super cool to have Diogo back. It's just as important to have Cody Gakpo back. He's been injured but he's physically there now."

Away day delight for Liverpool - Opta stats

  • Liverpool have won seven of their last nine away games in the Premier League (D1 L1) - more than their previous 19 on the road beforehand (W6 D7 L6).
  • Fulham suffered their 16th Premier League defeat of the season, now 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).
  • Ryan Gravenberch's goal, assisted by Harvey Elliott, was the first time Liverpool had a Premier League goal both scored and assisted by players aged 21 or younger since November 2014 v Chelsea (Emre Can assisted by Raheem Sterling).
  • Liverpool have scored four goals from outside the box against Fulham in the Premier League this season, the first side to score so many against the same opponent in a Premier League campaign since Leeds v West Brom in 2020-21, while the Reds last did so in 2015-16 v Aston Villa.

What's next?

Fulham host Crystal Palace on Saturday April 27, kick-off 3pm.

Liverpool face a trip across Stanley Park to face Everton on Wednesday April 24, kick-off 8pm.

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