Liverpool have lost five straight matches at Anfield. Typing that sentence doesn’t even make sense.
The Reds are on the outside looking in on Champions League qualification.
Typically, a match against bottom-dwellers (but in good form) Fulham would be the cure that ails. But not this season.
Jurgen Klopp heavily rotates the squad today, giving Diogo Jota and Naby Keita (ffs) starts. He also rests the entire backline save Andy Robertson.
How will it go?
The first half is just depressing.
If you were new to soccer and put this match on, you’d think Fulham were the defending league champs.
Possession is even after the first half (51% to Liverpool). Fulham though was the bigger threat throughout. Fulham has 8 shots (2 on target) to Liverpool’s 5 / 2. Inexcusable.
Aaaaaaand Liverpool drop six straight at Anfield. Fulham win 1-0. Did Jurgen Klopp make a pact with the devil two years ago on the Anfield grounds, and Lucifer decided to come and collect at the start of 2021?
Liverpool aren’t generating any open play opportunities. Just hoping long balls, crosses and corners will convert. Frustrating.
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Fulham
Jurgen Klopp (3) –
Seeing how I’ve been critical of him for not trying anything different, I can’t rip his line-up selection. But the lads come out flat. That I can put on Klopp.
Given how lifeless the boys look, surprised Klopp makes no second half adjustments. Makes the right move by subbing in Mane for Gini at the hour mark. This forces him to put Shaq essentially as a #10 which I like. His passing has been superb this season.
In the second half, Neco Williams was arguably our best player–but Klopp subbed him off for TAA. Why not keep Neco on, who was a threat, and put Trent in at midfield? Klopp just doesn’t seem to have any answers right now.
Alisson (6) –
Making the saves but looks like he’s unsure of himself. Nothing he could do about the Fulham opener. He stretched out, it was a perfectly placed strike though.
Neco Williams (6.5) –
Lookman is just torching him time and time again. It’s getting embarrassing. Going forward, doesn’t look as impactful as he was last season. Starting to exert himself offensively in the second half. Almost playing as a right-winger and looks much better for it. Getting in crosses and even taking shots. Off in the 76th for Trent. Don’t get that one. Neco was just starting to turn it on.
Nat Phillips (6) –
Statistically our best defender this season, goes from not-in-the-line-up to starter on Sunday. Solid defensively again. Key block on a Lookman attempt in the 54th minute. Another solid display.
Rhys Williams (5.5) –
Keeping a high-line but we seem to be getting punished for it. Seeing lots of the ball. Leads team in possession. VVD-lite today.
Andy Robertson (5) –
The only regular defender who gets a start, Robbo seems muzzled offensively. Can’t get in any probing balls. Failed to clear the ball that Salah coughed up, leading to the Fulham goal.
James Milner (6) –
Not surprisingly, looks among the better Liverpool players. Takes our first real chance of the day. Second half is losing steam. Gets dispossessed in Fulham’s half in the 60th which almost leads to Fulham’s second goal. Off late for Fabinho.
Gini Wijnaldum (5) –
Death, taxes, Gini working his ass off in midfield. Does a little bit of everything but not a lot of anything. Subbed off in the 61st for Mane. Does complete 100% of his passes, which you can take as “played great!” or “played it safe!”
Naby Keita (4) –
You know Liverpool are playing awful when you find yourself saying, “Naby looks like one of our better players today!” Launches a volley clear to Goodison Park in the 77th instead of at the goal. Stupid yellow card in stoppage time lets Fulham bleed the clock down.
Mo Salah (4) –
Final third decision making is putrid. Doubting everything. However, his effort isn’t lacking. Tracking back today. Buuuut…has his pocket picked, dispossessed, and Liverpool down 0-1. Feel bad for Mo. He gets more shit than he deserves x10. And he’ll get skewered for this. But he kind of should get skewered for this too.
Diogo Jota (5) –
Only good Liverpool attempt in first half. Still seems rusty. His off-ball movement in particular just isn’t popping like it was pre-injury.
Xherdan Shaqiri (6) –
Some good passing. Well taken direct kick. But not popping off the pitch. Really lively when shifted to the #10 in the second half. Strong on ball and ambitious. Needs to play a central attacking role more often.
Sadio Mane (6) – On in the 61st for Gini. But almost immediately yet again fails to get a ball out from under his feet for a good shot attempt. Looping header hits the post in the 70th. Unlucky there. Another header off a perfectly whipped in Trent ball Mane sends straight down into the ground.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (NR) – On for Neco. Needs to be ambitious and looks it. Fired some crosses in that his teammates could’ve done better converting.
Fabinho (NR) – On for Milner.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Again, no one.